Using Twitter and Facebook in the Classroom

Recently I have been making attempts to find the value in Twitter and Facebook as educational tools. As previous posts will show, I am very much a ‘convert’ to social networking and have only seen the value of using them when I developed a purpose for their use.

In Ontario schools we currently use a structure know as “Teaching and Learning Critical Pathways” to address immediate needs in the class, based on current assessments. My role as an instructional coach has required me to support the development of strategic plans to address these needs and to teach model lessons to demonstrate high-yield strategies.

A class I am working with is having trouble identifying the ‘main idea’ in a story or passage. The issue is that they include many, many ideas and essentially are retelling the passage blow-by-blow, rather than inferring a meaning to what they have read and identifying an overall theme. So the question became, “How can I make them write less?”. I am sure by now you can see where this is going!

The class all signed up for a Twitter account. The task was simple – 140 characters to identify the main idea or message in a story. Sure enough, the work was outstanding. Perhaps more tellingly, the feedback from the class was not that the 140 character limit was the key piece of help, but that doing something which involved technology was a motivating factor.

Here are some links to places offering more ways to take advantage of Twitter and Facebook in the classroom.

http://cooper-taylor.com/blog/2008/08/50-ideas-on-using-twitter-for-education/

http://www.emergingedtech.com/2010/02/100-ways-to-teach-with-twitter/

http://www.onlinecollege.org/2009/10/20/100-ways-you-should-be-using-facebook-in-your-classroom/

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Posted on June 4, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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