Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Twitter Experiment

The Twitter Experiment using iPod Touches.

French 10 December 08/January 09

Introduce the concept of using iPods in class.  Before handing out iPods cover the basics:
  • how to get an account 
  • appropriate behavior re account names and posts (what goes online stays online/school appropriate)
  • nature of twitter - 140 character posts

Teachers set up twitter account for each specific class participating.  Example: twitter.com/parlons for French 10 class.

Students create individual accounts and join (follow) class account.  (In guide, insert screenshots to explain).
Student user names and passwords - We recommend part of the student's first name + Class/block.  For example
meg_fr10bl6 or some such variation.

Ideas for Using iPod's in the Classroom

Tweet daily classroom news.

Use TweetDeck to display answers on the big screen.

Use applications such as twtpoll to survey class using multiple choice questions.  Survey results will display in pie chart format automatically.
Update students with last minute information like field trip cancellation.
Ask questions and have students respond to quickly see whether they get it or not.
Have students tweet ideas in a brainstorming session.  This could be an extension of a 'think, pair, share' activity.

Advanced Level Ideas
Bring in other classes/educators for students to interact with.

Student engagement was phenomenal.  Word spread quickly throughout the building and students from other blocks came by to ask the teacher if their class would also be using the iPod Touches.  We found that having the student responses show up on the big screen with the teacher using TweetDeck allowed for very quick assessment.  It was also a good way to speed up brainstorming sessions as the students quickly fed off each other's ideas.  Some students worked in pairs with one researching and the other tweeting. 

Links to more ideas

Teaching with Twitter
Using Twitter to Make History and Create the Future: Twitter in the Classroom from Twitterhandbook blog
Twitter Tips TwiTip
Twitter: A Teaching and Learning Tool

Expand your PLN
Twitter for Teachers - List of educators using Twitter
Educators on Twitter
Directory of Learning Professionals on Twitter

Use a search engine like whosTalkin to find blog posts about using Twitter in the Classroom.  I liked this tool because it allowed me to exclude search terms to improve my results.  Example:
"twitter in the classroom -phishing"


Anonymous said...

I love this idea. But did you mean iPod Touch or iPhone? Can students connect to the internet with just iPod Touch?


Lesley Edwards said...

Yes, you sure can connect to the Internet with an iPod touch. I use gmail, youtube, facebook, evernote, twitter and host of other apps on my iTouch. It's really my i (keeps me in) Touch with the world device.