Comment on the change from “what are you doing” to “what’s happening” to challenge that twitter is all about self, silly comments like “just had coffee” etc. Focus on what is happening in the world as a whole and in the world around you
Divide teachers in groups of two according to their knowledge of Twitter, so the ones who use it don’t get bored with the basic stuff the “newbies” need to be told.Get feedback from the “users” group.Get usernames and start following, so that when (if we have time) we get to practice, they can follow me too (good to show the newbies)
Good for all levels: beginners will stick to basic declarative sentences (“I am doing my homework) whereas more advance students can be required to produce less straightforward tweets. The topics can also be more or less difficult.
For all levels. The original content can be suggested for more basic students and children, who can access the discovery kids webpage or dictionary pages etc. These may even include L1 pages, as long as the commentary on why they chose to RT that page is in English (of course one misses the reading part, but this may be used as a last resort for reluctant students)
For more basic levels, I suggest interactions are kept among the students in the class or across the school. It’s always a good idea to tell students that if they don’t understanding something the person they are mentioning is saying, asking them directly is a great way to find out! And thus, more interaction (hopefully).If students are stuck, the teacher can post topics for discussion (articles and so on). This can be done with intermediate (adapted material if needed) and advanced classes. This produces pre-tweeting and a post-tweeting activities: extensive reading and class discussion. They will all have read the article, expressed their opinions and reacted to peers, but this time no 140-character limit!
This type of assignment requires that the teacher tweets to the students more often. I’m not sure all will be willing to. With the use of DMs, frequency can be reduced because students don’t have access to one another’s answers and thus can keep sending DMs even when there is already a “winner”. The suggestion of picture posting can be done in many ways. You can ask for pictures of a given vocab point (e.g. the body), with accompanying word and description (real or funny, e.g. foot: the smelly part of the body you use to stand up on), or pictures that describe certain adjectives, e.g. exhausted.
For more advanced students.
Get suggestions from other teachers
@teacher RT: the world<br />Twitter as a pedagogical tool<br />by Maria Rita Drumond Viana<br />@mritateacher<br />
Twitter: the good, the bad, and the hype<br />What Twitter is not<br />it is not a chat application (though you can chat)<br />it is not a blog (though it is called microblogging)<br />it is not Orkut, Facebook, or MySpace<br />What Twitter is<br />140 characters (spaces included!) posts<br />Changed from “what are you doing” to “what’s happening”<br />
Twitter basics: how many people already use Twitter?<br />Twitter newbies:<br />account sign up<br />creating a profile<br />Home page<br />the mechanics of posting<br />broadcasting<br />following/followers<br />Tweet talk: @, RT, #, DM<br />Twitter clients<br />Twitter users:<br />how long have you been using?<br />what do you use it for?<br />how often?<br />how do you find people to follow?<br />discuss any interesting info/blogs/lists you have found<br />FOLLOW ME!<br />Please write down usernames on a piece of paper!<br />
Twitter for teacher development<br />virtual (and global) staffroom<br />place for reflection<br />ideas workshop<br />instant feedback<br />education newsroom<br />access to critical friends<br />Remember, your experience on Twitter is only as high quality as the people who you follow and the information you share. (@mrslwalker)<br />
A look at my @mritateacher account<br />http://twitter.com/mritateacher<br />
Ideas for using Twitter with students (via EdTechatouille)<br />Class announcements<br />Notification<br />Feedback<br />Resource sharing<br />Connecting with other classes<br />Experts and content<br /><ul><li>Also: accountability (parents can follow too!)</li></li></ul><li>Student assignment #1: “One tweet a day”<br />Description<br />Students are required to tweet once-daily during the duration of the assignment (I’d start with a one to two-week period)<br />Topics can be set on tweets:<br />What are you doing?<br />What have you seen on your way home from school/work?<br />What did you eat today?<br />Rationale<br />Students practice specific structures and vocab (best if these can match class content)<br />Students remain engaged with the English class throughout the week<br />Writing practice<br />
Student assignment #2: “Retweeting”<br />Description<br />Students find interesting tweets or websites to be posted on their tweets<br />Students comment on their RTs<br />Possible topics:<br />English-speaking celebrities<br />News<br />Videos (on YouTube, for instance)<br />Rationale<br />Students have to interact with published content on authentic English<br />Because they have necessarily to comment on the RT, they have to read carefully and understand content<br />Reading and writing practice <br />
Student assignment #3: “@ mentions”<br />Description<br />Students engage in conversation with others (can be students or people they are following/being followed by)<br />Previous assignment can be used for source of topics or the teacher can post articles, videos, pictures etc. for students to comment on<br />Rationale<br />Students interact in written form with other people<br />Students express opinions, agree/disagree<br />Can be used with more extensive reading (articles) and followed by class discussion<br />Reading and writing practice. Oral communication.<br />
Student assignment #4: “Scavenger hunt by DM”<br />Description<br />Students react to tweets by the teacher, following clues and sending their answers by Direct Messages<br />Teacher posts can include sentence building exercises, riddles, vocab questions (can even include posting of pictures)<br />Rationale<br />Depending on the type of post, can be grammar or vocab practice, reading, or writing<br />Ensures students are connected and following (award extra points to the first/best answers)<br />Public posting of pictures can lead to @ mentions, which means more reading and more writing if they reply<br />
Student assignment #5: “List following”<br />Description<br />Students choose a list of a topic of their liking and follow it for a week<br />They RT and comment some of the best/most interesting tweets during that week<br />They produce a report of what were the main topics of discussion and what were the different opinions people had<br />Rationale<br />By choosing their list, students are more likely to be engaged<br />Commenting the RT ensures careful writing, is good writing practice and also helps organizing the report<br />Report (offline component) offers practice in reported speech, past tenses, as well as textual organization in both reading (identifying trends) and writing (making a coherent summary)<br />
Other ideas?<br />Picture mini-commentary<br />Crazy story writing<br />…<br />
If time allows…<br />Try it! Start twittering now<br />Find me: mritateacher<br />Follow the #edchat<br />