March 8, 2020

BTBGuide: Dynamic Content: Twitter.

One of the main themes I want to explore is the combination of blogging with dynamic content. Yes, you can write blog posts, and it's great to write blog posts. But you can also use the power of the Internet to bring content to your blog without having to write everything yourself. That's what dynamic content is about: fresh content that you deliver to your students using different kinds of content tools. And one of the best tools out there is... Twitter.

The reason Twitter is such a great content tool for teachers is that you can curate content from a huge range of sources and share what is valuable with your students in a dedicated class Twitter stream. Your students don't need to use Twitter; they don't need a Twitter account. Instead, you are the one using Twitter, collecting and sharing materials there for your students.

To see how that can work, here's my class Twitter account: @OnlineMythIndia (different from my personal Twitter account @OnlineCrsLady). I have a collection of Twitter lists that I use to quickly and easily find new content to add to that Twitter stream every day: content from online museums and magazines, cartoonists, authors in India whom we read in my India class, the amazing folks at #FolkloreThursday, and on and on. There's no shortage of content!

Then, I can embed that Twitter widget in the sidebar of my Daily Announcements blog; take a look and you will find it there down towards the bottom of the sidebar.  It even shows up in Canvas! (There are other ways to make Twitter work in Canvas which I've documented here, Twitter4Canvas, but having your Twitter stream in your blog is really the easiest way!)

I can also embed the live stream in a post, as I've done down below here.

How to embed Twitter in a blog sidebar or in a post? Just go to this address:

Paste in the Twitter stream you want to embed. It does not have to be your stream; it can be any Twitter stream (so if your school has a Twitter account, you can embed that in your blog, for example).

Then, customize as desired, update, and copy the code.

Just paste the resulting code into your sidebar widget box or into your blog post, as I'm doing here. Presto: live Twitter in your blog!