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Twitter in the Classroom: Green, Blue, and Black

I’m not that good at it but I still love to snow ski. My family does too. And we try to go at least once a year.

But we always run into trouble. Son wants harder slopes than the old man wants to mess with. Daughter wants steep but no bumps. Wife looks for groomed runs that let her avoid the more difficult moguls.

This is where the handy-dandy ski trail classification system becomes very useful. Green circles designate beginner level runs, blue squares equal intermediate difficulty, and black diamonds identify advanced trails.

FYI. I avoid most black diamonds. I value my knees.

But I like the system. Even on unfamiliar slopes, we all know what we’re getting into. Green. Blue. Black. Everybody can pick the level that best fits their ability and interest.

Last week, I had the opportunity to work with a great K-12 staff as they explored the possibility of using Twitter in their classrooms and as a professional development tool.

And we used the idea of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced as a way to help teachers pick their level of engagement. Teachers new to Twitter explored the basics and advanced users felt free to began messing with things like live chats and third party apps. It worked pretty well so I figured I’d share some of those goodies here.

Feel free to pick and choose what works best for you (even if you have to grab from all three lists!) Then be sure to come back and check out all of the History Tech Twitter articles.

beginner ski

Twitter site

Twitter for Educators (pdf)
A Refreshingly Simple Guide to Twitter for Teachers
A Graphic That Summarizes Twitter for Teachers
The Honest-To-Goodness Beginner’s Guide to Twitter for Teachers
Twitter Cheat Sheet

intermediate ski

35 Interesting Ways (and tips) to Use Twitter in the Classroom
28 Simple Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom
65 History Twitter Feeds to Follow
History / Social Studies Teachers to Follow
Best Tweeters to Follow
Using Twitter for Professional Development

expert ski

50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom
60 Ways to Use Twitter by Category
Live Twitter chat schedule


The Complete Guide to Twitter Hashtags for Educators
Educational Twitter Hashtags Being Used Right Now
Educational Hashtag List
Most Popular Educational Hashtags to Follow

Some hashtags to explore:

So pick and choose what fits you best, helps your kids, and lets you grow professionally.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is a great resource. I’m going to check it out!

    March 19, 2014
  2. Jeff Keller #

    Hi Glenn – Big fan of the site. It’s just about the only education blog that i *never* skip in my news reader. I have two questions I was hoping you’d weigh in on. They don’t really relate to the topic of twitter, sorry.

    First – My school has been studying BYOD for about a year now. We think we’re in a place where we’re ready to try it. They are going to “open the gates,” so to speak, very soon. I’ve been stock piling ideas of how I can make BYOD work in my classroom, but I am still nervous–especially about the myriad different devices that are likely to show up and how to harness their possibilities in ways that are beneficial and not just gimmicky or “tech for tech’s sake.” I was wondering if you–or others–had any advice for how to best be prepared, challenges to expect, etc.

    Second question – Do you have any experience with the Windows surface devices in education? I’m debating whether to go iPad or Surface for my own device to use for BYOD (the school is not supplying one, and I can’t see me being tethered to my desk if we’re using devices to look at something as a class). What are your thoughts on the Surface?

    Thanks for any help!

    March 20, 2014
    • glennw #


      Thanks for following History Tech – glad you find it useful!

      Other questions are good ones. I haven’t had a lot of experience with BYOD schools. Most that I work with focus on a specific platform. So can’t help too much. A site that others have shared with me that might be helpful:

      In some ways BYOD takes the pressure off of you – the work that kids do become focused on the thinking / doing rather than a focus on doing “projects.” It’s not about making a Powerpoint – it becomes creating a digital story that addresses the question / problem you’ve provided. Kids can now spend time on the actual learning. This allows you to spend more time on the content and process of social studies rather than trying to figutre out what tool or gadget you’re going to use.

      Obviously, BYOD will force you to be much more flexibly and to rewrite your scoring rubrics a bit.

      Second question – I don’t have any experience with the Surface. Seen one and played with it a bit but don’t know enough to get into a discussion about best or worst. I will say that I love my iPad and haven’t ever felt that I was missing anything with one exception – the lack of a file structure requires a different mindset of sharing content on / off the iPad than you would experience with a Surface. I did a quick search and found a couple of articles:,2817,2424763,00.asp

      Good luck!


      March 21, 2014
      • Jeff Keller #

        Thanks, Glenn. I had read a lot of the comparisons between iPad and Surface. I decided to go Surface. The price and the idea of having a full version of Microsoft Office at my finger tips was too alluring. Unfortunately, I ended up returning the Surface and exchanging it for the iPad. As it turns out, the Surface doesn’t play nice with some secure wireless networks, such as the one we have at my school! It would not connect at all. I am told this experience is different if you use the SurfacePro, which runs a full version of Windows. I, though, am no tech-guru, so I could be mistaken. I just thought I’d share my experience so that other teachers who are weighing their tablet options would be informed. It might be good to have a conversation with your school network folks before making a purchase. I wish I had…

        Thanks again, and keep up the great work!

        March 27, 2014
      • glennw #

        Sorry that things didn’t work out with your first choice. But I hadn’t heard about its issue with wireless networks. Good to know. Good luck with the iPad!

        Thanks for sharing!


        March 27, 2014
  3. Reblogged this on batttuk and commented:
    Brilliant post and idea. I love this.

    March 21, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Twitter 101 for Teachers: Steps for Getting Started on Twitter | Mrs. T's Middle Grades
  2. Tip of the Week: Top 10 Social Studies Stuffs of 2014 | History Tech
  3. How to Transform the Social Studies Classroom in 140 Characters or Less: #mcss16 | History Tech

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