How Teachers Can Engage Students Through Twitter

If you’re an educator struggling to get your students’ attention, take note. Karl Gude, journalism professor at Michigan State University, has figured out a way to get through – Twitter.

So send this post to your favorite educator, as valuable tips follow.

Karl Gude’s article on Huff Post earlier today spoke to why Twitter is amazing in large lecture classes and in it he shared some excellent tips for educators spanning all grade levels – well, grades with students aged 13 and older, of course. Though, as we told you about before, Kindergarten teachers are actually using Twitter with students too.

So if you’re a teacher and you’re not yet on Twitter, now is the time to seriously consider trying it out. Karl starting using Twitter in his classes about four years ago and now makes signing up for Twitter a class requirement. He even has a quiz on Twitter!

What’s so great about the platform? Here are a few fantastic uses (paraphrasing Karl’s post and adding a some of our own):

1) It helps shy students participate. Karl builds Twitter into his class routine, encouraging students to answer questions via #hashtag tweets. It’s much less scary to write something than to stand up or raise your hand to speak in front of a large group.

2) It saves the teacher time. Students can get answers from their classmates, not just the teacher.

3) It helps classmates develop healthy relationships online. If you see someone in class each day (and you know your teacher is watching), you’ll likely be kinder in your responses (defying the appalling lack of Internet etiquette prevalent online) and kindness is just as contagious as hate.

4) It teaches students the art of brevity. They can only ask and be given short answers. What a great skill to develop!

5) It helps them organize group projects.

6) It forces them to learn a rapidly growing network that is NOT Facebook and does not primarily consist of personal posts. Social media isn’t going away soon and the next wave of leaders will possess oodles of online savvy.

So what do you think educators? Are you ready to start using Twitter in your classrooms? Tell us about it!

(Student using tablet image from Shutterstock)