Tweeting in the classroom

I have been using twitter since the Iranian elections in 2009 when I recognised its power in being able to send messages from specific locations that would help organisers and protestors converge and make their voices heard.
I have found it a great medium for links, photographs and comments on subjects that I am interested in. This year, twitter has been even more important as a way for Egyptian protestors to communicate and #tahrir is my most popular search.

I started reading a little about using twitter in the classroom and then had some informal conversations with a colleague in the middle school. Sharing articles, we discussed the best way to use it in our own teaching. I checked with the HS principal about any issues of internet safety and she was very supportive of my ideas.

The first project was to tweet about a film that we were going to watch in IB 2 SL Geography. It took students just a short time to open twitter accounts (about 25% of the students already had accounts) and I showed them briefly the different ways to use it. Using the handle @CACIBGeo to start all tweets, and the #oil, students were asked to tweet at least ten times during the film.

I provided these guidelines:

A tweet can:

-summarise a chapter with a main idea

-provide details to support a fact

-ask a thoughtful, open ended question

-provide a criticism or analysis

-give a quote with a comment

-link to a relevant article with a comment

I favourited the best tweets and then put them into storify so that I could then embed them in our CAC IB Geo wiki and the students would have a record of the film. See this page.

My final tweet to the students was to ask them how they felt about using twitter. I also storified these comments and embedded them below.