I began using twitter this year with my classes, and I’ve been quite pleased with its effectiveness. It allows me to remind students of assignments and announcements. But more importantly, I can get Spanish language to my students at any time. I’ve been off school for the last two days with the birth of our son. I’ve been able to post updates in Spanish for students to see. Of course, my tweets often contain recent vocabulary from class. Students are interested because the information is relevant and interesting. I love it because it’s all in Spanish.
For example, we’ve been using a lot of subjunctive with recommendations in one of my classes (te aconsejo que / te recomiendo que). I tweeted today that I would give participation points to any student who tweeted advice for my new son.
The first step is to get students to follow the twitter account. I offered extra credit for following and let them know there would be future opportunities for extra credit as well. Most students were enthusiastic about following. I created one account for each level of Spanish that I teach. I use tweetcaster on my phone and tweetdeck on my computer to manage the multiple accounts. I do not follow my students, and I make it clear to them that I will not follow their accounts or use twitter to “spy” on them.
Some ideas for twitter that I have used or hope to use:
1. extra credit/prizes – First person to ____ tomorrow gets ____ , Points for retweets
2. random TL updates – Students will read it. Why not throw some recent vocabulary at them.
3. cultural tweets – follow Spanish speaking newspapers, sports teams, celebrities and retweet their tweets
4. reminders – assignments, due dates, things coming up in class