Thursday, September 2, 2010

Twitter ideas for class groups

July 23rd, 2010
Using Twitter has been a fabulous PD discovery for me. It’s only been 8 months since I’ve hopped on, and already I feel quite at home learning from my PLN. I plan to try using Twitter in the following manner this fall: (before I get there, I will share the details of my classroom set-up). We have one desktop eMac, and I have created a student log-in on my MacBook. Otherwise, we have a 30-machine lab that we can access once or twice a week as a whole class.

1. Twitter updates for parents. I have a job board in my junior class room, with responsibilities like “Courier/attendance runner”, “Phone person/secretary”, etc. This year I am adding “Tweeter”, simply printing the Twitter logo onto an Avery label sticker, and adding it to the job board.

The tweeter’s job will be to post a message every day, telling our parent followers about what we learned/did/ or guests we had in the school. I am hoping this helps in 2 ways: 1. To consolidate the fine art of summary. 2. To promote digital citizenship, using the web for positive messages, and education.

2. The next idea is to create four or five permanent accounts, know as “group 1″ – “group 5″. When students collaborate throughout the year, they will be responsible for logging in to their appropriate group numbered account, and discussing what they did. I would post guiding prompts and questions for them to help stay focused on what is being asked. For example, Susie, Bill, and Paul are group 3, learning about the circulatory system. Once they’ve presented they will log onto to Twitter in the “Group 3″ account, and share about their learning. In the next learning activity, if Paul is now in group 1, he will log into that user account and share there. If anyone out there has already tried this, I would be curious to know about how it worked for you; is it efficient? Are students motivated to use Twitter in this fashion? I suppose this set up could work well for Wikis as well. Simply create group pages, and allow student groups to share there.

I think it’s a prime time for teachers to model the positive uses of technology for students, especially K-6 when parents are likely offering more computer autonomy at home. By incorporating Twitter and wikis simply as additional learning tools, I hope to “build better users”.

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