Thursday, June 3, 2010

Twitter in the Classroom: Writing in 140 Characters

The following resources are for my Longleaf Writing Project workshop on using Twitter in the classroom.

“…we are experiencing a vast transformation of the way we ‘read’ and ‘write’ and a broadening of the way we conceptualize ‘literacy.” (Kist, 2009)

“We tend to imagine a lonely writer holed up in an artist’s garret, lost in reverie…but increasingly writers are collaborating with other writers on texts – writers who may live thousands of miles away.” (Kist, 2009)

“We need to give students practice in working collaboratively to produce these kinds of texts.” (Kist, 2009)

“Helping writers develop fluency and competence in a variety of technologies is a key part of teaching writing in this century.” (Yancey, 2005)

Twitter Sign-Up Instructions, How to Shorten a URL, and Workshop Plan

Resources for Getting Started as a Twitter Teacher
Twitter in Plain English
Twitter in the Classroom
Twitter 4 teachers Wiki
"The 7 Step Quick-Start Guide for New Tweeters"
"Twitter 101 for Educators"
"Nine Great Reasons Why Teachers Should Use Twitter"
Edchat Wiki

Terms to Know
Tweet – A public message Twitter users send. Messages must be 140 characters or less.

@ - Use @ before a tweeter’s username when referring to them in a tweet. This makes their username clickable, and your tweet referencing them will show up in their Twitter stream:
@BryantHistoryT Come by my room to check out my new history resources!

Retweet – Forwarding another user’s message on to your followers. A retweet might look like this:
RT @theprofspage Just learned about a new French resource from @_clayr_!

Hashtag – A way that Twitter users indicate that their message relates to a specific topic. People can then search the hashtag to find all related tweets on that topic.
#lwp links our Longleaf Writing Project discussions.

Direct Message (DM) – You can send a direct message to anyone who follows you on Twitter. This message is private and will only be visible to you and the recipient.

URL Shorteners – Since Twitter only allows for 140 characters, you may want to shorten long URLs when posting links in your tweets. Tiny URL and work great for this, and there are a number of others.

Great Tweeters for Starting Your Personal Learning Network (PLN)

Twitter Uses in the Classroom
Post homework updates and reminders
Notify parents of upcoming class activities
Crowdsource questions connected to class content
Collaborate on stories
Use classmates as lifelines on writing assignments
Build resource lists for research
Summarize chunks of text or the day’s learning
Tweet as exit slip
Define vocabulary
Tweet as character/historical figure
Develop timelines


  1. Twitter is a very good medium for students to learn. We teach share news with our students on twitter and I think its very useful.
    Institute of Chinese Study

  2. Twitter continues to showcase that it's the best place to find out what's happening in the world at large. Learn Foreign Languages!

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