Teacher uses Twitter to engage students

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ODESSA -- It’s out with the old, and in with the new. An Odessa High School teacher is adding social media and smart phones to her instructional tools.

While most teachers ban the use of cell phones from their classrooms, Mrs. Rowena Dolino is embracing it.

Since January, she’s been connecting with her students via Twitter.

“Why not use the cell phones for educational purposes instead of getting so stressed out about it?” she said.

What was once a constant battle in the classroom of confiscating phones and begging for student participation, has now become a fun activity both teacher and students enjoy.

“When I started doing the tweeting, I noticed that students liked to do more work, because they know that their work will be showcased, will be posted, people can see them, the parents will see,” Dolino said, noting that her students’ desire for instant gratification is a trait she works with, instead of against.

“I think what other teachers should do really is just try to take advantage of social media, because social media is becoming a big deal now,” said Senior Hayden Erwin. He likes that his teacher fills his Twitter feed with mini quizzes and weekly learning objectives.

“Most kids nowadays are like, ‘oh I wanna get on my phone, I wanna do this, I wanna do that,’ and I think using Twitter, it's a perfect way to keep track of it,” Erwin said.

The app allows Mrs. Dolino to give instantaneous feedback—and in an age where technology is advancing so fast it’ll make your head spin, the teachers embraces the importance of keeping up with it, by allowing her students to do what they do best.