While Twitter is an amazing tool for building community, microblogging understandings, and organically developing a real-time yearbook, there’s more to be done with everybody’s favorite blue bird.


Twitter-literacy is bound to become increasingly more relevant for students and teachers alike:

The new study, conducted by Pew Research Center in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, finds that clear majorities of Twitter (63%) and Facebook users (63%) now say each platform serves as a source for news about events and issues outside the realm of friends and family. That share has increased substantially from 2013, when about half of users (52% of Twitter users, 47% of Facebook users) said they got news from the social platforms. (full text here).

Twitter is changing the pace of news and more:

Public outrage over the abduction of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls by Islamist militants fostered a global social media support campaign with millions of messages tagged with a simple demand.

Although some may refer to this movement as a form of Slacktivism, there is no denying that this Twitter activity fueled a central focus for the international news media. The millions joined across the world certainly had more influence than a single report churned out by a concerned journalist. (click here for the full post)


Here’s a look at a few ways to Tweet like a pro in an IBDP classroom:

ONE: Trendsmap:  

Trendsmap is an integrative map that displays global and local Twitter topic trends. Multiple algorithms are used to process 80 million tweets a day and analyze how much a topic is trending by location. The more popular topics are shown in large, dark bubbles. When you click on a topic, it will show you the global and local tweet volume, trending locations (and related tweets in these locations), images, links and recent tweets. (full text here)

TWO: Lists

The London School of Economics and Political Science has put together this great break down on key lists for academics.

You are also welcome to build your own. See here for more.

THREE: Recreate historical events one tweet at a time…

Use Twitter as a time capsule, and look at events as they could have been Tweeted…click here for more on that.

“Those who forget history are doomed to re-tweet it,” declares the tag line of TwHistory,an educational Web site that began in 2009 with a re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg in salvoes of 140 characters or less. So, apparently, are those who remember it.

One can hardly spend an hour on Twitter without getting caught up in a blow-by-blow account of the Civil War, Robert Falcon Scott’s doomed 1911 polar expedition or the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, not to mention a welter of biographical offerings from the likes of Paul Revere, John Quincy Adams, Churchill and Samuel Pepys, the 17th-century London diarist, who has amassed more than 22,000 followers. Pepys’s maid, Jane Birch, even has a feed — or at least she did until last March, when she abruptly quit after posting complaints about her employer’s incessant snoring and incontinent dog. (see here for full NYTimes Article).


Four:  PERISCOPE down…

Virtual Field Trips

In world language classes, students can take virtual field trips alongside teacher-guides from target language countries (e.g. in restaurants or at festivals). Museum tours could be experienced through the lens of a Periscope interaction, opening up opportunities to visit destinations, such as the Louvre or MoMA.

Expert Speakers or Demonstrations

With Periscope, classrooms can connect with field experts or observe scientific lab experiments. Throughout the session, students can actively engage in investigative questioning by recording information and collecting data.

Historical Accounts and Interviews

Students can take a snapshot of history by participating in live broadcasts as elders or veterans tell their life stories from historically significant locations. Teachers can gain insight on depth of student understanding through analysis of such interviews and activities. (full Edutopia text here).

One of the major benefits of Periscope is the flexibility it offers:  “Students who are watching a Periscope can do so from any location, and the app will not restrict the number of participants or limit student interactions like its counterparts. Periscope allows for live interaction instead of videotaping, anytime, anywhere, with any number of viewers,” (click here for more from  Amy Arbogash and Stephanie Rudolph).

FIVE:  level up on your twitter searches: 

Click here to get started on searching Twitter like a pro.

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Kiran Foster