Tag Archives: Twitter

Social Media Projects for 7th Grade ELA

I recently curated several resources for projects that use social media in the classroom. It can be found here. This project took me several hours longer than I thought it might. While there are several resources out there with ideas for how to use social media in the classroom, there are surprisingly few blogs or websites that discuss teachers’ actual experiences with it. I managed to find 10 good resources that I could modify for my classroom. 

The main applications I discovered for Language Arts involved writing. Students could use Twitter to practice summarizing, or writing concisely. They could use blogs and Instagram to write essays or stories (or photo essays) in this way they could explore themes and plot structures. Students could also use Instagram to share examples of poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Pinterest can be used to curate articles or photos related to novels we read in class. 

My favorite use of Twitter was having students participate in class discussion through Twitter in addition to speaking their thoughts aloud. The professor projected these Tweets during the discussion and was able to engage 10 times the students who would normally be able to participate. I like this idea because so many 7th graders want their ideas heard, but they are afraid to speak up in class. 

I also liked the idea of using Snapchat to send students examples of concepts outside of class. This makes the ideas more accessible and reminds students of the topic at a time when their minds may be more relaxed and receptive.

Twitter as part of my PLN

This week I began following several education hashtags (#) on Twitter. Following these hashtags will allow me to keep up with new ideas in my educational areas of interest. Here are the hashtags I’m currently following: #GTChat, #kidlit, #midleved, #Engchat, #educhat, #edchat, and #edtech. This is a picture of the Tweetdeck I set up on my laptop.


And here is a picture of how it looks on my tablet – which is what I am using while on vacation for two weeks.


 Following #GTChat has already led me to a great article on the tie between emotions and learning. This article, on MindShift, is an a excerpt from a book by Mary Helen Immordino-Yang. According to the author, we only think deeply about things we care about. We only understand deeply when we “make emotional connections between concepts” (Immordino-Yang, 2016). This is why intrinsic motivation is so important. Students must be interested and emotionally invested (interest is an emotion) to make learning effective. Of course we know that students learn better when they are engaged, but this article shows the neurological reasons why. I am fascinated and may have to buy her book, Emotions, Learning, and the Brain, (c) 2016 by Mary Helen Immordino-Yang.

A resource I have discovered through my Twitter PD is an article discussing, and listing, the research behind Maker education. The author, Benjamin Harold, argues that Maker Ed is underreasearched, but briefly shares a list of sources with summaries on some research. Since I am new to MakerEd, I plan to check these articles out when my schedule slows down a bit. I’m glad I began to follow #MakerEd on my Tweetdeck.

Following #Engchat has given me a great idea for my classroom this coming school year: paint my tables with dry erase board paint and my students can use those surfaces for group brainstorming, etc. Thanks to @MrFerguson85 for sharing this great idea. Here is a screenshot of his post :


So far, Twitter has been very useful for my professional development. I can see how following specific hashtags will allow me to discover all sorts of previously unknown resources and ideas. My previous use of social media for PD was not very purposeful. Basically it involved Pinterest and the random articles about education my friends shared on Facebook. Now I can be more purposeful about my learning. I like that Twitter allows me to follow specific topics. It seems easier to look for ideas by searching a hashtag than by googling the topic. I can also participate in the discussion and receive feedback. I am looking forward to this new way of learning!

Sources: 

Harold, B. (2016, Apr 27). The “maker” movement: Understanding what the research says. EdWeek Market Brief. Retrieved from https://marketbrief.edweek.org/marketplace-k-12/maker-movement-understanding-research-says/.

Immordino-Yang, M. H. (2016, May 31). Why emotions are integral to learning. MindShift. Retrieved from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/05/31/why-emotions-are-integral-to-learning/?utm_content=buffer85d44&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer.