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Five-Minute Film Festival: Twitter in Education

| Amy Erin Borovoy ...

I think it's fair to say that Twitter can no longer be dismissed as a trivial passing fad. Though I had dabbled with a personal account, my entire opinion changed when I started my @VideoAmy account and dove in to the conversations educators were engaged in. While some people certainly do tweet about what they're having for breakfast, teachers, administrators, and educational organizations use Twitter in a whole different way -- making smart use of those 140 characters to share resources, wisdom, and inspiration.

With the wealth of information out there, you have to cut through the noise a little to figure out how it will work best for you. PLN-building? Classroom discussions? Home-to-school communications? Keeping abreast of trends? All of the above? The videos in the playlist below will give you a primer on how to use some of the features on Twitter, and then a few ideas of the possibilities for teaching and learning.

Video Playlist: Twitter for Teachers

Keep watching the player below to see the rest of the playlist, or view it on YouTube.

  1. To Tweet Or Not To Tweet (07:10)

    If you only have five minutes to spare, this is the one to watch. Educator Marc-André Lalande (@malalande) makes the case for Twitter in education, while keeping it light and fun. I highly recommend it, and not just because @Edutopia is mentioned ;-).

  2. Twitter Search in Plain English (03:38)

    I'm a big fan of CommonCraft's paper-cut animation explainer videos, which make complex topics understandable. They have a great video called "Twitter in Plain English" that goes over the basics, but I thought this one that delves into search was useful for intermediate users.

  3. Twitter for Teachers -- What Do I Post? (03:17)

    Coming up with good and useful tweets can be intimidating for beginners. This video is an excerpt from EDBuzz's paid PD program, Twitter for Teachers in 15 Minutes, and gives you some insight on the different kinds of content you can post.

  4. Four Great Twitter Apps for Teachers Using Twitter in the Classroom (03:51)

    Let's say you're already a believer and you use Twitter with your students, but you want to explore additional tools. This video briefly goes over four apps: GroupTweet, Twitpic, FollowerWonk, and Twtpoll. There's an accompanying article for more information and lesson ideas.

  5. Using Twitter to Build a PLN (05:30)

    A social studies teacher from Wisconsin describes how he has re-invigorated his passion for knowledge by using Twitter to grow his personal learning network, or PLN. He connects with educators around the world to share resources and best practices.

  6. Teacher Tips: Using Twitter in the Classroom (03:39)

    The background jazz is a little loud, but this video is still useful -- a teacher explains how he uses Twitter to streamline communications with his students, parents, and colleagues. They simply follow what's happening in his class from a feed to their mobile phones.

  7. Academic Excellence in 140 Characters (05:38)

    Rey Junco (@reyjunco) is a professor who researches how social media use affects college students. While his work is not specific to K-12, there's much to be gleaned from his study on how Twitter can affect engagement and grades (PDF). This video gives an overview of his findings.

  8. Twitter in the Classroom on CNN (02:32)

    In this clip from CNN, urban educator Enrique Legaspi (@enriqueglegaspi) talks about how the micro-blogging site helps his disadvantaged students find their voice. He has a BYOT (bring your own technology) policy but also offers classroom computers for those who need it.

  9. Twitter in the Classroom? (01:56)

    With help from the DigMe program at the University of Minnesota, Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis has been incorporating digital tools into its classrooms to teach kids 21st-century communications skills. Hear from teachers and students about how the way they work is changing.

  10. Connecting With Educators Online Using Twitter (04:30)

    #EduAwesome teacher and edcamp organizer Bill Selak (@billselak) describes how Twitter has allowed him to take back his professional development and transform his teaching and learning practice. Spot the cameo appearances by Edutopia's Elana Leoni (@elanaleoni) and several Edutopia bloggers!

  11. Twitter for Teachers (10:40)

    EdTech blogger Erin Klein (@KleinErin) created this nuts and bolts overview of Twitter, including a useful primer on education chats like #edchat and #ntchat, a good explanation of hashtags, and a brief intro to Hootsuite, which, like Tweetdeck, is a great free management platform for power users.

  12. Flutter: The New Twitter (03:44)

    If you're still with me, you deserve a laugh after watching all those screencasts. This mockumentary about the new nano-blogging site Flutter -- for people who don't have enough time for Twitter -- cracked me up.

More Resources for Twitter in Education

I could go way overboard here with resources about Twitter for educators -- a quick Google search will lead you to thousands of articles, infographics, and blog posts. But excellent education curator Larry Ferlazzo has already compiled a great list of links; see my first bullet below. So I've kept it to just a few of my favorites. If you're already on Twitter, leave a link to your handle in the comments -- I'd love to follow you. Or join up and follow me at @VideoAmy, and I'll see you in the Twitterverse!

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Comments (10)

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Hi guys,

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Hi guys, twitter has a numerous of uses. At school, work, business, and for personal activities. There are times that the 140 characters isn't enough to express your thoughts.

Seventh grade Writing Teacher from Norfolk, Virginia

This is the first time I have

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This is the first time I have visited this site and I am impressed. Twitter never really interested me personally. I mean I have a facebook, but that is it. Being a writer and a writing teacher, I never grasped the concept of expressing yourself in only 140 characters. I still text-message entire words. However, I really enjoyed the video about TWITTER IN THE CLASSROOM and especially when it helped students that would normally not participate in class to be actively engaged. BYOT was creative. The idea is great and I would love to use it in my class.

Thanks for including

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Thanks for including @GroupTweet in your list of great Twitter applications being used by Teachers. Many teachers find it helpful to setup a single Twitter account for the class that all the students can then login and update. Students can login and tweet directly from the classroom GroupTweet account and don't even need their own personal Twitter accounts!

If any teachers out there have questions about how they can benefit by using GroupTweet in the classroom, feel free to email me anytime at ryan [at] grouptweet.com. I'm happy to help out!

Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia

Twitter Overload

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Twitter can definitely be overwhelming, William. I would say that you should not worry about getting involved if you're finding it to be too much. That said, there are some ways to keep it at bay. For instance, I notice you're an english teacher. There is #engchat which is specifically for and by English teachers. http://tweetchat.com/room/engchat

Another great rule of thumb for sanity-saving is to ignore anything that looks like gibberish. Just scan through the posts and see if there are resources or topics that are of interest. There are other hashtags like #nwp for the National Writing Project. Or #commoncore for anything about the upcoming Common Core State Standards.

Twitter will be there when and if you're interested, but don't feel pressure to go there. Especially if you have a supportive community in your Real Life, you may not be missing anything.

Would be interested in hearing how others deal with the question of overload...

English educator from Virginia

I'll have to admit that you

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I'll have to admit that you have posted an abundance of options for using Twitter as an educational tool, from building a PLN (I had no idea what this was before now) to how to use hashtags effectively. The most pertinent to me, however, is the mockumentary about Flutter. I do indeed feel as if I do not have enough time for Twitter and its endless amounts of information, most of it of no use to me or in my classroom. Does anyone else feel so pushed for time that they shun Twitter and its possible educational applications?

Co-Founder, CyberWise.org

Thanks!

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Thanks so much Amy! We follow you on Twitter too :)

English educator from Virginia

Having only recently returned

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Having only recently returned to the states after 16 years of teaching ESL in the Middle East, I am overwhelmed, amazed, confused, disoriented, etc. by what is available to educators here in the U.S. I must admit that I have never been a fan of Facebook and have not thought too much of Twitter either. I find I must overcome much personal baggage to allow myself to even consider using such relatively new technologies for myself or as an instructional tool. Does anyone else feel the same way? Or have I just grown old and tired in my absence from the states and fallen behind the technology/teaching wave? Is there any hope that I'll "get it" and catch up with the rest of you amazing people? I feel inferior and left behind!

Senior Manager of Video Programming, Production, & Curation at Edutopia

Thanks so much, Diana!

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I love CyberWise's great resources -- I featured your org in my post on Teaching Digital Citizenship. Great to know about even more excellent resources from your team, I'll go check out the Twitter Learning Center.

...and psst --I just followed you on Twitter ;-)

Co-Founder, CyberWise.org

Another Twittorial

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Thanks for this great list of resources for Twitter. We'd like to share our own resource - our Twitter Learning Center includes a video about why Twitter is so terrific for educators, a companion E-book to help readers get started, and a list of additional resources: http://www.cyberwise.org/Twitter-Hub.html

Thanks!!

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