- RT @DaretoChem: "It's not my job to entertain your child; it's my job to educate your child" @geraldaungst #edcampphilly 6 hours ago
- I think @mr_ising uses it. I am hoping to next yr. MT @rvhstrack: Anyone using @ck12 in their biology classes? Looking for some feedback. 7 hours ago
- Join the cell Twofootgiraffe on Celly! via @cellyme cel.ly/app/Taylorsci 15 hours ago
- RT @monoclemonkey: @2footgiraffe @imjustamexican @JillPittman2 if I'd come visit next year. I can't not. 20 hours ago
- MT @Laelaps: Looks lk thr's more dinosaur bone going in2 the wall. 1st reaction: Yay! 2nd reaction: Look at all that overburden. #paleolife 1 day ago
One of my dreams came true today.
As you may or may not know, I run a monthly Twitter chat between high school students and scientists. More info at https://sites.google.com/site/scistuchat/
Well, Today Nature.com (premiere science publication) published a case study on our monthly discussion. #YAHOOOOOOO
Check it out! http://www.nature.com/spoton/2013/04/social-media-for-science-outreach-a-case-study-scistuchat/
Life is good!
The Board Meeting was fun!
To bring you up to speed; Twitter is blocked in our district and until recently there was a workaround. My teaching and student-to-scientist interactions are greatly enhanced of not dependant on Twitter.
Even though the workaround did not make Twitter fully functional we have been able to experience some wonderful things. For instance, class to class discussions, chats with scientists, and inclass backchanneling.
When we came back from spring break we found the workaround, Tweetdeck.com on Chrome, to be blocked.
Back in February I invited school board members, state political leaders, state education leaders, as well as district leaders to see how we use Twitter in class. (Details of the visit in a previous post http://wp.me/p17e1J-3v) We gained several sympathetic ears during the visit. One individual is on the school board. After contacting the board member, he invited me to present my case for Twitter-in-education at a board meeting.
I prepared a three minute speech and found a student to do the same. We shared our message and sat down. Public comment sections of school board meetings are just that, comments. No no time for question and answers.
A few minutes after our speeches the second in command of IT came over to talk to me. He said he wasn’t aware that changes had been made to block the workaround. He also said they would begin working to fix the problem. Before the meeting was over he emailed me to say he had found the problem. A vender for the district had made some changes that have affected Tweetdeck.com and other Twitter login sites.
The stress of keeping my comments under 3 minutes kept me from distributing the materials I had brought for the board. The materials included a letter from one of the state Reps that had visited my class in February and a storify of the 300 tweets I received from educators, students, and professionals about the benefits of Twitter.
What happens next? I will continue to visit the school board and talk with district officials to get all of Twitter unblocked. – There are too many benefits to let Twitter to be blocked another day.
This experience taught something important. Many of the district leaders value the efforts educators are making to be “innovative” in the classroom. Why else would they reinstate a workaround to a blocked site.
We still have along way to go in our school system but we have come along way and have a better support system than many realize.
P. S. Video from the meeting and the letter from the state rep will be added later.
Help us unblock Twitter
First off, if you want to help, tweet to #mnpsBofEd your thoughts about how twitter helps you as a teacher, student, or business person. Also share ideas for now you think it helps in education
PLEASE PLEASE send those tweets! many of you are reading and tweeting the post, but we also NEED your voice through twitter. I am hoping to get 1000 by Monday evening. The meeting is on Tuesday.
If you are receiving this Tweet and link then you have the potential to help me convince the Board of Education in Nashville of the value of Twitter in education with students, teacher PD, science communication, professional life, etc.
I am meeting with the school board for my district on Tuesday April 9th. I would like to give them a nice long list of Tweets explaining the value of twitter as seen through your eyes. I realize some of the Tweets may sound redundant but repetition has great value.
The goal is to convince the board of the value and necessity of twitter in the lives of professionals as well as the benefits it can provide to students in public schools. IE – learning digital responsibility, communication with professionals….
So please share your thoughts on the benefits of twitter – use hastags
Educators – #mnpsBofEd #mnpsEDUS
Scientists/science writers – #mnpsBofEd #mnpsSCI
Professionals – #mnpsBofEd #mnpsPRO
Students – #mnpsBofEd #mnpsStu
PLEASE post your thoughts on the benefits of twitter in education or the professional world to the hashtags above.
Thank you for your help! And please share with anyone you think is willing to help!!
I was home with my two sick children but I was still in class with my students.
Previously, I have used Ustream and Livestream to host evening online review sessions with students. For a long time I have wanted to find a way to use this technology to continue meaningful class instruction when there is a substitute. Today was the first day I tried to make that dream a reality.
My sub logged in to Google Hangouts (another streaming and live chat option) and sent me an invitation so the students and I were able to see each other. Then, students did part of assignments on the class computers or personal cell phones. Students reported their progress and asked questions via Twitter using the hashtag #taybio. Larger class questions were addressed through Google hangouts. It was beautiful! Short demo below.
Long version with details.
I used a combination of Quizlet, youtube, Twitter, Google hangouts, paper, pen or pencil, and textbook.
Beforehand, I set up vocab words in Quizlet. Quizlet allows you to make flash cards. Once the flashcards are made, there are interactive games built into the set. The games are fun and a great learning tool for students. Students were required to reach a predetermined level of mastery on each game before moving to the next step. As they reached those point levels they would report to me on Twitter and then move to the next activity.
After the Quizlet flashcards (my set for class) students were asked to watch a youtube video about meiosis and answer questions on paper.
Then students turned to their attention to the textbook. Yes, I still feel the textbook is a good resource. Plus, when the power goes out it makes a great backup. In the textbook students practice there photocopying skill and artistry by drawing the steps of meiosis.
Student behavior and engagement was pretty good considering they only saw my face on the screen.
I am thrilled with the our first run at this type of instruction. There are many ways to improve and here are some thoughts for the future….
Thoughts for the future.
- High order activities instead of basic memorization.
- Find more ways for students to have engaging, meaningful, learning activities when there is a substitute.
- YouTube questions done on Google forms instead of paper.
- Your suggestions?…..
Wow, I don’t think my zoology class could have gone any better today. Last class period I prepared a shared google presentation and gave students the link to edit the slides. Each student was assigned a different slide to add information about fish and their different characteristics. The requirements were simple, give a basic definition/description of the topic/organism, include pics and a video. – Presentation – bit.ly/tayfish
When class started today, students were ready to live tweet the presentation, using #tayverts, as the final product was shared and lectured to the class. Sadly, I did most of the sharing, but a few students got up and taught us about their slide. -Next time it will be mostly students talking- When we got to the sharks part of the presentation I happened to be walking around the room and saw a tweet from @WhySharksMatter in one of the tweetdeck columns on my students computer. She then invited @WhySharksMatter to join the conversation on #taybio. He did! He asked the students if they had any shark questions. A couple of the students responded with their questions and received answers as well. – by the way @WhySharksMatter has helped us 2 or 3 times with #scistuchat a monthly twitter chat between scientists and high school students. More info at https://sites.google.com/site/scistuchat/
It was awesome! This would not have been possible without the benefits and connection power of twitter.
MY STUDENTS WERE TALKING TO A SHARK SCIENTISTS IN CLASS WHILE WE LEARNED ABOUT SHARKS. And we didn’t have to make any arrangements beforehand. Now it doesn’t always work out this well, but is sure was great!!
On top of it all the students said they wanted to do this type of presentation assignment again! Yahoo!
So if you have been following my posts you will know that Feb. 21st and 22nd were two days I had set aside to demonstrate Twitter in the classroom to local education leaders, political leaders, and a few businesses. The purpose of the invites was to show the benefits of Social Media in the classroom. The layout and format of Twitter make it the quickest method for communication with anyone who has an account. Finding connected professionals and classrooms is a lot easier than you might think. Google searches for “scientists on Twitter” is how we got started.
During the scheduled visits the students and I had live online twitter chats with scientists called #scistuchat. Typically #scistuchat is a monthly discussion, more info at sg.sg/scistuchat1. In addition to the discussions with scientists we also talked with Mr Paul Battaglia’s (@PaulBattaglia) class in New Jersey. The chats went smooth and the students enjoy the activity. The scientist also enjoy the interaction. In fact several scientists saw the discussion second hand and joined the conversation. Here is an archive of the 5 different discussions. https://sites.google.com/site/scistuchat/home/zbig-wig-demo-archive
Toward the end of these chats I had students share two things they had learned. Most of their answers seem pretty genuine and I was thrilled by this. The scientist also took it upon themselves to share things that they have learned. One scientist said that he realized how cool is high school students were. Of course all the students were very excited by his comment.
The visitors to my room were excited about the level of engagement from the students. They also liked seeing the interaction between students in a classroom and the professionals out in the real world.
State Senator Jim Tracy @jimtracy and State Representative Antonio Parkinson @TNRepParkinson were invited to my class through Twitter. I reached out to a couple dozen state leaders on Twitter and Mr. Tracy and Mr. Parkinson were kind enough to respond. I was thrilled they came and was especially excited at the level of their interest in what we were doing.
Mr. Tracy explained to the students how he uses twitter to help inform constituents. He also live tweets the State of the State speech every year and loves to share pictures through twitter when he is out in the community.
Mr. Parkinson encourage students to not shy away from the opportunities available in class through twitter. He said “don’t be too cool for it.” This was a great comment. Many of my students are afraid to tweet for class even though they have twitter accounts. They do not want their friends to know they are doing something for class.
In addition to the state political leaders we also had professionals from the Tennessee Department of Education, Joy Smith, Renee Koch, Dustin Heath, and the Nashville Technology Council’s Jessica Hill in attendance. We also had the lovely Sarah Baker, science coordinator for Metro Nashville Public Schools.
Hopefully this is the first step to opening Social Media to education in the Nashville area
Six months ago we had a great #edchat discussion about making a difference in education. We were specifically addressing the need to influence the education world outside of our classrooms. I suggested the idea, as did others, of inviting politicians and district leaders to our classroom to demonstrate the efforts we are making to change education.
I strongly believe if we want to make a difference in education we must start with ourselves and the students in our classroom. So here I am, a couple days away from having 2 state senator, district leaders, members of the Nashville Technology Council, school board members, and Tennessee Department of Education leaders visiting my room to see how we use Twitter in education. I’m even expecting some ISTE board members to stop by.
Currently, I have five live twitter chats setup with scientists and other classrooms across the country and one www.todaysmeet.com chat.
Chat topics include:
- characteristics of life,
- how are political and governmental decisions affected by science knowledge,
- meteors and asteroids and how they affect the planet,
- high school life and how students can affect/influence a school,
- should we spend money on space science/exploration.
The goal is to demonstrate the power of social media in education. If local education leaders are able to witness how Twitter can be a benefit in the classroom, they might be more willing to open up social media to the rest of the state or district.
I am aware that students need training for internet behavior and social media use. It is up to teachers to make it happen. Students need to learn digital responsibility and the importance of building a positive digital footprint. Fortunately there are many tools on the internet available to help accomplish this goal. Simply finding YouTube videos that demonstrate good and bad digital citizenship is the first step to teaching digital responsibility. There are web sites out there that train students in the skills needed to earn a “digital passport” for a “digital drivers license.”
I must to give kudos to my principal, Dr. Pelham, who’s been supported the use Twitter to engage students from the beginning.
Hopefully next week at this time, I will be writing to tell everyone that the demo was a great success.
Here is a my plan and topics for the adventure. https://sites.google.com/site/scistuchat/