Twitter in the Classroom

During Clayton Christensen’s talk at the World Innovation Forum about innovation in education and healthcare, Dr. Christensen made a point about how technology will move more of education out of the classroom and onto the Internet.

He was mostly speaking about augmenting home schooling, but also about school leavers earning their equivalency online, and online advanced placement courses for kids at schools who might not have the resources to provide these courses.

This sparked some humorous debate amongst those in the Bloggers Hub at the World Innovation forum about the possibility of teaching kids 140 characters at a time via Twitter.

Well, teachers are not exactly doing that, but they have been using Twitter in the classroom since at least January 2008.

At the University of Texas at Dallas, History Professor, Monica Rankin has been using hashtags for classroom discussion in the hopes that it would lead to increased student involvement. Here is a video made by film students at the university about the experiment:

Meanwhile, the University of Minnesota has been partnering with Roosevelt High School to integrate Twitter and other social media tools into the curriculum to successfully increase student engagement. Here is a video that the University of Minnesota put together about their experiment:

Out here in Seattle, National Public Radio (NPR) recently did a segment on how a local private school is using Twitter to facilitate improved communications between students and parents about what is going on in the classroom. As a parent, this is probably my favorite example of using Twitter in the classroom. You can hear the four minute audio story here and see examples of The Meridian School‘s classroom tweets above.

For teachers considering the use of Twitter in the classroom, you should also check out this blog article on thirteen ways to use Twitter in academia.

So, does Twitter have a place in the classroom?

I think so. What do you think?

Braden (@innovate on Twitter)

Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a Director of Innovation and Human-Centered Problem-Solving at Oracle, a popular innovation speaker and workshop leader, helps companies build innovation cultures and infrastructures, and plan organizational changes that are more human and less overwhelming. He is the author of Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan and Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.

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