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Tweeting During School?

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It seems like these days I can't get online without hearing something new about the many uses of Twitter. For example, yesterday I was forwarded this article from The Independent about a proposed change to curriculum that would require school children in the UK to learn about Twitter and blogging as part of their everyday instruction.

Advocates say that the focus on technology will both engage students and integrate technology in a meaningful way into all subject areas. But critics say that "tweeting" is a skill that only takes a short time to learn and doesn't have many other cross-over benefits. It could even make it more difficult for students to sit down with a book if they are used to only reading 140-character snippets, they say.

And the debate isn't just happening across the pond. It's here in the U.S., too. Check out this video created by the University of Minnesota about using Twitter and other Web 2.0 tools in the classroom.

What do you think? Is using Twitter a useful skill for our students to have? Or is it just a fad that will likely die out?

2 Comments

The video states that Web 2.0 communication will be here tomorrow. Wrong!! It is here today.

That said, Twitter has many wonderful uses for classroom. Consider the opportunities that Twitter provides for teaching summary skills. Consider the implications for engagement that would accompany the use of Twitter within a classroom during intense dialogue, or during group work between different groups.

Endless opportunities for creative teachers. Kids doing homework can twitter their questions as they come to mind (btw, there's no law that says the teacher has to answer those questions). The key is the teacher. Duh. They must be prepared and have a complete strategy (including exit plan) before they start. Teachers/administrators should twitter for a month before they start using it with others. The teacher in the video clearly had the support and ongoing professional development that we need to duplicate for other similarly minded school leaders. Biggest hurdle could be getting Web 2.0 sites unblocked by school filters.
Love the conversation and potential.

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