As a teacher, Twitter is hands-down the best tool I have used to further my professional development. Having a PLN of like-minded professional sharing resources and ideas has improved my teaching immensely. After seeing the benefits of Twitter for my own development, I decided at the beginning of this school year that I would use Twitter in the classroom in an attempt to further enhance the learning of my students. Below are the ways in which I have used Twitter in my classroom:
1) Student notices and reminders.
Whenever there is an important notice for the students I simply tweet it out. I also do this to remind students of due dates for assessments.
2) Sharing resources.
If I find a useful resource that relates to some of the work that my students are doing, I tweet it out. I also use google forms a lot for student voice and quizzes. These also get tweeted out.
3) Exit tickets.
After each learning block, I ask the students to tweet out one thing that they learnt. This works well as it gets the students to reflect on their learning at the end of the block. Furthermore, by tweeting out what they have learnt, others in the class are also able to learn something from the tweets of the other students.
4) Twitter Chats.
Twitter chats are a great way for the students to collaborate and share their ideas. As the teacher, I create the questions, and the students then tweet their answers. By doing this, every student (even the quietest ones) have a voice. Often I will create Twitter chats and include my colleagues classes, so at times we will have 60+ students involved in the discussion. Each discussion has its own hashtag that we ask the students to include after their tweets.
5) Giving students the opportunity to have their work viewed by a wider audience.
Once my students have published their work on their blogs, they then tweet out the link to their work. This way their work can be seen by a wider audience (which is one of the requirements that I ask for when they publish something that they have been working on). The students get a real buzz when their work gets 'retweeted' or 'favourited'.
6) As a research tool.
When my students are working on their inquiry projects, one of the requirements is that they need to get primary sources of information. These sources of information are often surveys or interviews. The students will often tweet a link to their surveys. They also use twitter to conduct interviews with companies or individuals. Students are also able to search hashtags that might relate to their work.
Overall, Twitter has had a huge impact on my classroom. I am always looking at ways that my students can use Twitter to enhance their learning experience. I would love to hear ways that other teachers are using Twitter in their classes, so please feel free to comment and share your own ideas.