It has taken 18 months using twitter for personal use, to realise the power it could have in my class with students!! Twitter provides untapped opportunities for use in the classroom with students, that will only be fully utilised with time and experimentation. Potential uses include:-
- teachable moments
- research and quick answers to questions on all manner of topics
- learning, in real time, of world events as they occur
- sharing work, blog posts
- establishing student networks etc
My year 11 and some year 10 students are part of the netgened project, where students are studying the future of education. One of the topics is the “Personal Web”. As students are struggling to add to the wiki and to come to grips with some of the concepts, I decided to show them my experience with twitter two weeks ago, when I experienced the Melbourne earthquake, in real time, with my Melbourne tweets. Students were genuinely fascinated and one curious girl immediately went onto join twitter. To my utter amazement, it was unblocked. (It has been blocked for over 8 months).
So, sensing a teachable moment, I asked my twitter PLN to say hello to my students. To their amazement, responses came in from Thailand, USA, Sth America, Portugal, England, Canada and NZ. Some added snippets about the time of day and the weather. Discussions turned to the potential of twitter in their class and ensuing education. Spot all the teachable moments that exist here.
- jplaman@murcha I think every student should begin building a PLN. Twitter happens to be the first thing I turn to in the morning to learn.
- emapey2@murcha Greetings from Uruguay , in South America
- mbarrow@murcha Greetings from England. It is 40 minutes past midnight here and I should be asleep rather than twittering.🙂 Hope you’re having fun
- edueyeview@murcha Love Twitter! Hello from coastal Maine, US. Welcome to the conversation!
- lnitsche@murcha Hello from Chester Springs, Pennsylvania USA where is felt like spring today at about 65F
- damian613@murcha Hello from Perkasie, PA, USA! It’s about 8:30pm here and 13 degrees C.
- classroomqueen@murcha Hello from a very, very cold Regina, SK, Canada. It’s warmed up to -21C or -35C with windchill. This am it was -47C with windchill.
- Inpi@murcha Hello from Portugal! It’s 22 past midnight here, I can’t introduce my students!!!
- nzchrissy@murcha Hello fabulous students in Victoria from Bangkok Thailand where it is very hot at the moment
- chetty@murcha Hi Vic. Nice to meet u. I’ve just realised we can use iGoogle + twitter app to tweet from NSW. What are you working on?
- jeffwhipple@murcha a chilly evening to you and your students from New Brunswick on the east coast of Canada…twitter is about connecting and learning
- MelissaShultz@murcha Greetings from America via twitter! I love AUS! Especially those Collingwood Pies!!
- KarenJan@murcha Greetings from Boston, MA, USA!So, the students sensing a learning moment, asked me to tease out help for them on the semantic aware applications and geo-everything in education.
Some responses started to come in and here is one really interesting one:-
- ajep@murcha learning games to change the world http://tinyurl.com/bh4nvm
Unfortunately our bell went but it gave me much food for thought. What if the students were studying climates, or Portugal or Thai cultures etc? Imagine the real time response that could be gleaned from Twitter colleagues and self directed learning that might occur. My students will come up with some queries this week to try and tap into the global knowledge and expertise that exists and is now accessible 24/7/365 for them to complete their pages on the netgened wiki.
Have you used twitter in your classroom? If so, I would love to read your comments or any comments that anyone may have on this post.
Postscript: Upon going home that night, I tweeted that my gmail was down, and was anyone else having problems. I got the solution to my problem from a fellow tweeter – my curious student, who had joined twitter after the class!!?? Technology never ceases to amaze me.
Some interesting twitter related sites discovered this week:-
- top ten twitter tips for higher education
- Storytelling using twitter = story tweeting
- twitter fan wiki with interesting applications for twitter
- why you should follow everyone who follows you on twitter
See also this great post learning with twitter by Steve Wheeler