How do we learn? Who do we learn from? As humans, the easiest way for us to learn is from experience, and the more practical way for us to learn is from each other. Luckily social media has made it easier than ever for us to communicate and teach each other with ease. Twitter is starting to be utilized in classrooms and virtual-learning situations to supplement and encourage a shared learning experience.
Twitter is a 140-character microblogging site. It represents social media culture and the increased integration of real life into social media. But Twitter isn’t just a casual experience shared among friends. Businesses are increasingly moving onto this platform to better communicate with their consumers, journalists are sharing their stories virtually instead of through traditional media, and Twitter is beginning to play an integral role in learning.
Here are five ways Twitter can be an effective learning tool in your classroom:
1. Motivate students to follow the news
The younger the generation, the more they seem plugged in to social media. In this digitized day and age, social media can be all about sharing excessive details about your life and cat memes, or it can be used as a learning tool. Creating a class Twitter account and sharing links to breaking news can go a long way to facilitate discussions and generate interest in what is going on in the world. This can be used for any type of class including history, economics, government, journalism, business classes, and more. Twitter is an excellent way to get students involved in a larger conversation.
2. Live Tweeting
One of the reasons Twitter is so effective is its ability to microblog live. If students are attending a lecture or event, the ability to Tweet during the event encourages students to ask questions and learn from each other. These Tweets can be used for further conversation online or even in the classroom.
3. Connect & chat with professionals
Professionals in every industry are on Twitter. If students have questions, want to see what’s new, or are just curious it is incredibly easy to connect with them.
4. Post class materials & encourage note-sharing
Students learn best together. Twitter can be an effective tool to facilitate this group discussion and share materials with students.
5. Take a poll or start a discussion
It is possible to keep students involved in their own learning through discussions, sharing, and polls. This is an easy way to see how ready students are for a test, who has read a certain article, how they feel about a particular passage in a book, or anything else. Ask students to tweet a weekly question or curiosity. You’ll be impressed by how easy it is to get students involved via microblogging.
Twitter might limit you to 140 characters, but the ways you can use those characters are limitless. Give Twitter a role in your classroom or training session and you might just see less people tweeting about what they want to have for dinner, and more people tweeting about what they’re learning.
Have any creative ideas for ways to use Twitter as a learning tool? Leave a comment!