Would You Use Twitter With Your Students?

Twitter or not?Do you use twitter with your students? Or perhaps the question is WOULD YOU?

Ever since Matt asked us to share our thoughts using twitter with students I’ve been analyzing why my instinctive response is DON’T use twitter with school students. But is my response emotional or logical?

While Tom Barrett provides an excellent example of how educators could use their Twitter to collect data for students to analyze it’s use by students in classrooms has been limited. Even Edmodo, a microblogging tool designed for the teacher/student environment, isn’t necessarily convincing me.

I think, like Clarence Fisher, I feel microblogging won’t necessarily provide sufficient benefits within the classroom and outside school many students already use tools like MSN, Facebook and online games to connect with their networks.

For me the true strength of twitter is for educators to use it for their personal learning to connect with other educators to innovate, share, collaborate and network with each other. Here are some of my post on twitter to get you started:

  1. Are You Twittering? Here’s How I Use Twitter
  2. Using Your Twitter Network For Help & Providing Their Recommendations

FINAL THOUGHTS

Please share your thoughts to help Matt with his presentation this week:

  1. Do you use twitter with your students? If so how?
  2. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of using twitter with your students — Can you please explain why?
  3. What are your thoughts on the Good, Bad and Ugly aspects of using Twitter with students?

Please feel free to leave your comments here or on Matt’s post.

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18 thoughts on “Would You Use Twitter With Your Students?

  1. I would use twitter with my students, but then again, they are adults. They (midwifery students) are away from campus in their 3 rd year on placements and rely heavily on cell phones, which is where Twitter would come into its own, I feel.

    sarah stewart Reply

  2. I am a huge fan of Twitter. It is my favourite professional networking tool – and interestingly I keep my Twitter network deliberately separate from my friends (I use Facebook for that)

    I would not use Twitter with my secondary school students. I think that there are better tools for getting students to connect with each other and their communities. I also don’t know what sort of a network students would be able to develop on Twitter – but maybe that is because I haven’t thought too much about it.

    I also have had a follower who was VERY creepy – complete with 1 @reply a minute for about 45 mins telling me that if any of my students ever want to come to the USA he will look after them, asking me to connect my students to his network and so on. I know that this was a freak one-off and we should be teaching our students how to deal with this anyway but for me, Twitter is not the place on which I want my students connecting.

    I hope this is helpful to you! I LOVE Twitter – I really do – I have never learned so much as I have on Twitter. However, it is for my professional learning, not my students.

    Toni Twiss Reply

  3. I wouldn’t use Twitter with my (primary) students – can’t make sure that everything is appropriate for a start, and I’d worry that what I start them with at school might continue at home unsupervised. I’m happy with what we are doing for now.
    Another problem if I was interested in using it at school is that all of the tinyurls are blocked at school – which makes it very frustrating!

    Mrs C Reply

  4. These comments are all so helpful, I am gauging at this stage that the context twitter is used and the maturity of the user is a big component. Your experiences are all greatly appreciated.

    mferrinda Reply

  5. I teach mainly collage freshman and I have created a second Twitter account specifically for that course. We are going to Tweet to each other when we are working on projects outside of class.

    I am excited to try it!

    Jamie Reply

  6. I think the concept of microblogging has huge potential in education, but I am not sure I’d be comfortable using Twitter or Plurk with my secondary pupils. As Tony suggests above there are a few creepy lurkers in Twitter and I receive spam followers daily.

    Therefore we need something that is like Twitter but can offer a greater degree of privacy and safety to students.

    Have any of you heard of Edmodo? It’s a microblogging platform designed for students and teachers and I am currently trialing it with my older students (16-18). So far so good!

    Follow this link to find out more about it http://www.boxoftricks.net/?p=403

    José

    José Picardo Reply

  7. I´m an EFL teacher in Brazil and my answer is Yes, I´d use microblogging with my students. Not necessarily twitter but I´ve been using Pownce with 3 groups of teenagers. My option for Pownce is first due to the possibility of sharing messages, files, pictures, ppts and videos with my students. Second, I can aggregate my students into groups and send messages separately. Third, there are no limit of characters (like in twitter) and my students can write longer texts and post to the whole group. I´m a twitter fan though, and use it for personal and professional matters.

    This is a post I´ve written about my Pownce experience.
    http://lifefeast.blogspot.com/2008/03/pownce-experience-microblogging-with.html

    Ana Maria

    Ana Maria Menezes Reply

  8. I’m considering using Twitter with the sixth form, but haven’t gone far enough down the line as I’m still relatively new to this. I tried IM approach but there are so many varieties and MSN annoys me so I dropped this.
    I might investigate it further later, but I’ll have to see what Moodle offers (if they can keep our server up long enough!)

    misterg Reply

  9. @Sarah You say you would use twitter with your students and yet that implies you don’t. Any reason?

    @Toni I’m the same I don’t want f2f friends or family in my twitter network. Your story of the twitter stalker is scary — I’ve never had a problem like this. Like you I still feel that twitter is more important for our personal learning as there are tools that are probably more effective for our students.

    @Mrs C Definitely the thought of primary school kids would worry me. Blocking of tinyurls is really annoying.

    @Darren I think I have to agree — interesting take on use of some of these tools with students.

    @Jamie I can’t see any issues with using with College/University students due to the age. Interacting with Matt and Kate (the student teachers) in twitter highlights the value of these tools for their learning.

    @Jose Thanks for the link to more information on Edmodo. Let us know how you go using it with your students.

    @Ana Hadn’t thought of Pownce which I should have mentioned to Matt and Kate. Pownce would definitely be a good alternative especially for sharing files. Thanks for the link to your post.

    @Misterg I use Skype and GTalk all the time and yet the thought of using MSN which my son uses does nothing for me. Thankfully I don’t as he would bug me using it.

    @Nik Hadn’t thought of Plurk either. Also another one worth considering. Thanks for sharing your post. I’m wondering Nik — do you feel all school ages are ok for using these tools? Are there any ages you wouldn’t use with?

    @Bernie Definitely great tools for College and University students. Can’t believe I also didn’t suggest they check out Jaiku. Thanks for the reminder.

    Sue Waters Reply

  10. I didn’t know anything about twitter until Matt and Kate’s tutorial today.
    After listening to what they said, and seeing what some of you guys have written, I really don’t think I would use twitter in my classroom. It’s too risky. I liked Darren’s definition, Creepy Treehouse, it’s too true.

    rachel88 Reply

  11. @rachel88 I’m also not convinced about using it within classrooms however I do believe it is important for educators to use for their personal learning. Good luck with testing twitter for yourself.

    Sue Waters Reply

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    Satya Reply

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