Twitter is not only for having fun but it can also be quite useful. It is a popular way for everyone, including college and university students to communicate. Thus, social media can be effectively engaged in education purposes. Actually, it is so effective that it has to be used by all students to help them learn better.
Here is the way to best engage Twitter in education – during the classes, students can tweet comments or questions via their phones or laptops. This makes more students participate in the class discussion because they do not feel shy to tweet. This social media encourages them to be an active part of the learning process. As a result, students are more interested and learn better.
Benefits from Using Twitter
Twitter can be a great weapon in the arsenal of learning tools for all students, no matter what they study. Even if you are generally shy and do not want to be involved in discussions, tweeting is the way to cope with this.
This social media is able to open up totally new worlds for students. Twitter allows to collaborate and to participate in hashtag chats. This is a great way to learn new material and better understand the topic. Students feel more engaged in the education process and more interested in the material and that is why they are more motivated to learn new things.
Dealing with Hashtags
The hashtag is a word or phrase with no spaces. It is always preceded by a # symbol. Here are some examples – #youthvote. #edchat, #london2012. This is how hashtags work – you should simply type a hashtag like the examples into Twitter’s search box. This immediately generates results which will be focused on the topic of your choice. Such tagging is quite useful and usually, you can think of such tags at any moment.
When you want to find some information on a topic but you don’t know of a hashtag that will be useful for you, you should search on Twitter with a keyword rather than a hashtag. You need to scan the results to find out what hashtags people use for that topic. This is a quite effective way to find what you are looking for.
Actually, any school or classroom could and should begin using Twitter as an important and efficient part of the learning process. There are lists of educational hashtags which are quite useful for students who are eager to connect beyond the classroom. When such a list is hung in the classroom near a classroom computer, it encourages the students to use it. Using the classroom account with the teacher’s login and password will allow you to tweet out questions. Thus, you can request resources or share information. Ask your teacher which are the suitable hashtags and request the login and password for the classroom account.
First Steps with Twitter
If you are still not familiar with Twitter, here is what you should do to use this social media and all of its opportunities to communicate effectively:
- Make your account. You should add a real picture of yourself. If you are going to use this account for education purposes, your teachers need to be able to see who you are.
- Don’t just tweet about who you are and what you are interested in. You should talk to other people and discuss up-to-date topics with them. Take the most out of your Twitter account and communicate effectively with the world.
- Try point out the interesting things happening in your classroom and what is your opinion on them.
- Share quality and meaningfullinks. They might be useful for someone and also they could raise an interesting discussion.
- Feel free to talk about non-education things, too. There is life outside school and it is normal to be interested in it. You are free to show that you care about a variety of things – music, films, sports, ecology, fashion and many others.
- When you want to promote a blog post, you should ask a question or just explain what your link is about. This is the way to really attract the attention to it.
- Ask a lot of question and make discussions. Twitter is a perfect place for getting opinions. This is the right way to communicate effectively.
- Follow inspiring and interesting people. Also, try to find the source of interesting stuff. When you see someone who tweets cool things, see who he or she follows, and follow this person.
- Make sureyour tweetsare useful. You should give advice, share quality links, blog posts, and pictures.
- You need to complete your bio. You might not want to share a lot of facts about you but you should give at least the basic information. After all, your profile needs to actually say something about you.
- Learn the Twitter basics. You should know the basic terminology for Twitter and its major functions. A little reading on the topic will help you a lot.
- Choose your style. Before your first tweet, choose what kind of tweeter you want to be.
- Learn by seeing. This is a great way to learn how to use Twitter. You should spend some time seeing how others use their Twitter accounts.
- Watch your tone. If you are usually enthusiastic to say some harsh things, control yourself. You should not post anything on Twitter that you would not say in another situation.
- Announce when you plan to join a hashtag chat or conference.
- You should respond in a reasonable amount of time. When someone asks you a question or directs his or her tweet to you, reply as soon as you can.
- Do not forget to thank when there is a reason. When someone helps you in some way, you should be gracious and say‘Thank you’. This is especially important when you receive help from your teachers or classmates.
- Start a hashtag chat. Make your own chat on an academic topic which is interesting and important for you.
- Find out whether the teacher has created a classroom hashtag. A shared hashtag that all students use is quite useful and if there is one, you should know about it.
- Follow your teachers on Twitter. Check out whether they have shared some lesson plans.
- Collaborate with other students. You can work together on some academic projects, research ideas, classroom solutions, and others.
- Learn how to find and use hashtags. It will be easier for others to find your tweets if you put a few relevant hashtags inside.
- Share what you are reading. Whatever has attracted your attention, you should share it.
- Reach out and connect with people from different spheres. Do not limit yourself to only communicating with people from your field or academia. It is best to enrich your research, as well as your professional life by contacting people from other fields and professions.
- Engage yourself in some backchannel talks. They allow students to post toTwitter during the class to share comments during a presentation. Such backchannel talks facilitated a lot the conversation and help gain some shared learning experience.
- Collaborate with people from other classrooms in your school, as well as from other districts and even countries. This is one great thing about Twitter – it helps you connect with people that you would not know otherwise.
The role of Twitter in learning is growing. This social media improves communication between professors and students and facilitates the learning process. Twitter is to some extent the future of education and this is the time for you to become a part of this future. Use your existing account or create one and communicate with your teachers and with other students. Thus, you will start learning in a more efficient and more interesting way.