Twitter is an ever-evolving resource, and one that’s come a long way from its relatively humble beginnings in 2006. Originally designed purely for people to update their status with what they were doing through an SMS text message, the social media microblog has since morphed into a massive multimedia platform for the media, politics and, slowly but surely, education as well.
Recent analysis from the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) has shown that Twitter’s revenues grew by over 95% at the end of last year, and the network is continuing to purchase other start-ups to expand their media ecosystem. The future implications are huge, and could see Twitter become a bigger part of the teaching process. Here are just a few ways it can be used:
- Classroom connectivity
Whether within a single school or around the world, using Twitter expands the possibility for sharing resources between classrooms and collaborating on projects.
- Calendar reminders
A feed dedicated to due dates, upcoming events, tests and assignments would be a valuable resource for teachers to make sure everyone is kept in the loop.
- Class trips
Encouraging students to live-tweet school trips will help them develop their communication and analysis skills, as well as providing a record of the trip for later discussion.
- Questions and answers
If students have questions during a lesson or lecture, encouraging them to tweet their queries provides the opportunity for extra support without disruptions to the flow of a lesson.
- Develop writing skills
Although grammar on Twitter at large isn’t the best example, the 140 character limit could be a valuable resource for teaching students how to write creatively, concisely and accurately. Additionally, having students summarise lessons on Twitter is a useful exercise to gauge understanding – a student will have to have a good grasp of an issue to express it properly in such a small space.
- Keep up with current events
A live news feed from trusted sources could provide students, particularly younger children, with a valuable introduction to current events, encouraging them to engage with the wider world as part of their daily routine.
- Engage with industry
The number of industry professionals using Twitter gives students a direct line to those working in fields they may be interested in. The opportunity to interact with their feeds, and tweet questions with the potential of a response, is a valuable tool for inspiring students to think about their future careers.
- Share multimedia content
Twitter’s increasing multimedia potential means it is a convenient resource for sharing teaching materials that may not suit the traditional handout or projector. Videos, images, websites and interactive material can all be accessed directly by students via Twitter.
- Involve parents
Finally, giving parents access to the class Twitter page provides them with an at-a-glance look at what their children are learning, upcoming events and tests, and areas where their child might need support at home.