Teen Takes Educators to Twitter School

Brian Anthony Hernandez
Teen Takes Educators to Twitter School
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1. The Chemical Touch

Fifteen-year-old Adora Svitak knows students nowadays "live, work and play" social media.

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"We're used to the characteristics of social media: participation, connection, instant gratification," she tells Mashable, "and when school doesn't offer the same, it's easy to tune out."

To help more educators learn about the benefits of using social media in the classroom, Adora recently taught nearly 3,000 teachers, principals and administrators how to implement Twitter and Facebook into their lives.

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"The speech was successful in that a lot of new people joined Twitter and learned how to start a Facebook page for a class or school group," Adora said about her collaborative keynote presentation at the Advancing Improvement in Education Conference in Austin this month.

The first-time Twitter users learned how to sign up, tweet and weave in hashtags -- pushing thankful messages to Adora during her demonstration:

"I didn't pontificate with a 'This is why this technology is awesome and you need to get your act together and use it already' tone, or throw too many resources at the audience at one time," Adora explains. "I made it easy and fun to share ideas and solutions."

Adora often stands on a stage, dispersing her knowledge and opinions about youth impact, education and Internet culture. In 2010, she gave a Ted Talk on what adults can learn from kids, and just this year, she addressed the connected generation and meme culture during her talk at Mashable Connect.

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A common thread among her speeches is education -- whether it be adults teaching children or vice versa, the dynamic between the two groups should be reciprocal, she believes. Practicing what she instills in others, Adora recently recorded five "Teach Teachers Tech" videos for APlatformForGood.org.

"Any good teacher knows how important it is to connect with students and understand our culture," Adora says. "That could start with something like perusing Reddit and knowing popular memes. ... Social media has definite benefits for education."

BONUS: 10 Must-Have Apps for Successful High School Students

1. The Chemical Touch

This app's touch-sensitive periodic table will help make chemistry class much more interactive. Select different elements to learn more about their properties and get definitions of nucleobases, as well. You can even sort the table with different colors to identify periodic trends — and hopefully, make your chemistry homework less complex than amino acids. If you need in-depth explanations of different concepts, the app will open Wikipedia entries. The Chemical Touch costs $0.99 and is available for iOS devices.

Click here to view this gallery. Image courtesy of iStockphoto, peepo

This story originally published on Mashable here.