Is Twitter useful for education?

I still haven’t found anyone who’s using Twitter for anything educational. Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross update theirs regularly. One or two of my twitter mates say some alarmingly frank things on their posts, possibly not realising how public it can be but it hasn’t changed anything much for me yet.

But it feels democratic and  requires very little commitment so it’s not too much to ask. The obvious advantages are that it can be free and it can broadcast to many followers with one click. Still, I’m curious about what a 140-character broadcast can do that a text message can’t. 

Maybe it is that very constraint. Text messages can go on and on. Twitter is strict. It could be a great lesson in the power of less being more.

One use could be in literacy, like a haiku lesson. Can you make up a poem or a story based entirely on 140-character chunks?

Can you write explanations for a complex game or route?

Can you summarise the most important aspect of an idea within the 140-character constraints?

Can you write a story Tweet by Tweet? Like a variation on old parlour games where you contribute a sentence each to a story. One difference here is that your contributors can be far-flung.

Can you write a review of a poem or a book in that space?

One way might be to set up a Twitter Fest on a whiteboard, looking at a poem or an extract and then gathering a 140-character post from every pupils summarising its meaning or mood? Even better if the Twitters could create a cloud of meaning making an immediate visual impact on the board.


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