Twitter… what is it? How do I use it?

Twitter was one of those things I heard about and saw frequently, but I was never really sure what the attraction was. I am still not sure exactly, but time will tell.

The other day the writer of the One Mind blog commented on this blog, and when I looked at her site, she had written an entry on using Twitter in the classroom. It was intriguing, so I gave the service another look. I started my own and have been playing around with it. Here are some ideas I have had about it after using for one day.

I don’t think I would get my whole class to do it, because it would take too much time to monitor. I would probably go for the low tech notebook approach. I think it would take too long to evaluate entries. I would only suggest that students try it in English, because the entries are short, and it seems to be a format that would suit my students’ desire to keep in constant contact with friends. I really liked the idea in One Mind of using Twitter as a kind of concordance tool by searching for a specific word or phrase.

Since I started I have been trying to twitter in English and Japanese for my own language learning, and so I can have some experience of what my students may encounter with posting in their second language. That means that people have to look at two posts. Maybe I could alternate between English and Japanese, or write half in English, half in Japanese, but that would make for pretty short posts. I don’t want to go the extent of making two twitters.

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4 comments on “Twitter… what is it? How do I use it?

  1. EFL Geek says:

    I use twitter, but not for students. For me it’s all about networking with other people. I use it primarily for Web design, but I do have a few ELT teachers on my follow list.Like you it took me a long time to warm up to the idea of twitter. At first I thought it was just stupid, but now that I’m on it, I’m addicted.If you’re interested, you can follow me at http://twitter.com/createsean – some ELT tweets, but mostly web design/development.

  2. Daniel says:

    Thanks for comment on how you use Twitter and how your perspective has changed over time. Great stuff.I’ll certainly give EFL Geek a follow.

  3. Iluska Ikeda says:

    Thanks for the mention on here. (^_^)How are you liking it so far? To be honest, I hated it in the beginning until I got connected with more teachers and moms (the two main networks I have on there).I agree with keeping two twitter accounts being tough (I tried it). Can I ask you to keep posting in both languages? I’m trying to practice what little Japanese I have. This summer I’m going to visit my in-laws in Osaka for 3 months! My Japanese skills have to improve by then…

  4. Daniel says:

    Again, thanks for the comment. So far it is really useful, and kind of a different style of communication than using FaceBook. I use FB mostly for family, good friends and close colleagues. Twitter is far more casual, but has been kick so far. Thanks for turning me on.I will continue to post in best Japanese I can as per your request!

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