June 27, 2011

ISTE 2011 – #teach w/ #tweet

Posted by Dr. Laura Guertin

Although most of my posts relating to ISTE 2011 are highlights of my conference experience, this session has earned its own entry.  On Monday, I attended a session titled #teach w/ #tweet. First, I have to share my experience of just getting into the room to see the talk. 45 minutes before the session began, people started lining up outside of the session room, and everyone was told they would not be able to enter the room until 15 minutes before the session was to begin at 2:30PM. By 2:15PM, I could not believe the huge line/crowd that had gathered for the session – I have never experienced this at any conference I’ve ever attended. Every seat in the room was quickly taken, and I’m glad I waited in line for a seat.

The session was led by @brueckj23, @crafty184, and @jonbecker.  The overall goal of the session was to explore how Twitter can be used in elementary education, secondary education, and higher education.  The session began with a discussion of the power of learning networks – how they help us make connections, make contributions, make conversations, and make requests.  Several examples were then provided for the use of Twitter with students, such as:

  • Elementary school students, instead of creating a paper color chart of the weather, follow tweets of weather reports and use Google Spreadsheets to tally the data.  The locations of the weather reports can then be plotted in Google Maps.
  • Have any student (ideally, a parent doing this with their child) posting one tweet a day (text, audio, or video) for a one-year period.  Useful tools with Twitter integration include DragonDictation, Audioboo, and UStream.tv.  Check out an example with @bruecka23.  This reminds me of Project 365 in Flickr.
  • Establish a hashtag for a class.  Follow the tweets (and other hashtags) in TweetDeck.  Remember that the tweets will disappear after a period of time (I need to figure out how to create a record/archive class tweets).
  • Monitor current events in Twitter.  An example was given as to how a 6th grade Spanish class followed tweets from the USA and Chile when the Chilean miners were trapped.  Students could also follow the Presidential debates.  Twitter breaks down walls and time barriers to these events.
  • Have students go into Twitter and explore what interests them!  (Side note – I have a student doing just this now in the summer, with her eventual goal of creating some compilations in Storify relating to environmental issues she is passionate about.  But maybe I could do more of this with my classes…)

And I have not been watching The Voice, but apparently, the hashtag #thevoice has been fast and furious since the series started!

The outline/model lesson for the session can be found at: http://bit.ly/AKR2323
A Twitter Intro course can be found at: http://bit.ly/bei-tweet   The username is bei.guest and the password is innovate.

I really appreciate how these presenters are really thinking outside of the box to use the real-time nature of Twitter to provide an engaging experience for students.  Thanks for the inspiration and ideas for my classroom!