180 days of learning

180 days of learning

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Twitter, It’s More than Just Fun

January 9, 2013

I’ll be the first to admit I was slow to jump on the Twitter bandwagon. Once I did start, I used it for pure entertainment. I followed celebrities and tweeted nothing,  using it in class wasn’t even on my radar. In October, I started following a new colleague of mine, Allie Holland and loved how much I learned by reading her tweets. I soon began following more and more educators while unfollowing more and more celebrities. Within weeks I was learning more than I had in any college class and was connecting with people all over the world. As always, when I find something I’m passionate about, I shared it with my students.

I began by creating a class Twitter account and following people in the math and science field. Once a week we would read through their tweets but I could tell my students wanted more, plus I felt they deserved more. I invited Allie to help co-teach the ins and outs of Twitter. We made sure the FIRST thing we taught was why we were using Twitter in the classroom and showed examples of all the information and potential for networking out there. We demonstrated how hashtags help connect our tweets to other people who may be interested in what we are discussing and how hashtags help us search Twitter information. We also taught students to follow each tweet with #first name and #pcscIN so our followers would know who the tweets came from. After practicing tweeting by writing on markerboards, we were ready for the real thing!

In order to remain safe but not add workload, I have a designated Tweeter of the Week. This is a responsible person who is the only one I share our Twitter password with and each week when I change Tweeters, I also change the password. Students post their tweets on Today’s Meet, which only allows 140 characters, like Twitter. My Tweeter of the Week then copies and pastes a few of the bests tweets from Today’s Meet and onto Twitter.

We tweet almost daily and tie it to what we’re learning and doing that day. Here are some examples…

 

Twitter has been an unbelievable learning experience for me and I hope I’ve been able to share my passion for learning with my students. My goal is to show my children learning does not have to be done in a silent room behind a textbook while the teacher lectures. Learning is something I do for enjoyment and I feel it is my responsibility to not only teach the content, but to teach it in a way so that my students begin to share my passion for learning and carry that passion for the rest of their lives.

Here is what some of my students have to say about our Twitter experience so far…

“I like using Today’s Meet first. It’s easier than counting letters and spaces on markerboards. It also helps with the 140 characters so it really helps us not to say too much.” -Korey Kopetski

“I like using Twitter in math and science with Mrs. Dennie. With Twitter we can now ask people all over the world a question and keep learning new things of the world from experts like scientists. We ask scientists questions so we can learn what Mrs. Dennie doesn’t know about. With Twitter it was easier to learn more because it’s fun and it is cool to ask neat people things. I think Mrs. Dennie tricks us into learning!” -Alexa Orozco

“What is really cool about having this is that we can go out and ask people questions that teachers can’t answer like a professional scientist maybe even a football player that plays in San Diego. You can also ask to get something changed like when we asked Mr. Funston (our Asst. Superintendent) about getting a crossing guard. Everyone can see answers on Twitter so there’s more of a chance people will be nice and listen to us.” -Madison Rose

“When we started using this stuff we were kinda rusty, and we didn’t know anything about it so Mrs. Dennie asked Mrs. Holland (our tech helper) to come down and we all learned a lot. Now it only takes a minute of class because our teacher asks the Tweeter of the Week to copy two or three things off of Today’s Meet and paste onto Twitter. I think doing Twitter taught us how to learn on our own and in a fun way.” -Levi Johnson

Crystal Dennie and @RISuperTroopers, 5th Grade, Riverside Intermediate

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