I’m writing this post in response to a prompt from my Writing 101 class. My assignment was to respond to a post from Twitter. Well, this was quite the coincidence since I’ve been incorporating Twitter into my own lessons this year. So, here I am on the other side of the desk again. This time, I’m seeing how Twitter can work as a tool to motivate me as a student.
This year has been eye-opening for me as I incorporate more and more EdTech into my teaching. But it wasn’t until I read this Tweet that I realized just how revelatory it really has been. I’ve always sought to keep my teaching up-to-date. I’ve kept up with research and trends, and I love my computer, but…
I thought I knew the limits of social media.
I’m very fortunate to teach in a very forward-looking district, and last year, our administration began a major push to incorporate even more technology, including social media, into our teaching. I started by attending a summer inservice on Google Tools for Education, and from there, I moved on to exploring how teachers around the world are using social media in their classrooms. So, I began looking into how social media was being used in education. I studied, and studied, and discovered I knew nothing! I first started by migrating my class website onto a blog for an interactive experience for my students. If you’re interested, check out Logophiles Unleashed to see how my students have embraced the experience in only the first fifteen days of the new school year.
The plethora of tech tools available for teachers is mind boggling!
Each time I explore a new tool, I discover dozens more. It could be easy to become overwhelmed, but my students’ responses to the technology convinces me that this is an investigation worth continuing. This dog is learning some new tricks. I’m so glad that I opened my mind to social media. I feel that I’m reaching my students in a new way. They are engaging with each other more about the material.
The last Tweeting assignment I made was to help them study for a test on Act II of Romeo and Juliet by making a Tweet in the voice of one of the characters about something that happened in that act. This is clearly something I could have just as easily assigned the old fashioned way with pen and paper: “Write one sentence of dialog that a character from Act II might have said after the Capulet party.” The kids would have spent a minimum amount of time and effort on this. On the Twitter assignment, my students were amazingly creative. They made up hashtags like #starcrossedlife and #ParisWho and commented on each other’s Tweets. Students from another school in the district who had nothing direct to gain even weighed in.
I’ve found this paradigm to be true throughout my life: The more I learn about anything, the more I find out I still need to know.