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Language Arts - Twitter

Page history last edited by Ashlee Tripp 9 years, 1 month ago

Jess Walter & Maggie Highfill  |  Fall 2010

Ashlee Tripp, Christine Willson, & Matt Hall  |  Fall 2011



What Is Twitter & How Does It Work?


Twitter is a web tool that allows for both social and informational networking. Individuals, businesses, fans, or groups of any kind can form an account and tweet (post) information. On Twitter, tweets are limited to 140 characters; therefore, tweets must be concise and to the point. However, there are websites and software applications that automatically allow more than 140 characters per tweet (such as TwitLonger).


To use Twitter, you must create an account with an e-mail address, but you do not need to tweet, you can simply follow other users to see their updates. On Twitter, following other users is much like adding a friend on Facebook. Once you follow a user, their updates will automatically post to your Twitter timeline. Twitter can also be accessed from third-party applications on all types of devices and web services, the most popular being the use of cell phones. If a user is concerned for his or her privacy, he or she make his or her profile private with the simple click of a button under privacy settings. Making a profile private blocks unwanted users from viewing your Tweets and requires you to approve any followers who request to follow your tweets.


Other tools available to Twitter users are @mentions, DMs, lists, and hashtags. An @mention will tag another Twitter user so that the tweet shows up under the other user's mentions tab, but is viewable in other users (and your) timeline. A DM is a direct message viewable only to the user it is sent to (much like an e-mail). Lists can be created in order to group (or filter) users by interests, occupations, and whatever else one so desires. Hashtags allow users to create a link to other Tweeters who are tweeting about the same subject (such as #KyleOrton). When a user clicks on this hashtag (which automatically becomes a link) they are able to view ALL other tweets including this hashtag. Hashtags are available to search so that users can see what subjects are popular in certain areas of the world (like Denver).


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                         Twitter Timeline                                                                                        Twitter @mentions                                                                                   Twitter DMs


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                                      Twitter Lists                                                                                          Twitter Hashtags                                                                             





 Video Tutorials:



  •  The following video explains how to use Twitter for the novice user: 




  • The following video details the most recent improvements made to Twitter and how to get the most use out of them:





Twitter's Application in a Language Arts Classroom 


1. All students should sign up for a classroom-use only Twitter account. The teacher can then group accounts into their respective periods using the list tool. That way, the teacher and the students can easily access tweets from their classmates.


2. Break students into groups while analyzing a canonical text as a class and have individuals tweet each chapter from an assigned character’s perspective.


3. To practice writing concise theses and topic sentences, students will tweet a thesis sentence and topic sentences to create an outline for a formal essay.  


4. Have students write, and publish, 6-word stories to their Twitter accounts. Students can use a hashtag so that the stories are easily searchable by the teacher. For example, a tweet might look like this: "I status update, therefore I am. #SWSWillson," with the hashtag meaning six-word story teacher's last name, so that the teacher will only see her own students' updates.


5.  As a class, have students write a short, fictional novella. One student will begin writing the story using his or her period's list. He or she can write 140 characters about the story's topic (and may stop in the middle of a word). Going clockwise around the computer lab, the next student will add 140 characters to the story, which will automatically update on the list's timeline. Continue until everyone has had a chance to post at least twice, and then until the story has reached a conclusion.


6. Have students pick a main character from the novel the class is reading and Tweet updates as though they are that character.




 Additional Resources:














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