Usually a classroom full of students tapping away on phones is a clear sign that the teacher has lost control. Not so in Enrique Legaspi’s high-tech history class where children are encouraged to use their phones, ipads, and laptops–as long as they’re using them to access Twitter. Legaspi began integrating Twitter into his teaching earlier this year and since the switch he says participation and even the students’ self worth have been improving.
A teacher for eight years, Legaspi said experience has taught him that a small group of students tend to dominate classroom discussions. During the seminar at Macworld, other teachers reported seeing broader student participation through Twitter.
CNN observed Legaspi standing in front of a projected screen discussing the death toll from World War I. When he asked the classroom how many people died in that conflict, several tweets started showing up on his screen with various answers.
“Many men died because of the terrible conditions they were living in,” one student tweeted.
Legaspi said shy students are benefiting the most.
For “a lot of them, what it did is help find their voice,” he said. “I have many students that do not participate in my classes or share what’s on their mind, so Twitter became that vehicle.”
Spark wants to know what you think. Should Twitter and other social media tools earn a permanent place in the classroom? Is it really possible to monitor each child to assure they’re using their device solely for educational purposes? Are the students losing the opportunity to learn the valuable skill of public speaking when they can tweet instead? Visit CNN to read the full story and share your thoughts.