Participating in written group discussion is becoming an essential 21st century skill. Our students have to learn to “converse” in forums, newsgroups, and blog threads, as well as learning to answer short-answer and essay questions.
People must be able to summarize well in order to participate in written discussion. Quoting takes more space and can lead to plagiarism and copyright violations.
Your students may not understand the concept of summarizing, but they probably understand how to “tweet” on Twitter. Instead of asking students to summarize a something they are reading (paragraph, chapter, article, etc.) have them write Twitter posts.
Twitter accounts can be restricted to viewing by only a select group., which lets you use Twitter summaries for class activities, homeschool cooperatives, after school programs, book discussions, etc.
This information originally appeared in January, 2009 Writing Points, © 2009 Linda Aragoni