Using Twitter in my college classes seemed normal. When I was asked by a collegue if I could explain Twitter to his senior-level high school class, I was both surprised and excited about the opportunity. Twitter is something that doesn’t seem to be going away and it can be an extremely effective tool for success if utilized correctly. For high school students to have the opportunity to fully embrace this platform and understand it before they got to college seemed like a wonderful opportunity.
After walking the students through the set up process and explaining some of the Twitter “lingo”, we started talking about how they could use Twitter as a class. I suggested they set up a hashtag for their class, which allowed them to all colloraborate in real-time discussion. Below, I will explain how they have used their hashtag and how Twitter inspired them to make their voice as a class even stronger.
Their Class Hashtag: #litcon
Setting up a hashtag for their class has been extremely successful. The hashtag allows for collaboration between classmates and free flowing thoughts and ideas throughout the lecture. The #litcon search is shown in real time throughout their class and it is projected at the front of the classroom where everyone can see it. Sometimes, the teacher will ask the students to tweet on a specific throught or idea and other times, the students tweet on their own throughout lecture when a thought comes to mind. With the #litcon hashtag, the students also share links with each other to their blogs.
The class was so inspired by Twitter and its ability to share information, they decided to create a Twitter account for their class campaign, charity: water | water for schools.
Their class Twitter account, @Casady4H2OPE, shares class updates on their campaign status and also provides important facts to support their cause. Although their campaign doesn’t officially launch until December, they are already developing a following so that when their campaign begins, they can use Twitter as an additional resource to help them reach their goal of raising $20K to provide clean drinking water for 1,000 students in Africa.
Class Rules and Regulations
- All of the students have their accounts set to private. I recommend this for anyone under the age of 18. They are all following each other and they can see each other’s tweets, but if anyone outside of their classroom wants to follow them, they have to personally accept the follow request. This allows them to use Twitter safely.
- During class, they tweet only about class. Students can only tweet about class-related topics and use their class hashtag while they are in class. After class, they are free to tweet about whatever they may like and also further explore the platform.
- Certain students are in charge of their class account. Only a few students update their class account, @Casady4H2OPE. If students not in charge of updating the account have a tweet for their class account, the can share it using their class hashtag, #litcon.
So far, Twitter has proved to be a valuable resource for students at Casady. Hopefully, this class will inspire others to use Twitter as a means for educational communication and collaboration. Feel free to follow along their class account, @Casady4H2OPE, to keep up with their campaign or ask them questions about their utilization of Twitter. This group of high school students is truly “in the know.”
Jamie Mitcham is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University and the current communications coordinator at Casady School in Oklahoma City. Connect with Jamie on Twitter at @JamieMitcham and read the rest of her bio here: http://studentbranding.com/contributors.