Hundreds of educators from international schools around the world came to Nice, France, for the European Council of International Schools annual conference from Nov. 17 to 21. Teachers everywhere are grappling with how to integrate social media into their lesson plans, and many seem skeptical of the appeal of Twitter, let alone how it could be used for educational purposes.
In her session, “Cure What Ails You: A Dose of Twitter for Every Day of the Year,” Kathy Schrock, director of technology for Nauset Public Schools in Orleans, Mass., walked educators through the basics of Twitter (see her presentation if you could use a tutorial as well) before outlining the specific benefits of Twitter for educators.
Schrock recommends that educators think of Twitter as another venue for professional development. She suggests that educators search Twitter for like-minded professionals to follow and interact with. Directories such as Twitter4Teachers can be a helpful place to start. Schrock emphasizes the importance of contributing to conversations on Twitter, as it’s a community based on give and take.
Going beyond professional development, Twitter can be used to engage students in the classroom. Schrock told educators in the room to try asking students to use Twitter to:
- Take on the persona of a historical figure
- Summarize readings in 140 characters or less
- Share useful hyperlinks
- Collaborate on writing exercises
- Follow breaking news
- Practice foreign languages
Calling all educators: How are you integrating Twitter in the classroom?
Image credit: kabliczech, via iStockPhoto