Twitter is a social networking site; some say it is "micro blogging" since you only have 140 characters per submission. You can follow people and they can follow you. You can send direct messages to people or simply see what the people you follow have to say on a daily basis. Twitter is useful for educators to build their own personal learning network (PLN) and for use with students.

Follow this link to see how one teacher uses Twitter to engage his students.

Ideas for how to use Twitter in the English Language Arts classroom:

Correspond with students about information being studied
Use Twitter for a version of writers' workshop
Publish writing one tweet at a time
Teacher can tweet a story starter then students can tweet back building a story 140 characters at a time

Ideas for how to use Twitter in the Visual Arts classroom:

Use Twitter as a means for publicizing students' reactions to works viewed in class
Follow an artist on Twitter while studying them. Students can correspond with the artist to ask questions and share their reactions
Gain inspiration from peers' tweets

What are some Twitter-based ELA assignments you may ask. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Give students a task to write a short story in 140 character bites.
  • Work on dialogue by having students write 140 character bites of dialogue. This could be an individual or group assignment. In a group each student could take on the persona of a character and the characters could converse using Twitter.
  • You could tweet a story starter and students could tweet their story.
  • Collaborative tweet story. Like the good old write one line and pass it on stories.
  • Teacher tweets a discussion question and students tweet their answers.
  • Set up Twitter pen pals with a class in another city, country, or continent.
  • Write short stories, poetry, or prose in a tweet.
  • You could tweet a word and have students tweet back with synonyms, antonyms, homophones, etc.

The possibilities are limited only by your creativity, BUT when that creativity wears thin, see what the other teachers in your PLN are doing with Twitter in their classrooms.

For more information, check out:

Back to Digital Storytelling
Blogging for the Middle Years' Classroom
YouTube as a Teaching Tool