Our warm-up activity in Middle School Language Arts is usually a video or discussion about some aspect of the world that we don’t get a lot of in our little Alaskan town. Often it is CNN Student News (we’re priming the pump for U.S. History next year) and last week it was videos for our writing assignment. This week has been more random, though.
Wednesday was my turn to deliver the opener, and I searched YouTube for video clips about technology in the classroom. You would think there would be a lot, right? Not ones I wanted to use. Strange, but then while scanning my Twitter feed I thought, why not this? I know Twitter can be useful for learning, why not see what happens if I ask for retweets?
What happened was over 15 retweets (mostly by educators) and plenty of ‘favorited’ posts as well as messages and mentions from all over the world. It was far more successful than I expected! The students were a little disappointed that LeBron James (@KingJames) didn’t reply, but honestly, he’s too famous. I sent mentions to those ultra-famous people to make the point that you can…but you are going to get more from your peers than your idols.
I doubt the district is going to lift the student-blocks on Twitter anytime soon, but my students have an awareness now, and we want that kind of thinking, that iPods and iPhones and whatever else they like to use can be good tools to use in class, too, when used appropriately.