Twitter sounds like something Dr. Seuss might have invented, so it makes perfect sense that young kids would be intrigued by the notion of tweeting. But how young is too young to be on the social networking site?
One public school teacher in New York City is using Twitter as a classroom tool to help her students express themselves.
“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.
The teacher, Jennifer Aaron, says she uses Twitter in the classroom three times a week as a way to get kids to organize their thoughts. Aaron told “The New York Times:”
To me, Twitter is like the ideal thing for 5-year-olds because it is so short…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.’
That sounds a lot like my kids when they come home from school! But I’m not sure Twitter will get them to open up.
Using Twitter to help young kids express themselves is certainly an innovative use of technology in the classroom, but don’t think I’m ready for my 6-year-old to be on Twitter. For one thing, once she is exposed to it at school, she will be bugging me to use it at at home!
I’m not entirely opposed to using social networking at school. In my 4th grade daughter’s classroom in our local New York City public school, the teacher has set up a web site where the kids can “friend” each other, send messages, post pictures, and engage in group discussions. “It’s like Facebook for kids,” my 10-year-old daughter pointed out. At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted her exposed to “Facebook Jr.,” but then I came to realize that it is an ideal way to educate her about social networking– in a safe environment.
I’m using it as an opportunity to teach her that once you post something online, you can’t always take it back and it can easily be misinterpreted. That said, I think I’ll save Twitter until she’s a bit older. As I tell her, Twitter is for mommy!
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