Monday, May 20, 2013

Why Have A Class Twitter Account?

I wanted to share some of the ways my class uses their classroom Twitter account.  Up until this year, I tweeted the things we do in our classroom on my personal Twitter account.  However, I wanted my students to take ownership of the learning.  Instead of me tweeting about them, I wanted them to tweet about what they were doing.  I also wanted them to gain the connections of other peers as I have through my professional Twitter.  Twitter has helped me become a better educator.  I have made so many connections, learned so many new things and have had other educators push my thinking and question how and why I do the things I do in my classroom.  I wanted my students to gain all of the benefits that I have gained from Twitter.
My students now learn and share their learning with other classes through Twitter everyday.  We are fortunate to have iPads in our classroom, so the class Twitter account is logged into all of the iPads.  My only rule is that they need to show an adult their tweet before they publish it.  Because access to Twitter is so easy for my students, they go on Twitter frequently throughout the day to read other student's tweets.  I also draw attention to things that they may have missed or mentions each morning when we start our day together.  Here are a few great learning opportunities that my students have experienced using Twitter.


This is an example of how my students originally teamed up with Mrs. Degroot's Class from Iowa to share math problems the children created.  As you can see from the tweets, other classes joined in the fun.  Mrs. Lirenman's class from British Columbia, @PalmyKids from New Zealand and @JanevilleK1 from New Brunswick all added math stories or answered the math stories my students tweeted out.

Learning From Others

My students were very excited when I brought in 7 tadpoles last week.  Some of them tweeted about it. We connected with a class from Singapore on Twitter that saw our tweets.  They gave us some tips and shared a picture of their tadpoles.  The students want to become experts in the next couple of weeks and want to share their learning with other classrooms that may have tadpoles through Twitter.

Extending Their Learning of Fairytales

My students have been learning about fairytales during writing.  We have been reading and studying fairytales because we will be writing our own fairytales eventually.  One of my students tweeted a familiar line in a fairytale we had read that day, and the fairytale riddles were born.

These are only a few of the ways we use Twitter in our classroom.  There are so many other great ways to incorporate it into your classroom in meaningful ways.  My students' engagement level goes way up when they know that they have an audience.  These 3 examples show 6 and 7 year olds reading, writing, responding, creating and computing on Twitter.  When my students tweet, I don't have any that are reluctant to share or think that the work is "boring."  They tweet because THEY want to and because they love communicating, collaborating and learning with others.  I encourage you to sign your class up for a Twitter account if you haven't already.  Start following us @mrswideensclass and come learn with us.

1 comment:

  1. These are all awesome ideas. I absolutely LOVE reading about your class and how tech-savvy they are! It's inspiring!

    As a fellow teacher, I have a few logistical questions for you. First, how do your parents respond to the students' using twitter? (To have your own account, I think you have to be 13. I'm sure the rule is different if it's a class account with teacher administration). Also, how do parents respond to students posting photos on twitter? Do you have parents sign a permission slip for twitter in the beginning of the year?

    I'd love to incorporate your ideas this coming school year. Thanks for you help?