Breaking News in the Classroom with Twitter & Tweetgrid

Handing a live influx of news online is a neat way to spice up a Current Events class that is equipped with, say, iPads or laptops.  

Tweetgrid is a neat Twitter client that auto-refreshes.  Tweets just come streaming in, live.  You can line up a number of different Twitter streams, enabling the monitoring of quite a lot of updating, live content.   You can have one stream of news culled from a variety of breaking news source, and other streams focused on select issues.  Tweetgrid allows you to select a number of different grid alignments.  You can get quite a number of streams on there.  You can follow a Twitter list by clicking on the “settings” on one of your grids, checking list, and then inputting the information for a twitter list.   My twittername is @gabrieljbaker, so to follow my breaking news list you would input gabrieljbaker/breakingnews.    Change the refresh from 5 minutes to 0 minutes so that it live-updates.  I am going to make a tweet grid that is 3×1, with my breaking news list on the left and specific topics on the middle and right.  This is a fun way to generate live content, both broad headlines and specific opinions.   Here is an image of my Tweetgrid on my mobile safari.  No hitting refresh, the Tweets just appear.  

You can also generate a link to your Tweetgrid at the top of the page (or, of course, Tweet it), so that you can save different grids.  That way, you don’t need to keep inputting your searches from scratch.  Here’s a link to the Tweetgrid shown above.


Make your own Breaking News List so that you can continually add more to it.  You can’t add to my list.  

Be wary about maxing out your grids, as following too many Twitter streams can be draining on mental stamina sometimes, and packing in six boxes can be a bit much for the eye to take in.  

Allow students to generate their own lists and incorporate them into a master class Tweetgrid that is put onto a display.  Once you generate a tweetgrid for the day, share the link to it with students.  

See my previous post on using RSS, Readability, and Twitter in the classroom.  


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