Embed a Twitter Timeline in Your Virtual Classroom

An important aspect of teaching is sharing information with students. We do this with physical copies of information, temporary displays (for example on a whiteboard), and–increasingly–with digital files. To facilitate teaching and learning, most schools provide a learning management system (LMS) where teachers can create virtual classrooms with which they can share digital files with students (and use a variety of other features for teaching).

Social media merged soon after the world wide web was invented. The many platforms that comprise social media are designed to make it easy for users to publish information. (In many cases that ease results in individuals posting information that they should not have posted.) As the capacity of computers, networks, and digital devices has increased; social media platforms have expanded the media allowed on the sites.

The technologies mentioned in the preceding paragraphs represent a very useful tool for teachers. This page is organized around three questions:

What is a Twitter Timeline?

When using Twitter, users “Tweet.” This is the verb used to describe the information that is published to Twitter. The collection of text, images, links, and videos users Tweet becomes their Timeline. As is suggested by the name, a Timeline is a chronological record of the Tweets: New Tweets appear on top, so as one scrolls done the page, older Tweets are displayed.

Twitter is also organized around followers, and the information that is Tweeted is pushed to followers, so they see the Tweets immediately. When using Twitter, users can view the Tweets of others, or they can see and manage the information their own Tweets. On this page, the Twitter Timeline we will embed will display only the Tweets sent by an individual Twitter user.

Many Twitter users also add hashtags to posts. A hashtag is a pound sign (#) followed by a term. Hashtags can include letters, numbers, and some symbols. There is no official list of hashtags, and many users (or groups of users) create their own hashtags. Of course, no one can control others’ use of hashtags, so hashtags are not a perfect way to manage the Tweets you want to use for your students.

This page also assumes readers have created a Twitter account already. Creating such an account is free, and it requires only an active email account. You can learn more about creating a Twitter account at https://twitter.com/signup 

A Twitter Timeline displays all of the text, links, images, and videos posted by a user.