Social media has provided great opportunities for educators and learners of this age. For example, twitter, a microblogging tool, has been used as a powerful professional development and communication tool by online educators. As an educator, I myself find it very interesting to explore the use of twitter for teaching.
1. Use twitter as a bulletin board
As has been mentioned in the article “60 Inspiring Examples of Twitter in theClassroom”, using twitter as a bulletin board is one of the many ways for educational use. Since twitter can make sharing announcements super simple, instant and available to all the followers. Any last-minute announcements about class change or class cancellation could be done by twitter. Besides, it could also used as a reminder. For example, I could use twitter to remind students of bringing relevant materials to class or finishing assignments before the due time. Students could also use twitter to stay connected with the teacher. If they are not clear about class assignment, or if there is any mistake about that, they could always notify the teacher by making tweets. In this case, twitter makes it easy to get instant feedback.
2. Great Platform for Out-of-class communication
As has been mentioned in both articles “60 Inspiring Examples of Twitter in theClassroom” and “Twitter in K-8 Classroom- Globally Connected Learning”. Twitter could be used to gather world-wide data, to seek help and to share interesting insights. As I used to teach English-Chinese translation, I find that it could be very rewarding to use twitter as an extracurricular supplement. I could assign one or two students as the twitter of the day. The assigned students then could tweet something interesting about translation. It could be an interesting story they had in their own translation experiences, or it could be an excellent translation of a poem they like and would like to share with their classmates. In this way, conversation about class subject could be continued outside of class.
There are many ways to use Twitter as an educational communication tool. And teachers around the world are exploring innovative ways to use Twitter as teaching tool. The Chinese version of Twitter is called “WEI BO”, and till now it is still used only for daily communication. But the use of twitter for educational purposes does provide an example for Chinese teachers to follow.