Overall, most of our staff and classrooms in West Des Moines Schools are relatively new to Twitter. After reading a recent article by Bill Ferriter, @plugusin, titled Twitter usage in High Schools: http://bit.ly/sY9Uru, I thought it might be helpful to share some examples with our staff that outline how Twitter is being used in classrooms. Of course, there are individuals who are using twitter for personal reasons, but for this article we’ll be focusing on the following educational uses….
The following groups were created using generic accounts tied to a school or group – and using twitter to send out short updates to their audience. Note: If you’d like your twitter account added to this list – just send it to Brian Abeling.
@ClivePTO, used by the parent group at Clive to distribute information to parents
@wdmjcreekelem Jordan Creek Elementary, sending updates to parents.
@WDMCS Provides district updates and notice, run by School Community Relations; Elaine Watkin-Miller and Lauri Pyatt.
@wdmTECH All things tech about WDM schools, run by Brian Abeling
@valleybowling VHS Bowling team communicating with parents and student, run by Coach Chris Amundson
Personal Learning Network
Of course, twitter usage can be a mixture of both personal and professional. However, many of the teachers I’ve talked with are amazed at how professional the discussions and resources are via twitter. If you’d like your name added (or removed), let me know.
@carrie_jacobs, Carrie Jacobs, WCC
@vhsphysics, Marc Pedersen, Valley High School
@sarahlynbird, Sarah Bird, Valley High School
Some users are creating a twitter account specifically for their classroom and are focusing on one or more of the following uses…
1) communication with parents to let them know what’s happening in class
2) micro-blogging for students
3) communication with students on classroom topics
Examples of communication with parents….
@MrsSeiberling, Katie Seiberling, Stilwell Tweeting about what’s happening in Room 213.
@MrsAStilwell, Becky Anderson, Stilwell, Tweeting about events in her classroom.
@MrBissinger, Peter Bissinger, Stilwell, All about 7th grade social studies on the R team.
Examples of student micro-blogging….
The following classrooms at Crestview Elementary are using Twitter for student micro-blogging, or leaving short, focused responses about what they are learning or actively involved in. I must admit, I’m very intrigued with what 4th and 5th graders come up with – and its always very positive. The entries are usually written by students and include examples of …
“Today we in class we learned how to measure angles with triangles and other shapes it was really fun! AW” (AW is the student initials, as they don’t want students to type their names, but it does help keep track of who’s had a turn to write on the class account)
“We learned a new reading strategy called VISUALIZING. We read our book with our partner & visualized what we read on our white boards.-JM ZC”
It’s great to see student summarize and re-state what they have learned – and to put it in writing to an audience that is not their teacher. One day, while visiting Crestview Elementary, a student was working at a computer, typing a response to another students blog writing. I commented “That’s neat… your responding to someone else’s work from the class” and the student corrected me… “No… the student who wrote this lives in Pennsylvania, I’ve never met them, but they contacted our class via Twitter and asked if we would review their writing.” How cool is that?
I’ve also heard from elementary classrooms that now have videoconferencing sessions thru Skype with other classrooms around the country – and this was arranged through a simple request on Twitter. Oddly enough, the other classrooms weren’t officially following each other on Twitter. The first classroom simply posted a tweet “We are looking for another classroom to Skype with for our readers theatre.” Another classroom was searching for these same keywords in Twitter – and then responded to the request.
@Stevens4a , Sarah Stevens, Crestview.
@Kelly5A , Keysto Kelly, Crestview
@LeightonsClass , Jessica Leighton, Crestview
@MrNidey , Adam Nidey, Crestview
Examples of using Twitter with your students……
Some classrooms are setting up generic Twitter accounts for their classroom and are using it for student interaction on their classroom topics.
@MrsSBird, Sarah Bird, Valley High School, using twitter for her DigiTools Class with VHS students. Sarah was recently highlighted in an on-line article about Twitter usage in High Schools: http://bit.ly/sY9Uru. Sarah has both a professional account for herself and a separate twitter account for her class. After a discussion with her class, she asked students to use their cell phones to tweet their MVP (Most Valuable Point) – in other words, what was most significant point that they learned. She asks students to use their classroom hashtag, which enables her and the class to easily see the responses to gain an understanding of what each person took from the discussion. Mrs Bird was also featured in “20 Innovative Ways High Schools are using Twitter” http://bit.ly/xTypIN
@VHSmarketing, Mindy Wilcox and Vicky Rossander, Valley High School, using twitter with their students as a part of their marketing class.