Twitter gets an A+ in kindergarten classroom

A New York public school teacher experiments with social networking as a way to teach young students to think succinctly in 140-character messages.

Schools are using technology in the classroom at an increasingly rapid rate. Now, the next frontier for tots might be social networking.

A kindergarten teacher at a New York City public school has begun experimenting with using Twitter as a teaching and learning platform, according to The New York Times.

"We added more days in school stickers. We didn't have any lame reflections. We had snack outside. Ask us about time," read a recent 116-character tweet from the kindergarteners, The New York Times reports.

This class's teacher, Jennifer Aaron, says that Twitter helps students think about their day and summarize events. Her tweet project involves using the social networking site three days a week as a way for students to compose group messages about their day.

"To me, Twitter is like the ideal thing for 5-year-olds because it is so short," Aaron told The New York Times. "It makes them think about their day and kind of summarize what they've done during the day; whereas a lot of times kids will go home and Mom and Dad will say, 'What did you do today?' And they're like, 'I don't know.'"

Laptops and interactive teaching tools have been in U.S. classrooms for a while, but using social networks is not yet commonplace.

Other recent uses of technology in classrooms include the introduction of the Khan Academy -- a free online tutoring site that is laying the groundwork for a new approach to education, using robots to look at learning by blurring the line between play and work, and AT&T spurring the development of apps to help improve education.

It seems that many students like using these high-tech methods of learning. After the students in the New York City classroom are done composing their group message, Aaron asks them, "Are we ready to tweet?," and they all enthusiastically answer, "Yeah!"

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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