In a world where social media prevail (or can it be ‘prevails’?), it might be interesting to bring them into the classroom. Basically, because the language to be used in social media is sometimes different to the language of other media, or may require some adaptation; therefore should be dealt with in class. On top of that, because this kind of communicative activity may prove motivating for students, regardless of their ages.
You can find below a list of online tools and apps I have been using lately. For all of the tools described below, my advice to students (and teachers) is for the tweets/texts to be typed on a word document/pages document first, then copy and paste them onto the website or app. That way, if something happens (if the connection gets lost, for example), you will still keep a copy of your work.
Fake Twitter generators:
Twister– very quick. Just type the (invented) username of the tweeter, their real name, and the tweet. It will create a ‘twister’ post in seconds, with a picture of the person/ character.
Fake Twitter generator: create really true-to-life fake tweets.
*Tip: if you’re creating the tweets on a laptop/desktop, when you finish your tweet you can click on the button “save image”. However, if you’re using a tablet, iPad, or any mobile device, the button is likely not to work. Try taking a screenshot instead.
Fake Fakebook generators:
- Simitator: creates fake Facebook posts and walls.
- Fakebook: ‘Fakebook’ page, can include character bio, posts, interactions with other users… Different students can access the page if the teacher shares the code.
example- Fakebook page for Nicola Thorp– a British actress who started a petition against dress code in the office. (Started by me as a teacher, comments by students).
Fake text messages / WhatsApp:
- Fake WhatsApp texts: up to two characters / people can take part in the conversation. Plenty of options: delivered, read; time; emojis…
- Fake iPhone messages: the conversation can include up to three characters. You can customise the operator, battery, signal, time…
- Texting Story: This Android and iOs free app allows you to showcase dialogues between several characters as if they were texting. The product you get is not an image, but a video of their conversation.
WhatsPrank (iOs app)- to create fake WhatsApp texts, including the icon for audio messages.
What kinds of activities can you do with these websites and apps?
- Turn any ‘write a dialogue between’ activity into an ‘imagine the texts that X sent to Y, and their reply’ activity.
- Create profiles for (and write comments about) historical characters
- Rewrite well-known plots (literature, film, TV shows), or imagine how they could be retold in tweets, or the conversations the characters could have at a certain point in the plot.
- Create custom conversations/social media posts as input for a mediation activity in the classroom (Not recommended for exams-whatever input you provide should be real-life material).
Can you think of other activities? Would you like to share your thoughts on this? Leave a comment.