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How to Transform the Social Studies Classroom in 140 Characters or Less: #mcss16

Twitter is a powerful tool. But what can it look like in a social studies classroom? Missouri teacher Jordan McGaughey spent a hour this morning sharing his ideas of using Twitter as a teaching, learning, and professional development tool. 

Jordan started by sharing what the use of Twitter can look like at different levels of Bloom’s. I really like this image – great way to jumpstart personal and professional conversations:

blooms and twitter

So what are the ideas?

  • Share student work quickly and easily. Take photos of work and post. Take photos of kids working and post.
  • Remind students about due dates, homework, special projects, social events by using a specific class hashtag. Post videos, photos, primary source documents, etc.
  • Use that hashtag to create activities such as creating a sample presidential election by having kids vote using that hashtag. Or assign kids to watch the State of the Union and post Tweets with a specific hashtag. Post questions using that hashtag and ask kids to respond – basically creating a Twitter chat based on a specific event.
  • Use it as peer review tool. Have kids post thesis statements via your class hashtag
  • If you coach or sponsor extracurriculars, set up a specific Twitter account or hashtag for that activity.
  • Use Twitter to conduct student research. Use the Twitter search function – – to track current events and trends.
  • Students can tweet as historical characters or create mock Twitter profiles. This could even be a Tweet “pretending” to be a Constitutional Amendment or historical document or painting. There are also Google Docs and Google Slides Twitter templates. Get Jason’s Slides template, Docs Template, and instructions.
  • (I’ve posted various Twitter tools here at History Tech. Get my older paper Twitter template here. Get some ideas here. Basic Twitter tips and ideas here.)
  • Use as a PLN to ask questions, learn from, and connect with other social studies teachers. Follow #sschat, #sstlap, #hsgovchat#worldgeochat, and #whapchat.
  • Set up Twitter Challenges with your building, department, or you own PLN. Grab Eric Langhorst’s challenge.

    twitter challenge2

  • Try this older post on History Tech about 65 twitter feeds to follow. (Cross posted on Doing Social Studies.) Check out this very extensive list of possible people to follow.
  • Be sure to grab Jason’s preso here. There is a TON of stuff – I especially like slide 41 linking to a variety of educational Twitter articles.

And if you do nothing else with Twitter, create a funny Mean Teacher Tweet video.




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