Friday, October 14, 2011

Using twitter to teach language

In this digital age, social media are prevalent in people life. Though there's still resistance to using social media in education, a considerable number of educators start using these social media in their teaching. Twitter, also known as microblog, is one of the most popular ways of online communication along with blog, facebook etc. It is also a very good way for educators in their teaching. However, many educators might raise questions like why we need to use twitter to teach? In his article, How twitter will revolutionize academic research and teaching, Ernesto Priego discusses the advantages that twitter can provide for educators. By using twitter between teachers and students, there will be a revolutionise the way of teaching, which change the lectures into conversations. It provides a convenient and efficient way for teachers and students to communicate their thoughts.

But how to use twitter in teaching is a question that educators need to think about. First, teachers should learn the technique to use this tool. In the article "The ultimate twitter guidebook for teachers", the author provides a detailed guidance to educators about how to use twitter. I think it is helpful for teachers to acquire the skills of using twitter. Second, teachers need to think about how to use twitter in their class. In another article named 28 creative ways teachers are using twitter, the author talks about 28 ways teachers can use in their teaching. Third, as an ESL teacher I want to provide ways of using twitter for language teachers. 

No. 1-- Image discussion
Teachers can use twitter to create a hashtag by posting a picture on it. And ask every student to post their descriptions about the picture they see. This can create a good community for students to practice their writing ability and creative thinking. 

No.2-- Group Story Making
This is another way to practice students' writing ability and creative thinking. Teacher can first start the story by one sentence, and then all the other students can put their own sentence to continue the story. In this way, the whole class can create their own story. 

No. 3-- Questions Forum
To use twitter to create a daily questions forum, on which students can ask any questions they have for that day. Not only the teacher but also students can provide their own thinkings and answers on twitter hashtag. In this way, it is convenient for students asking questions and discussing problems they meet during studying.