Twitter in the Classroom

Students of all ages seem to thrive on social media and desperately want to be a part of it.  In the K-6 setting, we can't give our kids direct access to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, but that doesn't mean we can't give them a voice there at all.  As a teacher/librarian, I am eager to look for ways to help our students explore the rich experiences and avoid the problems associated with connecting and participating in online environments. 

The language arts teacher is reading Wonder to her students and asked me about ideas to expand on the themes of the story.  I immediately thought of the #choosekind Twitter campaign that has students and the author connecting around the issues of bullying, compassion, and acceptance.  Not only does this give them an engaging way to respond to the major themes of the book, but it guides them through responsible participation in social media.  This teacher also had a Twitter-themed decorated door last year where students placed "tweets" about their learning, so I thought she might be interested.  She was!

First, we created a Twitter account for her class.  Then, I created a Wufoo form that her students can use to type their Twitter post.  Wufoo is perfect for this because I was able to have the hashtag embedded in the Twitter entry, limit the text box to 140 characters, and provide brief instructions on the side of the form to guide students.  This was just a sample, and I'm sure the teacher will make it even more relevant to her assignments and instruction.  Whenever students enter a tweet in the Wufoo form, she will get an email and can decide whether or not to post it on the class Twitter account. 

Students, like the rest of us, prefer authentic tasks.  I think most of them are going to enjoy this, and I can't wait to read what they are thinking as she shares this inspiring book with them. 


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