School & District Management

Shy Students Find Voices With Twitter

By Francesca Duffy — June 10, 2011 1 min read
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While many view social media as a mere distraction for kids, a Los Angeles teacher finds that using Twitter in his classroom has helped his history students come out of their shells. CNN reports that Enrique Legaspi at Hollenbeck Middle School encourages his 8th graders to tweet their responses to the questions he asks during class, as the digital chalkboard projects their answers for everyone to see.

Legaspi began incorporating Twitter into his curriculum after attending the annual Macworld convention in San Francisco earlier this year. He told CNN that the new teaching vehicle has allowed reticent students to share what’s on their minds with the rest of the class. “My shy students have really impressed me. I know more about what they’re into, how to help them, how to differentiate my instruction, and really be an effective teacher,” said Legaspi.

Oscar Lozoria, one of Legaspi’s students who said he used to be teased at school, agrees that his tweets have helped him get noticed by his classroom peers for the first time. “They see me as somebody now—as an equal,” said Lozoria.

What is your view on using social media to help shy students participate in class? Would you encourage your students to use Twitter in your classroom?

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.