Great Initiatives !
Pleased To Tweet You: Making A Case For Twitter In The Classroom
Kate Messner / School Library Journal / December 01 2009
The lights are dimmed and the LCD projector is on when my seventh graders arrive for English class on a cool September morning ... .They burst into the room, but fall silent when they see a conversation unfolding before them via TweetChat on the big screen.
“What are they talking about?” Hailey asks.
“It’s the author of this book.” I hold up Operation Yes (Scholastic, 2009), a middle grade novel about kids in a military base school and their improv-loving teacher that I’d just booktalked the day before. “And her editor, Cheryl Klein at Scholastic. They’re having a Twitter chat about how they worked on the book together and revised it to make it better.”
The kids are glued to the screen, where #yeschat continues. [snip]My students follow along as Sara Lewis Holmes, the author, describes her morning writing routine and her high school drama teacher, who was the inspiration for the character Miss Loupe. Klein describes the sense of community that made her want to acquire the manuscript for Lewis Holmes’s book. As other people join the chat and start posting questions, a light goes on for my kids.
“Hey wait!” says Kiah, one of my students. “Can we talk to them, too?”
I nod. “We’re logged in under our classroom Twitter account [@MessnerEnglish]. They’re taking questions now. What do you want to know?”
And just like that, my classroom has grown. No longer just 15 kids and a teacher. It’s all of us, plus a children’s author in Virginia, a book editor at her desk in SoHo, and another half dozen children’s writers from around the country, all talking about writing and revision. My kids want to know more about the revision letters that authors get from their editors—sort of like getting your paper back from teacher with “try again” written at the top.
PLNs For Our Students
I started thinking about a classroom Twitter account last spring when I realized how important mine had become to my professional development. For me, Twitter represents a stream of recommended resources and allows me to connect with other writers and educators. Since my Twitter account covers both my life as a teacher and my world as a children’s author, [snip].
That got me thinking. What if my students could draw on the expertise of authors and others as they’re learning the craft of writing? What if they could pose questions to a PLN? At the end of June 2009, I submitted a proposal to our district technology coordinator, requesting permission to open a classroom Twitter account. [snip]
Writing A Proposal
Two Months With Twitter
Back in my seventh-grade class, our Twitter experiment is just a couple months old as I write this article. But already, students are getting the idea that their community of learners can extend far beyond the classroom. When my student writers were working on ways to develop more authentic characters, they posed the following question on Twitter:
MessnerEnglish: Advanced Creative Writing Class wants to know: What are your favorite strategies for developing characters’ personalities?
Within a day, four published authors had responded to our tweet for help with sage advice that my students rushed to try out for themselves.
When we finished a class read-aloud of Rebecca Stead’s novel When You Reach Me (Random House, 2009) ... , they wrote Twitter book blurbs, trying to capture the essence of this book we had loved in 140 characters or less.
More Twitter Resources for Educators
•50 Terrific Twitter Tutorials for Teachers / Valuable information in these links from OnlineColleges.net.
•How Educators Use Twitter / A great interview from educator Tom Whitb
•How To Build A PLN Using Twitter / Educator Shelly Terrell of “Teacher Reboot Camp” shares a presentation on how she built a personal learning network on Twitter.
•100 Tips, Apps, and Resources for Teachers on Twitter / Another clearinghouse of Twitter resources from OnlineCollegeDegree.org.
•Why Educators Should be on Twitter / Ed-tech enthusiast Ed Webb offers a 60-second overview of why teachers should be on Twitter.
•Tweeting for Teachers / Great advice on getting started on from Technology and Education Box of Tricks.
Creation of a classroom Twitter micro-blogging account- Students will not set up individual accounts. We will have one class account, and only I will have the login information and the ability to post to it and monitor the content of replies. This would be used in classs only, as a way for students to interact with other classes, authors, and experts in our fields of study, and for them to participate in a larger online conversation. It will provide a model for effective, productive, responsible social networking – and help reinforce the reality that this type of communication goes beyond quick messages about the latest 7th grade gossip. Our Twitter activities may include:
Source and Full Text With Links Available At
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!!! Thanks To Valeria Baudo / Politecnico di Milano / Biblioteca del Dipartimento di Bioingegneria / Italy / For The HeadsUp !!!
Science and Technology Librarian
Iowa State University Library
Ames IA 50011
Follow Me On Twitter > http://twitter.com/GMcKBlogs
There Is No Answer, Only Solutions / Olde Irish Saying
The Future Is Already Here, It's Just Not Evenly Distributed
Attributed To William Gibson, SciFi Author / Coined 'Cyberspace