Twitter is a social networking service with an instantaneous feed of information customized by the user to his or her interests. The user chooses to follow celebrities, headline news, authors, friends, family, etc. Twitter is a great source of many first-hand accounts from multiple platforms of subjectivity as well as objectivity. And Twitter puts everyone on an equal rostrum, for Twitter is a place of virality. Twitter is a useful writing tool one can use to practice achieving concision in one’s compositions, for users send and receive tweets of merely 140 characters or less.
Not only has Twitter become popular in the business world or among celebrities, but Twitter has also entered the classroom. Students have been using Twitter as a learning tool, for it can be used as a reminder for due dates of assignments and tests or a virtual place to collaborate on a group project. Twitter can also be an inspiring creative outlet for prospective writers. There are a plethora of exercises students can engage in using Twitter that will not only bring them into the network community but also help improve their writing skills and much more.
Twitter is an exercise in concision: what you say must be short, sweet (sometimes not so sweet), and to the point. A run-on sentence? It could still happen, but the 140-characters may make that less likely. Comma splice? Well, hold on, that comma counts in the 140 characters, so do you need an e in the, or do you need that comma? Maybe I do need the comma, and I definitely need an e in the, so what else can I take out to say what I gotta say? Oh, wait what exactly do I wanna say, and how will what I say (because it must be 140-characters) affect how tweeps “see” me? This requires students to comprehend the importance of word choice, word use, and punctuation.
How do I . . .
create a Twitter account?
Ideas for using Twitter in the Classroom.
Photo: TWU Flickr