I must admit I was skeptical and originally questioned the validity of Twitter. I initially viewed Twitter as just a tedious free service that lets you send a 140-character message, or “tweet to your followers” of lackluster and hum-drum information. I was not really interested in reading about the location of someone checking in on Four Square or what he or she was eating for dinner.
Yet, I was totally surprised at all the benefits that Twitter provides to high school and college students.
Every student should use Twitter. Here’s why:
There are loads of scholarships, essay contests, STEM competitions and grant opportunities for middle school, high school and college students posted daily on Twitter. Having a Twitter account allows you to access all that and more. Students that are interested in a writing career or journalism can easily promote their blogs and find out about writing contests, opportunities and internships.
But it’s not for only journalism students of course. Students in every major and discipline can connect to professionals in their field and hear about grants, connect with other students and educators, and get quick updates of developments at their high school or on their college campus.
Twitter was launched in July 2006. I avoided the urge to tweet for three full years. However, when my brother and I created a local website in July 2009, promoting volunteer opportunities for youth and families, I understood and appreciated the power and impact of Twitter. Social media allows us to promote our volunteer work and connect to a much wider audience. It has even improved traffic and interest in our website.
Students who are interested in starting their own businesses or want to focus on specific non-profit cause tend to have extremely limited financial resources, meaning zero dollars for marketing and promoting. Twitter provides the opportunity to promote your business, cause or writing nationally, and even internationally. We use it for simple postings (like to post the need for volunteer opportunities for youth like helping out at a trivia night or volunteering at a local non-profit races’ 5K). Networking on Twitter provides a free and quick way to promote events like our annual Youth and Family Volunteer fair. Twitter provides a wealth of information for youth and everyone else.
Encourage your students to open a Twitter account.