50 Ideas for using Twitter in Education, with some bonus tagging & backchannel discussion-discussion!

Carol Cooper-Taylor has compiled 50 ideas for using Twitter in Education. The article is??a great starting point for those of you out there just learning about or starting to use Twitter for your school or classroom. Some of the highlights from this article include:

  • Point out interesting things happening in your school/classroom (whatever for that takes)
  • Instead of answering the question, "What are you doing?" which is how Twitter prompts your posts, answer the question "What has your attention?"
  • If someone says you???re using twitter wrong, forget it. It???s an opt out society. They can unfollow if they don???t like how you use it.
  • Twitter can augment parent feedback.
  • Twitter in the classroom helps people build an instant ???backchannel.???
This last one may need a little explaining. Every "tweet" or post on twitter can be tagged with any word that can then be searched by using a preceding # (pound) symbol. If you want your students to debate a topic using Twitter, you can instruct them to use a tag that is unique to your class or for the topic at hand, and you can have that tag search on the projector summarizing the debate.

Let's say we are talking about how my students have been affected by the current economic downturn. Students could post their responses on Twitter (they'd have to have an account first). I'd instruct them to include #EHSStephens or #EHSEcoDown – whatever keyword you want to designate – anywhere in their post. This tag is now "clickable" in any of your students posts and can now be searched on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/search – just search the tag you are using for the discussion. Twitter will bring back, in real time, all of your students responses. Just refresh the page and new responses will appear.

The Twitter search can really be used for ANY topic, not just those that you have tagged. Just head to??http://twitter.com/search and enter in any term that you are discussing in class. WARNING! These results are unfiltered and live. Using your own class/discussion tag will avoid 99.9% of the issues – especially if it is unique to your class.

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