30 Ways to use Twitter in your classroom as a parent communication tool! Plus, 10 additional ways to incorporate Twitter in your classroom!
Social Media in the classroom is a new hot topic for a variety of reasons. When used for educational purposes, there are endless possibilities!
You can use Twitter in the classroom for many reasons. You first need to ask yourself what your purpose would be to integrate Twitter in your classroom:
Publishing to a global audience?
Research and collaborate globally?
Parent classroom communication?
I use Twitter in the classroom for parent classroom communication. It is a great resource that allows parents to connect to our classroom and daily happenings anywhere they have WiFi. Most importantly, it’s student led by my classroom “Tweeter” of the day! As a teacher with an evaluation, of course I love this because it is school to home communication managed by the students themselves. Do you have a category like this on your evaluation tool?
Parents get to see what is happening in our classroom from my teaching partner and myself, as well as from the student’s perspective.
Innovative ways to use Twitter in the classroom!
Connect with classroom stakeholders (my focus)!
These are things you and students can TWEET if you are going to use Twitter in your classroom as a way to connect with parents. This process gives students a chance to reflect, share and rethink current learning and daily classroom community happenings:
1. Homework and assignments
2. Important announcements
3. Survey parents
4. Important links
5. Lessons of the day
6. Outstanding student work
7. Anchor charts
8. Classwork samples
9. Homework samples
10. Action shots of learning
11. Positive behavior examples
12. Characters in a text
13. Strategies or skills to solve problems
14. Due dates
15. Go LIVE during events
16. Planning events for the classroom
17. Changes in the classroom and events
18. A live bulletin board
19. Assignment coordination
20. Attendance reminders
21. Asking for volunteers or classroom donations
22. Class book club(s) updates
23. Online art gallery
24. Videos of class activities, field trips, events, functions and more!
25. Daily word study games
26. Live Tweet books, videos or other curriculum
27. Conference schedules
28. Direct message parents like a text
29. Fundraiser information
30. Students can receive wonderful feedback from multiple parents about Tweets (confidence booster) and so many more!!!
I love how parents can see what is happening in the classroom as well as know about what’s happening with their child and his/her peers. Parents and stakeholders can use the app on any device or their home computer to feel connected to their child’s daily happenings.
There are so many other ways you can use Twitter in the classroom if your purpose is different and focus for this digital tool is different.
Connect, communicate and collaborate with the World!
Here are some other ideas to think about that serve a different purpose of using Twitter in the classroom:
1. Write a summary of of the day’s lesson and tweet it with questions for the next lesson. This allows the teacher and students to collaborate.
2. Teacher’s subscribe to hashtags like #educhat or a hashtag in your subject area or grade level.
3. Teacher Networking! Give ideas and get ideas to use in your classroom!
4. Find foreign pen pals
5. Collaborative event watching
6. Research tools for students
7. Link sharing
8. Encourage students to ask challenging questions using a hashtag or the subject area or skill to collaborate with other students.
9. Encourage students to follow pages and hashtags of people or companies that apply their current learning in the real world. (If you are studying weather, follow the local meteorologists Twitter page!)
10. Post content for students to preview before a new lesson begins!
Getting Started with Twitter in your Classroom!
(click on any of the photos below or HERE for a direct link to the resource)
Setting Twitter up in your classroom is simple!
The resource referred to below is exactly the steps I followed to get Twitter in my classroom started.
You first need to create a private classroom Twitter Account by following these steps:
You will then need to create a permission slip form. I used the form below, but I have also made it editable in the resource.
Teacher Tip: I used a QR code for parents to scan for a Google Form I created. I handed this out at Open House along with attaching the PDF in a parent email. I did this so I could document which families had joined Twitter with their information on the Google Form. They responded and I have a beautiful spreadsheet to verify parents when I accept their request to follow our class page!
Want to See? Scan my QR code with your device as if you are a parent in my classroom! (download a FREE QR code scanner from your app store)
Let’s talk devices. I gathered 2 old iPhones from family and friends who have upgraded. You can also search online yard-sales. I then had cleared the phones, downloaded the Twitter app and set the settings. I connected each phone to the school WiFi as well. Then you need to have a mini-lesson on how to takes photos and properly use the Twitter app. I personally model under the Elmo on the smart-board. This allows students to see the screen up close. They view the daily models of exactly how I take photos and how to view photos taken to choose what to “Tweet” about. Followed by how we save photos in the class homeroom folder. I then model a proper “Tweet”. I do this for a week or two until I feel comfortable handing it over to the students.
Once I hand it over to the students (I do my Mama Hover, lol) but I do tail them and watch them closely. The first thing I do is mark the “Tweeter” of the day using an expo marker on my display.
I simply printed the signs from my resource on card-stock, I created the signs vertically and horizontally for different options. The signs also come in 5×7 or 8×10. I then used a my L shaped acrylic displays (click HERE to grab yours). You could also use a page protector or simply laminate. The next thing I do is go over individually the posting directions for the “Tweeter” of the day as well as sentence stems when they make their class “tweet”. I printed these on 5×7 card-stock and inserted them into a standing picture frame (click HERE to grab yous). You can also use them as a name tag, laminated, etc…
During our ELA block “Tweeters” of the day keep the device and directions at their seat. Throughout the day the “Tweeter” can snap photos of lessons, activities, student work, anchor charts, teacher samples, good character behavior, reminders on the board, etc… these photos are then saved in the class homeroom folder that I create to keep all photos organized. They then can use the sentence stems to “tweet” from our classroom. Before students post the “tweet” they are instructed to show the teacher. This time becomes a perfect informal student conference to work on language and grammar skills!!! I LOVE this part!!! Reviewing, revising, editing and have grammatical conferences are very beneficial. It added to my Writing Conference documentation #doublebonus!!!
Want an extra bonus?!?! Implementing Twitter in your classroom is standards-based as well as vocabulary incorporation!
I repeat this process for each ELA block in my day. Then simply randomly select a student from each class after school for the following day. I do this by using a class roster and documenting the dates each child is chosen to be the class “Tweeter” of the day.
The parents are so happy! They see everything in our classroom and it comes from how the students view their ELA block through their own lens. Parents are excited to see their child and peers each day with access simply being at their fingertips. It truly builds an open classroom community for all of my students and parents.
Ready to start your class Twitter page? Grab this resource below to get everything set up!
I hope you gained some tips, ideas and inspiration to trying a new way of collaborating with classroom stakeholders! Be sure to follow along my journey here by clicking on my social media buttons at the top of my website!