Gone are the days when classrooms used to be a place with only chalks and blackboard and copies. And education used to be a one-way process. The advent of technology has changed the lives of people in many ways. And it has touched upon the world of education as well. The changes are evident in any modern-day classroom. Want to experience the transformations that have occurred? Just walk into any classroom. You will find teachers and students making the most of technology there. A lot of schools these days are allowing the teachers and students to bring their own devices to the institutes. They are reaping the benefits of this decision to implement BYOD as well. This is reducing the establishment costs. Besides, students are using their internet-friendly devices to learn new things. Even a few years back, surfing the social media platforms were usually regarded as a waste of time. However, this perspective has changed and teachers are now encouraging students to use various social media sites to enhance their learning experience. Twitter surely ranks high among the major social media platforms, which are being used quite a bit by the teachers to enhance the process of imparting education to the students. There are multiple benefits of using it in the classroom as well. There are quite a few ways through which a teacher can use Twitter in the classroom. And they can be used for various purposes as well. Here’s a quick look at some of the reasons why you should use Twitter in your classroom. #1. Helps Students Overcome Classroom Shyness Heard of classroom shyness? That’s a major issue plaguing a lot of students, especially the introverts. They are hesitant to ask any question in the classroom and so, they remain silent. The result: they might not understand a lot of things that you are teaching and still won’t ask. One of the best ways to solve this problem is to make the students interact with you and his fellow students online. Even those who are not ready to speak out in the classroom are likely to express themselves in writing. So, you can make use of Twitter for this purpose. Ask the students to share their views on Twitter. And you will soon find that even the most introvert student will share his thoughts there. Thus, this microblogging platform can help him open up without hesitation. #2. Offers Opportunity to Learn from Guest Speakers You might be doing a great job while teaching a certain topic to your class. But you know a few others who are better than you at this topic. And you and your students are connected to them on Twitter. So, why not leverage this opportunity? Convince the person to be the guest speaker for your class. Encourage the students to engage in a conversation with him on Twitter. They can ask him questions and get their doubts cleared from the expert. You can also participate in the session. This is likely to help you and your students excel in the topic. #3. Increases Student Engagement Have you ever thought how the use of Twitter in the classroom can help you? You have surely faced moments when you found that although the students are present in your class, they are hardly paying any attention to your lectures. In short, there’s lack of concentration and engagement. This is where Twitter can become relevant. Ask your students to leverage Twitter to share their queries at real-time. You can also answer them over that platform. So, the students are going to focus more on the studies to ensure that they do not miss out on any point. This is going to help in boosting their engagement in the classroom. #4. Provides a Platform to Clarify Doubts Have you thought of creating a separate account for the classroom on Twitter? That’s what you need to do. And every student present in the class should be in following this account. You should also remain connected to them. So, they will be able to use it whenever they need to ask you something. Thus, this is going to be a great platform for the students to share their doubts and queries. You can also reply to the queries from this account. #5. Facilitates a Collaborative Approach While using Twitter in the classroom, it is essential to form different groups on the platform. Several Twitter applications like TweetWorks and others can come in handy for this purpose. Once the group is formed, you can add all your students to that group. It will ensure that there is no breach of communication among the participants of the class. Besides, it is also going to help under circumstances when you need to work together to complete certain projects. #6. Boosts the Creativity of the Students Ever thought how you can use Twitter in the classroom to boost the creativity of your students? It’s not extremely difficult either. Use one of the groups to achieve this. Send out a starter – a sentence with which you can start a story. And then ask the students to collaborate with the tweets posted prior to their own. The objective: to form a coherent story with the starter that you had provided. This surely is a great example in which the use of technology boosts student creativity. To keep the students on track, you can add the type of story you are expecting while adding the story starter. For example, you can ask the students to create a thriller, fairy tale, comedy write-up, and so on. You can also give the students the 140 character limit and ask them to create stories within that. This will be a great test of their imagination as well. #7. Helps to Find Resources for the Students Resources – that’s one of the most important things that every student needs to study and perform well in exams. With the advent of the internet, students don’t face an uphill task like before while finding resources. In fact, they are spoilt for choice. Twitter is one platform where they can find excellent resources for their lessons. If you are teaching a certain topic, you can always make the student search for it on Twitter. Once they key in a topic, a lot of results might pop up with short descriptions and the links. Help your students select the best resources on this microblogging platform, so that they can use it in their study plan. #8. Paves the Way to Come at a Decision through Polls You give an option about a certain thing to your class. With so many students, it hardly happens that the whole class is unanimous about it. So, how do you decide what to do? Through a poll, of course. And you can use Twitter to hold the poll. Make use of the Twtpoll or similar other platforms to know the minds of the students. It is going to help you under certain circumstances, especially when you are not being able to arrive at some decision while teaching in the classroom. From receiving instant feedback to engaging with expert speakers, Twitter can help you perform a lot of things in the classrooms, which were not achievable even a few years back. But there is also a chance that at times students might use it for purposes other than studies, even in the classroom. So, you need to make use of this microblogging platform prudently enough to enhance teaching and learning experience as well as help students perform better. It can also come in handy to customize lessons and make them flexible and personal to derive maximum results from them. Images: “CHIANGMAI,THAILAND – FEBRUARY 17, 2015: Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read “tweets”, limited to 140 characters./Shutterstock.com“ ________________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. 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