Since it was launched in 2006, Twitter has undergone a few changes. The initially 140 text characters limit was expanded to 280; users now can publish photos and videos and can also create threads. Despite this, the essence of Twitter remains the same: a microblogging service for talking and publishing news quickly and objectively.
Educators who are open minded to the social media already use it in the classroom as a tool to encourage students to stay updated on news, political and historical facts. But the possibilities for using Twitter creatively in education go far beyond that. Check it out:
Just like that childhood game in which a person writes a sentence on a paper and the next colleague continues the plot, the same can be done in Twitter to produce content in a collaborative and fun way.
Challenge students to follow foreign profiles and interact in another language, commenting on news or even celebrities posts. This exercise helps them to distinguish between the formal and the colloquial writing styles as well as helps them become fluent. In addition,Twitter is full of expressions, slangs and memes, which makes language learning more contemporary.
An interesting idea is to create profiles of historical figures. It could be a former president, a dictator, a poet, a scientist, an artist. The idea applies to different school subjects. By interacting with students through these profiles, you can make learning lighter and informal. Just imagine @carlosdrummond sharing his existential issues, asking for Portuguese tips or a discussion between @stalin and @trotsky!
Twitter can be used as a place for debate outside the classroom and is a good way to include shy students and develop the ability to argue and synthesize. You can also create a topic-specific hashtag or organize the discussion in a thread, which helps to have an overview of the conversation and the conclusions reached by the group.
Do you have more ideas on how to use Twitter creatively in education? Share with us on our social networks!