Twitter Intro

By Erin Courville & Josh Perks

Twitter is a social media platform for microblogging (280 characters or less). Twitter is helpful for making connections with people in a professional field, seeing what people are concerned about (Trending) and contributing to the conversation. Twitter has many features to make a classroom more interactive.  


  • Twitter is free.

  • Tweets are published by Twitter users with the intent to share information with others. Other Twitter users can reply to your tweet.

  • A Tweet is limited to 280 characters or less, and can include attached images and URLs to other resources.

  • Twitter users can follow the tweets published by any other Twitter user. Following prominent persons on Twitter is a popular way to keep up on current thought, publications, and events.

What you will need:

  • Computer

  • Phone with the twitter app downloaded

  • Twitter account

  • Internet connection


Glossary of Terms:

Tweet: this is a 280 character, or less, public message. In order to make a tweet, type in the “compose box” on the front page of your twitter and click “tweet.”

Retweet: sharing what someone else on Twitter has tweeted. It is as easy as clicking this icon on the tweet you would like to retweet: You can also “like” someone’s tweet by clicking the heart icon on their tweet.

Reply: you can choose to reply to a tweet, by clicking on the speech bubble icon on the tweet you would like to reply to. Make sure to click tweet when you are done.

Feed: this is where all the tweets of users (tweeps) you are following will show up. This is your “home” page in twitter.

Handle: your username on Twitter. People may say, “What’s your handle?”

Mention: when someone types @username that person will be notified that they are being mentioned. For example “@username did a wonderful presentation on Open Ed at #USNHshare ATI.”

Direct Message (DM): a private message in Twitter. To send someone a direct message, navigate to their profile and click the “message” option. Not everyone will have this feature enabled.

Notifications: in the notifications section of your twitter, you can see history of your replies and tweets of yours that have been liked or retweeted.

Hashtag: a Hashtag is a # sign. This is how you can keep track of everyone tweeting about a certain topic when they have used a hashtag to tag it. For example, if you click on #USNHShare on a tweet, you will see all the tweets that also have that topic tagged. This is a great way to find followers who want to discuss the same topics. You can put a hashtag before anything, there is no application process, just make sure you do not put a space between the # and your words.

Twitter Moments: these are stories made from a series of trending/ popular tweets about a certain subject. You can view current, popular twitter moments by clicking “moments” next to your home button. You can also create your own twitter moments.

Followers/Following: This refers to people who subscribe to your tweets, or that you have subscribed to. To follow someone, you should navigate to their profile and click this icon: You can also hover over a name to follow that account.

Twitter in the classroom: Getting a conversation going with students can be challenging. Instructors will have more success if they engage with a platform that has more flexibility than many LMSs do. Before the class begins, ask students to create a twitter account for the purpose of this class. Students can then engage with other people in their field of study and the rest of the class.

Suggested Activities:

  1. Silent in-class discussion using twitter

  2. Live-tweeting assigned readings

  3. Live-tweeting lectures or in-class discussions

  4. Sharing blogs, projects, and other assignments publically

  5. One Minute Paper

  6. Re-Tweeting a current event that applies to the class with a microblog explanation.

  7. Brainstorming

  8. Get to know you activities and icebreakers

  9. Following mentors, authors, etc.

You can monitor tweet traffic using Twitter’s built-in search box, or by using other applications like or TweetDeck. These dashboards give you a more user-friendly way of monitoring twitter traffic for ongoing events, like a conference or lecture.

Twitter encourages real-world application of classroom learning. Twitter also requires students to get to their point (280 character limit) and to get to the root of their ideas, something that would make most writing better.

Things to keep in mind: With the use of Twitter comes privacy concerns. Twitter has an option to make your tweets “protected” so that you have to approve followers. Twitter also offers a blocking feature.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0