Connected Learning – Twitterfied Classroom

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As a fifty something the world of social media is pretty relatively new to me and at times overwhelming and somewhat scary! As much as there are fears about the use of social media it is clearly part of our futures – people want to connect – to feel part of something outside their daily lives. Technology is making this easier but but how are we harnessing this in our classrooms? How can this develop our understanding of the world? How can it make us more internationally minded? How can it support language learners?

 

I’ve been experimenting with using Twitter in classroom for a few years. I remember when I was first introduced to this idea and duly set up a class account and began to use it in an adhoc way for students to find information By following organisations relevant to inquiry I thought it may throw up some useful links.

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After reading some of the articles by Sylvia Toscano my thinking about the added value of connectivism through Twitter has developed. There is a sense of common purpose to it if used to document learning, to give students a voice, for students to make their thinking visible.

 

Twitter is used as a real world reading and writing opportunity – a way to make connections to current uoi’s, new ideas and current events. These “snippets” can be far less daunting for beginner readers and writers. Taking a tweet (usually one accompanied by an image) we can use it for a lesson on summary writing or “skimming and scanning” using hash tags or finding synonyms to reduce the word count! The volume of information can be overwhelming; however, students seem to instinctively scroll through this until they find what interests them.

 

Children now have more say in who we should follow – decisions about this allow for meaningful digital citizenship learning in a real world and real time context.

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From Twitter we’ve expanded our view of the world – for example we connected with the Global Book Project and have created e-books about aspects of Cambodia and shared them with other schools around the world. These have led to the creation of authentic reading materials, written for and by children. We became more curious about other countries, and Twitter along with follow up e-mails meant we could ask questions specific to our uoi’s, for example, “how does your city recycle.” Lots of current information delivered in a meaningful way. We’ve even been posting and solving each other’s maths problems via Twitter!

 

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Children are not merely consumers of digital resources but also creators as they share their perspective of the world. So in embracing this connectivism our classroom feels so much more a part of something wider and with a common purpose.

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Personally, me experience with the Global Book project made me also reflect on the common purpose of SPELTAC and how this has enabled me to connect with other educators and undertake meaningful inquiry and enriched learning from each other.

 

IB PYP G2 Elementary Teacher

One Response to “Connected Learning – Twitterfied Classroom”

  1. Hi Anita, thank you for sharing these fabulous examples of how Twitter can really expand student as well as our own learning, from Maths to reading and Unit of Inquiry! If we engage in Connected learning, we DO get enriched learning from each other and Twitter is the vehicle through which we get the ‘snippets’ to make this happen.

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