Twittering in ELT

What are people in ELT twittering about? Is it useful to me and/or my learners…?

According to TIME magazine, "Twitter is on its way to becoming the next killer app…" (as Twitter is proud to proclaim on its home page).

From long experience, I would suggest that a healthy dose of scepticism is always called for whenever the words "next killer app" are used, be it Twitter or Second Life or interactive whiteboards, or any new bit of technology.

"Are my learners actually going to learn more, if I use this?" — that would be the first question I think you should ask yourself as an English teacher. What are they (as opposed to me, the teacher) actually going to use the technology for, to do what, that will ensure that they learn more…?

If you can't see answers to those questions, I'd suggest you hold on before you jump on the latest digital bandwaggon.

Twitter is big at this moment, whatever people are using it for. They're also Using Twitter as an Education Tool, in a number of ways, says Search Engine Watch, such as using it to set assignments.

I'm not a Twitter user myself, either personally, or for use with my classes: I just can't see the answers to those questions…

>> 7 things you should know about Twitter
>> More on Twitter

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3 Comments

  1. Hi,

    You may find this post on Twitter & EFL useful.

    And yet, I use Twitter for professional/personal purposes (not educational)…

    Regards,
    Elena

  2. Personally I prefer Plurk.com to twitter as it's easier to add media such as images and video which will play directly from your page. I also prefer Plurk's horizontal timeline and easier to read threads. I wrote an article here on using Plurk and Twitter: Microblogging for EFL with Plurk

    I als have another articel here on a video version called 12 second TV that has suggestions for how to get srudents using it.
    12 Second Video Clips for EFL ESL
    Hope these are useful

    Best
    Nik Peachey

  3. Thanx for the links, Nik (which are to things on a really great blog ,-)!

    I wasn't familiar with Plurk, but it certainly seems to have things going for it ahead of Twitter.

    With a class, I still think I prefer a blog — one on which they are creating a significant proportion of the content.

    I prefer that because I think it creates something more permanent, something theirs, which is great for turning a class into a community…

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