Today we learned about the application called "Twitter." I previously knew nothing about Twitter, so this was something that I came into completely blind-sided. I created an account before class, but that was about all. Basically, twitter just sends out updates about what people are doing. The kicker is, the update has to be less than 140 characters. This is basically like a "facebook" for the older, more mature technology user.
Integrating this application into the classroom can reap a lot of positive benefits, or also cause a negative effects. An application that I found that would be useful in the classroom was called "tweetscan." This is an app that weeds out all of the searches that don't have anything to do with your topic, and only give you the posts that deal with your topic directly. According to tweetscan.com, "In the innovative world of Microblogging, one site aims to organize it all. Tweet Scan searches Twitter, identi.ca, and other Laconica-based sites with more being added all the time." This would be useful in the classroom when having a book talk. For example, you could type in the title of your book, lets say, "To Kill a Mockingbird," and you would read what other people had to say about it. You could pick someone to follow, and either form a book talk group or club, and discuss your thoughts on the book. You can either agree or disagree with someone's feelings on the book based on their thoughts posted in their answer to "what are you doing?" This would be useful in the classroom because it would integrate technology into the classroom when it could originally have been absent. This gets students who are constantly on the computer trying to sneak on their myspace or "facebook" a reason to actually enjoy getting online in the classroom and it be allowed. This application would come in handy for this type of project because it allows a "search" of posts made by people and the students in the classroom would be allowed to research someone to follow and comment on their book reviews.
This could also be a negative thing in the classroom because students would have free reign of the website "Twitter" and could basically search, or post, whatever they like. The teacher would have to monitor the classroom very carefully to make sure that this would be used for educational purposes only. The username the students would create would all be fake names, to protect the privacy of the students names online. The usernames would all be "exampleturnage" with the same tag for each student. This would make it easier to follow the students and also monitor their posts.
I feel like tweetscan in conjunction with tweeter would be a great and fun way to integrate technology into a High School English classroom. It would be difficult to monitor, but I feel that students researching others' opinions on books discussed in class would encourage discussion and in-depth thinking about literature in the classroom.