|A student composing a tweet.|
My class and I have used twitter as an incredible connecting, sharing, and learning tool. We've used it for many different purposes and the reality is there is always another way we could be using it. The great thing about Twitter is that it's one of the easiest ways to bring the world into your classroom. It's available for access from almost every where in the world. Tweets can be left at any time zone but you can check them when it is convenient for you. It doesn't hurt that it's engaging, and often the feedback is instant for my students. Nothing like sending an author a tweet and five minutes later she's writing you back. But I'll get more into that a bit later.
To begin with I've created a class twitter account at @MsLsClass. As class this is where we tweet from. Since my students are only six and seven they are far too young to have their own account so any tweet they ever write has to go through me before it goes live to the world. Sometimes I have to admit it's a bit of a pain, particularly when we are back channelling at the same time, but my students understand why and I know it's my responsibility. Thankfully, most of the time a quick glance by me, it is after all 140 characters or less, I can quickly say , "tweet away".
But what do we tweet? The simplest thing to tweet is what is happening in our classroom at any given moment. What are we learning? What can we share with the world? Often we'll be in the middle of some cool discoveries and some one will say, "Ms. L, can we share this with the world?" A tweet is then quickly written, or an image is taken, and it's shared with the world. It's a great way for the parents to know what's going on in the classroom at the exact time a tweet is being sent.
Other times we use twitter for specific purposes. In fact we actually create our own hashtags so that all our learning can go to the same place and others can join in on our fun too. This past year we used it for math a couple of times. The first time we tweeted to #2d3dshapes where we gave clues about two and three dimensional objects hoping others would try to answer our clues. So for example some one in the class tweeted, "I look like a can, I have two circle faces, what am I?" Other children answered our tweets and provided us with clues to figure out too, which we did.
|My class tweeting Ame Dyckman|
|Ame Dyckman tweeting my students back.|
|My students tweeting in the voice of characters from Little Red Riding Hood.|
|A blog conversation moves into the realm of twitter.|
Now I've mentioned that my class twitter account is @MsLsClass and I think some of you may have gone out to follow them. Here's the thing though, we may not follow you back. My students read what is in our class twitter feed and so I need to be very careful with what I let them read. Right now we follow a handful of primary classes and some pretty cool people like Chris Hadfield. But we don't follow many others. If we connect with you as a class in another space - maybe we joined the Primary Blogging Community with you, or we did a collaborative project with you, then it's more likely we will follow you. But if you start using your class account to retweet non kid related posts the chances are we will unfollow you. Nothing personal but I do need to keep my students safe.