IT Infrastructure

Classroom Connections @Twitter

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — January 29, 2010 1 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Is Twitter a tool to improve classroom learning and communication or a vehicle that will discourage in-depth thinking?

The answer most likely falls somewhere between those two extremes, providing plenty of room for debate about the educational utility of such tools. “It’s not a research-based tool,” says Daniel T. Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. “The most important thing to remember is that we have no idea what impact these tools [like Twitter] have on learning, and it will take a decade to answer that question.”

See Also

For a more in-depth version of this story, read “Twitter Lessons in 140 Characters or Less.”

Twitter is defined as a “real-time short messaging service” on the Web site of the San Francisco-based company of that name, which was founded in 2006. Users subscribe to the blog feeds of others on the site and send out messages—called “tweets”—to their own “followers” within the allotted 140-character maximum.

Classroom Connections @Twitter

teacher great job finding and sharing resources guys
7:05 PM Oct 8th from web in reply to ZachH1212

teacher From slavery 2 White House, Michelle Obama’s slave roots revealed. Comments please!
7:46 PM Oct 8th from web

student 1 @fhsush this is really shocking that they traced it back that far and found a tie it really just amazing
8:07 PM Oct 8th from web

student 2 @fhsush thats AMAZING. times have really changed. that is amazing that they can trace back that far.
8:11 PM Oct 8th from web in reply to fhsush

student 1 @fhsush WOW! i would have never guessed that. its awesome to see such a connections to slavery in our own White House. amazing
8:19 PM Oct 8th from web in reply to fhsush

SOURCE: A recent string of tweets from Lucas Ames’ history class at the Flint Hill School in Oakton, Va.

Twitter has not caught on among school-age children as quickly or universally as other Web 2.0 tools, such as Facebook or MySpace: Only about 1 percent of the estimated 12 million users in the United States are between the ages of 3 and 17, although young adults are the fastest-growing group of users, according to recent reports. Still, some teachers are hoping that, given the appeal of social networking, Twitter can be used to get students engaged in the content and processes of school.

Dorie Glynn, who teaches a bilingual 2nd grade class at Kirk Elementary School in Houston, has been preparing students for conversations of their own on Twitter. The students have started following other classes at the school, and across the country, as they get ready to share data on regional cultures and on weather, and to play a virtual I Spy game.

A version of this article appeared in the February 03, 2010 edition of Digital Directions as Classroom Connections @Twitter

Events

Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Using Integrated Analytics To Uncover Student Needs
Overwhelmed by data? Learn how an integrated approach to data analytics can help.

Content provided by Instructure
Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

IT Infrastructure Privacy Group Cautions Schools on Technology That Flags Children at Risk of Self-Harm
Software that scans students’ online activity and flags children believed to be at risk of self-harm comes with significant risks, a new report warns.
6 min read
Conceptual image of students walking on data symbols.
Laura Baker/Education Week and Orbon Alija/E+
IT Infrastructure School Districts Seek Billions in New Federal Money for Connectivity, FCC Announces
The Federal Communications Commission received $5.1 billion in requests for new funding to purchase devices and improve internet access.
2 min read
Image shows two children ages 5 to 7 years old and a teacher, an African-American woman, holding a digital tablet up, showing it to the girl sitting next to her. They are all wearing masks, back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
IT Infrastructure School District Data Systems Are Messed Up. A New Coalition Wants to Help
Organizations representing states and school districts have teamed up with ISTE to help make data systems more user-friendly and secure.
3 min read
Conceptual collage of arrows, icon figures, and locks
Sean Gladwell/Moment/Getty
IT Infrastructure More Families Have Internet Access. So Why Hasn't the Digital Divide Begun to Close?
A new study says low-income families’ access to the internet has soared in the past six years. But there are other barriers to connectivity.
3 min read
Glowing neon Loading icon isolated on brick wall background. Progress bar icon.
Mingirov/iStock/Getty Images Plus