Trending: Tonight’s Homework

There are a million different reasons to use the social network monster known as Twitter. Those with accounts can use it to talk with their friends, rant about their problems, and keep up with their favorite celebrities. Recently, however, a new role for Twitter has emerged; it has become a way for some teachers to relay class-related information directly to students.

Some may ask why it’s necessary for teachers to use social media to connect with students. Nate Silberstein is a Spanish teacher at THS who Tweets reminders about homework as well as upcoming events and bonus questions. “I always have the homework posted on the board every single day, but my students seem to never want to write it down,” he told me in an interview. “Why fight it, when you can adapt it to their environment?”

Mrs. Torok, a math teacher at THS, has also recently started using Twitter for similar purposes. “I heard through other teachers that it is encouraged as a way to incorporate the parents into the classroom,” Torok informed me. “That is something looked at in the new state teachers’ evaluation system.” She also tweets mostly about homework.

Torok admits she doesn’t always like it. “There’s too much unimportant stuff tweeted. I follow a few news organizations and they just overload you with headlines and breaking news that aren’t really all that important. Although, I did have a student tweet me the other evening asking for homework help. I was able to assist, and that was cool.”

When asked if she followed her teachers on Twitter, Twitter user Lauren Flum said that no, but she thought she should. “Not only would it be cool to say I follow my teachers on Twitter, but they also give a lot of homework updates.”

Twitter has exploded as a social network in today’s digital age, and teachers have definitely started to catch on. Is it useful or is it a waste of 140 characters? That’s for the students to decide.