OK, so I'm new to the twitter world ... a lot of us are a little slow on the uptake down in Australia (particularly rural Australia). I was wondering though, has anyone started using Twitter with their students - i.e. got them all Twitter accounts then encouraged them to follow one another and use it as a social networking / Q&A session outside of school? I'm sure there's issues a plenty (particularly as I'd consider doing it with my primary school grade 4/5 students - that's 10-11 year olds) re privacy and seeing as others outside of the school environment can start following them, but I'm sure someone must have considered all this beforehand. Many of my kids are on msn messenger anyway, so could Twitter be any worse, particularly as I could be following each of my students and thus checking on what they're putting out there.

Anyway, interested in other's thoughts. Let me know if you've tried (and failed or otherwise) before I jump in the deep end myself.

Dave Clift.
Woodford Primary School.

Tags: blog, student_use, twitter, web2.0

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This sounds just right for older students who haven't touched computers much before, let alone web2 tools. I'd like to use Twitter straight away, b ut haven't been able to embed it in my wikispaces wiki; if you're contacting students with it - do you need their mobile numbers for this, or their home email accounts?
Dave - I think I'm leaning toward the idea that younger kids really don't need to use Twitter. I guess I'm thinking there are so many other useful tools - blogs, mind mapping, wikis, video - my experience tells me that lots of time might be wasted with younger ones and twitter (assuming that schools would allow it in the first place). I know my 4th graders are IM'ing at home, some even doing MySpace, and all have access to their classblogmeister accounts (the ones with Internet access at home) for writing and sharing with partner classrooms, as well as with teachers in other locations around the world. So....I welcome new ways to teach that make sense for kids, just not sure that Twitter would work in that regard. -- Terry
Hi Dave,

I've avoided MSN as much as possible as it's so full of advertising - and is way too "busy" a site for me. I seem to be v. slow on this as I've heard lots of good reports re Twitter, yet I haven't managed to get my students Twitter accounts - is this easy to do? Even though I'[m teaching adults - they find web2 technology v. challenging, so I'm going to investigate edublogs now - as I think that's a great way for teachers to keep their groups in touch. Good luck!
Here is an example of an 8th grade teacher who apparently used Twitter to create a story with students. http://twitter.com/manyvoices. Remember to read from the end and move toward the top.
A teacher, Jeff Lewis, in my school district is using twitter in his 4th grade class (http://twitter.com/room24, http://www.room24.blogspot.com/). I think it has some potential. I would really love to see it used for collaborative writing. Another idea would be to have students tweet a sentence using one of the weekly vocabulary words.
I teach first grade and I'm thinking about using it for spelling words or sight words. Since first graders are not good typists I was thinking about using an on screen keyboard with just enough letters to complete some of the words that week. The problem is building an app that would do that. Any ideas?
I loved this blog, Jon. Inspiring. I didn't realise you could use photos with Twitter too. In case you're interested in free typing programs - kids can practice at home- I found one called www.sense-lang.org/typing. See what you think. I always get my students to practise at the start of every lesson without looking at the keyboard (!).
Thanks, Rebecca! This will be a very helpful site. What's more, it has a Spanish version which is what my students speak. Thanks a ton. I'd be interested in learning more about classrooms using TwitPics as well.
Thanks for sending on Jon - all good ideas. I'm beginning to feel like there's more and more potential for this.

I just wish my department of education didn't block Twitter. Heigh ho. Maybe the live chat in Ning can be used on all nings?
We have used Moodle and are experimenting with using Airset for the purpose of letting parents know about excursions / upcoming events in the calender. But I guess twitter following could be likewise used. I share your concerns re getting notes home with kids - funny how many parents don't know about events even after they've happened!



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