An Initial Attempt to Use Twitter With Students

After using Twitter for a week, as well as thinking and reading about how it may be used to engage and interact with students, I’m going to try starting an ongoing conversation with my students by creating some hashtag conversations.  I’m going to ask students to use the hashtags in order to share interesting articles or videos related to class content, ask questions, and generally discuss class and school related issues.  I will try to actively participate as well, and hopefully students will engage and continue the learning process outside of the classroom in a way that is meaningful for them.

I’m going to start with two hashtags in order to differentiate the general subjects that I teach.  They will be #mrvigs122bio for my Biology students and #mrvigs122sis for my Studies in Science students.

For anybody looking to get started with Twitter, I have found the link posted by SaraKLMS to be extremely helpful (The Twitteraholic’s Ultimate Guide to tweets, hashtags, and all things Twitter), but for those overwhelmed by gobs of information, A Refreshingly Simple Guide to Twitter For Teachers might be more your speed (it’s where I encountered the infographic below).

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3 thoughts on “An Initial Attempt to Use Twitter With Students

  1. Hi Darron

    I’m wondering if it is worth considering shorter hashtags? Your current hashtags are unique and will be easy for students to remember but sometimes there is a benefit in having short hashtags because it allows you to use more words in your tweet and is easier to retweet. Have you thought of trying to connect with classes in other locations or seeing if there are scientific twitter accounts worth following?

    Sue

  2. Hi Sue,

    Thanks for the feedback. I had considered using shorter hashtags, but wanted to use something very unique to keep things a bit more focused at first. I’m new to Twitter though, so I’m just kind of experimenting. I have looked at a few other science Twitter accounts, but haven’t tried to incorporate them yet. At this point, I haven’t asked my students to sign up for Twitter accounts if they are not already using it, so participation is on a voluntary basis. Connecting with classes in other locations sounds like a great idea.

    Darron

  3. Hi Darron

    Agreed! It is hard to balance unique hashtags with length. Saw a post on science twitter accounts on Mashable the other day. The accounts might be worth checking. Here is a link to the post – mashable.com/2013/11/06/twitter-science-facts/ Science educators often use Twitter to connect with experts because a lot of the scientific organisations encourage engaging with the community.

    Your students don’t need to sign up for Twitter to follow the hashtag conversation. You could set up a tagboard they could monitor. You could even get students creating Storify’s around different topics and add tweets into the Storify as part of what they are sharing. Not sure if you can embed Storify into WordPress.com but a lot of educators use Storify in blog posts.

    PS Great to see you enjoying Twitter!

    Sue

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