Don’t be an “egg” for the rest of your life!

One of my students commented that he was an egg. His default twitter avatar was an egg! Well, I dont want my students to be eggs, I want them to be networked!

My year 11 IT students are keen to #reinventschool, so we have formed a team with @brittgow (who teaches with me) and (still searching for more colleagues who might work with us)! Pushing boundaries as always, I have introduced them to twitter and tweetdeck. The difference in engagement, motivation and work ethics is amazing to view. Give these same students the theory of our VCE subject, I have grumbles, lack of incentive, little engagement etc with this group of dedicated social networkers.

After registering for these two software tools, it was time to talk about appropriate usernames, login names, cyber safety, appropriate online behaviour, effective use of the tools etc.

Immediately, this was a reminder that the profile was all important. Here is what we did:-

  1. Students added avatars. One girl added her school photo, so a discussion centred around the appropriateness of this. She took it down, and altered its image completely, so that when it is uploaded it is catoonized and re-coloured it so that she is no longer recognizable.
  2. Next we discussed their written profiles. This is a another essential for effective networking. People want to know enough about you, to follow you. Discussion centred around adding their blog urls, should they add that they are a senior student and add their personal hobbies and likes/dislikes/
  3. Then, they found where they could change their backgrounds and customize their twitter page1 That lost them for 10-15 mins while they put their own personal touches to their presence.
  4. Discussed the notion of using last names or just school id and user names eg smi0001 rather than Tracey Smith
Next it was time to:
  • learn how to find people to follow, checkout their profiles before following, how to block others, send a tweet, find tweets that mention them.
  • create lists to categorise those they follow.
  • Disucss #tags and their importance
  • Direct msg each other, and why this might be done.
  • Look at tweetdeck and how to add and remove columns.

Have you registered your students for twitter? What have you discovered? (Remember my students are highly socially networked, and are 16 or 17 years of age.) What advice would you give me and them?

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