Twitter….anyone? anyone?

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I had a GREAT idea….my students are addicted to Twitter. In fact, they told me, “Davis, no one texts any more…you gotta get on that Twitter.” It would be legendary. I could have a Twitter account just for school related business. My students could follow it. Their parents/guardians could follow it. Heck, even other teachers that have my students in AIS (Academic Intervention Services) could follow it. I could tweet homework assignments, upcoming quizzes/tests, links to things on the web, et cetera. It would be FANTASTIC!!!

So, I set up a twitter account (mr_davis_math). I announced it in class. I put a link to it on my webpage. I did a mass emailing to all of the parents that the school has email addresses for. I was SO excited!! I posted at least something everyday. I waited a week and checked my followers. I had one. Uno. That was it. So…I announced it in class again. Still…nothing. It wasn’t until one of my dedicated twitter using students was using my iPad and saw that I had the twitter app did it get any interest. My followers SOARED to four and then went stagnant. Last Friday, I tweeted a “5 for 5 obn Friday” tweet where the first 5 people to retweet the messsage would get 5 free quiz points. I had one retweet….

I am at a loss. I KNOW this could be a powerful tool to use in this technological world, but how do I get the students to buy in? I even tried to reach out to a few students directly. The biggest opposition was that they did not want me to be able to read all of their tweets. I expressed to them that I have no interest in following them, nor do I care about reading their tweets. I want to simply use twitter as a communication tool.

Has anybody used twitter successfully in their classrooms? Anybody have any ideas to help me find the success that I envision?