Type of Software: Web 2.0, social networking for schools
Primary User: teachers and students
Appropriate Audience: teachers of all ages, and students from the upper elementary years through college
- Twiducate is a social networking site for schools to use so teachers and students can network together in a safe way (similar to Twitter).
- Teachers can create their own classroom page and code, and invite his or her students into the page so no outsiders can join.
- Teachers and students can post on the page to communicate, debate, or share ideas about a certain topic.
- Students and teachers can comment on specific posts to further communication.
- Teachers can add other teachers and students into their classroom page to view everyone’s posts.
- Teachers can make a public page to collaborate and communicate with other teachers using Twiducate.
- Teacher can add links under the links page, bookmarks, and also deadlines and events under the date’s page for students to see when they sign into the Twiducate classroom page.
- Available chat room for students to communicate while everyone is online.
- Teachers and students can edit their posts by adding colors, bullet points, pictures, links, and other features similar to those on Word.
- Safe and secure pages; only the creator of the classroom page (the teacher) can invite other people into the page.
Here is a video tutorial of how to use and navigate Twiducate:
Age Appropriateness: This software is highly appropriate for students who have access to and are aware of how to use technology with the guidance of a teacher. Because the teacher is the only person who can invite the students to see the classroom page, no outsiders or public accounts can view what the teacher and students are posting. This site is predominantly for educational purposes only, so there are no pop-up advertisements or links to other websites. Also, the teacher can view what each student is posting to make sure they stay on task and are using the site appropriately.
- Easy to use and to navigate
- Teacher can monitor student activity on the site
- Posts can be edited to make them more visually attractive
- Users can comment on other people’s posts
- Easy for teacher-student collaboration
- Relatable and engaging site for students (similar to social media)
- Safe from public
- Can add links to other sources, bookmarks, and important due dates on the classroom page
- Chat room for quick communication among students and teacher
- Students could use the software inappropriately since it is so similar to popular social media sites.
- Access to the website was slow (on my computer)
- Students could choose an inappropriate avatar (profile picture)
Comparison to Twitter: Twiducate is very similar to Twitter in the fact that it is a tool used to collaborate and communicate with other people via the Internet. Similar to Twitter, students can comment on other people’s posts and view what everyone is posting. Unlike Twitter, this site is far more protected because the classroom page is not open to the public, the users are not limited to 140 characters, and the user can edit their posts and also use bullets, images, font colors, and more. The user has no followers and there are also no hash tags or trending pages available to the user on Twiducate. The focus on this software is much more educational than Twitter.
Applications with Education:
If the teacher is having a hard time engaging his or her students into a certain content subject, or can’t seem to relate or connect to them, the teacher can turn to Twiducate. If the teacher presents this site and the students see that it is a social media tool, they will definitely be engaged, since social media is extremely popular among youth today. Because the students can make an account, post, and communicate with their peers on the classroom Twiducate page, they will feel like they are on Twitter, but for educational purposes. This tool really is a great way to get students socially engaged with their classmates and with the teacher.
If a teacher is having difficulties in his or her classroom with student participation, Twiducate could help solve the problem. If the teacher wanted to, for example, have a debate about a topic with his or her classroom, he or she could assign students to log into the classroom Twiducate page and create a post expressing their opinion on the matter, and also comment on other students’ posts. Since speaking in class is not every student’s strong suit, using Twiducate could allow the student to participate and express their views without physically speaking in front of the class. This way, everyone is participating without the pressure to speak up.