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Head of the Class 2.0
posted by: Jill | March 23, 2011, 01:09 PM   

Twitter. People are still abuzz about it. What about Twitter + classroom discussions? This communication trend tool in the classroom is only picking up speed. The benefits of emerging technologies like Twitter outweigh the downfalls. Look at this interactive class at the University of Texas at Dallas using Twitter to increase student engagement."

Read the comments below from satisfied class members. Teachers, take note of what the statements reveal—engagement, effective study aids, expression of opinion, mental challenge, summarizing skills. This is good stuff.

"It gets the students incorporated in class more..." (student).

"The significant terms that we've talked about in our discussions, we'll tweet that. And so you can go back on [the Twitter feed] and it's a pretty good study aid ..."(student).

"Here all you have to do is type it up and hit enter or send it from your phone and your opinion is up there for everyone to read" (student).

"Kids are able to get outside of their comfort zones" (graduate T.A.).

"...having to keep them limited to 140 characters does require students to get to the absolute central point" (Professor).

The video is worth a watch.

I know that some who are leery will point to the fact that these students are in college, and since this blog generally attracts the K-12 crowd I'm speaking to the wrong group. But I'm not! Our current K-12 students are web 2.0 natives. Twitter is child's play to them. And they love interacting on it and sites like it. In fact, 93% of respondents of the 2010 Technology Survey from the National School Boards Council (NSBA) report that web 2.0 tools, like Twitter, have increased students' educational opportunities by helping them become "more engaged in learning." That's fantastic. Why shouldn't Twitter be at the head of the class for all to see?

Don't know how to use Twitter? Watch here. And read here or here.

Some will protest Twitter saying it's too complicated or because its use is banned in their school/district. There is an easy solution to both of these issues. I've mentioned it Starting a conversation feed requires only the assigning of a "room name"; signing-in requires only your name; and sharing it with others requires only a short URL. Go ahead try it out. The future of education is exciting and bright—put on your shades and join the fun.

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