Using Twitter in Class

Students are connected to their mobile devices. Why not put them to work during class using Twitter to take and share notes?

The goal is to have the students Tweet what they find relevant/interesting during class/lecture time. This not only allows them to share how they are understanding the information, but it gives the professor fairly immediate feedback on what is sticking with them. This also offers students, who might not usually raise their hands, the chance to ask a question.

Getting started:

The professor and students all need Twitter accounts. Here is beginner’s guide:

Remind students this is a public forum and they should make sure their profiles are professional and something they would want either their professor, mother, or future employer to see.

Choose a hashtag:

Hashtags on Twitter label and indicate certain subjects or conversations. The hashtag is represented by the number sign “#.” In order to easily search for the students’ Tweets, choose a simple hashtag for the class for just the lecture. For instance, use #J397B, which is the course number. Remind the students often to include the hashtag.

Search the hashtag:

Occasionally search for the hashtag during class by either typing it into the search field on Twitter, or use, a Web-based tool that allows anyone to monitor Twitter in real-time for mentions of any words or phrases they choose. Share the live feed online with the students to clarify any information or answer questions.


“Smartphones can be very distracting during class time. I have found that the students liked interacting with me, each other and their mobile device. It also helped keep them off Facebook for an hour or so.” – Melissa Lalum, Journalism lecturer/Daily Sundial adviser

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