Communication: Using Twitter for Class
What if you could keep a conversation going after class is
What if you could help students learn to sharpen their
writing to present clear, concise thoughts?
What if you could invite an expert to be a part of your conversations
whenever you want?
Twitter is a useful tool for education because it allows
students to connect to teachers, peers, and even professionals on a social
platform. It gives the user a chance to network, learn, and share with people
all over the world.
The 140 character per Tweet limit forces users to formulate
bold statements and sharply focused questions. It can also serve as a running
log of the conversations you have.
A Twitter account is free to users. You simply sign up at
www.twitter.com. There are a few things you need to know to make the most of
your Twitter experience. For some basic vocabulary and etiquette, here is an
Twitter Basics (PDF)
You can connect with experts and organizations in the field
of study to open your classroom on a global scale.
Another advantage to using Twitter is that instructors can
create a “widget” to place in the Blackboard course environment that will
import Tweets. A widget is a small tool you can place within the Blackboard
environment. Tweets still “live” in Twitter, but they are displayed in your
There are different settings you can choose based on your
needs. For example, you can set up your widget so that all Tweets that have a
hashtag denoting the Tweet is related to class can be imported to Blackboard.
This way, users can connect using the social network without being forced to
completely surrender their personal social media account.
Another option is to create lists of Twitter accounts you
would like to follow as a class. You might place your own account, students
(with their permission), and/or experts in your field on this list so that you
can pull Tweets from Twitter into your Blackboard course environment using a
Once the widget is created, it will not require any work to
maintain. Creating the widget takes a few steps outlined in this handout:
Embedding a Twitter Feed in Blackboard (PDF)
Twitter can be a great resource to augment student
engagement and promote curious and independent learning. For more information
on how to get the most out of it, check out this best practices sheet:
Best Practices (PDF)