Tweet, Tweet…. this little bird has a secret.
Social media, particularly Twitter, can be used for educational purposes, particularly for formative assessment.
At my school, one of my colleagues challenged me to model responsible use of social media by using twitter in the classroom. Based on brain research saying that we learn best in 20 minute increments (Who would argue with that, anyway?) we decided to break up our 55 minute classes into two halves, and take a “pulse” of the learning halfway through and at again the end.
Never one to turn down a challenge, particularly when there is a possibility that it will help me teach more effectively, I began.
After the first 20 minutes, I ask my children to do a quick write (as if it were a tweet, so not long) about one of three prompts: 1) What have you learned? What are you learning? 2) What question do you have? 3) What question do you still have?
The kids love it.
I can see their brains almost stretching and sighing with relief after the first 20 minutes, as if to say, finally….some time to process!
I love it.
By asking them to read aloud their “tweet” (since the kids don’t have technology at their fingertips….yet), I can gain a quick, formative pulse of the class. Who is on track? Who is clearly clueless and needs some individual help? Who is bored and wants to move on?
This process also keeps tabs on me. Am I doing all the talking, or are my kids? Are my activities allowing that crucial time for processing information? How effective has the lesson been?
If you are interested in following our school’s conversation, please check out :
#20minwms on twitter
or you can follow me @epdobbs and see what our class is doing!
If you had asked me a year ago if twitter could be used in the classroom, I would have said, “What’s twitter? Sounds stupid.” Now…. I and my students will chirp away. Tweet Tweet.