So I have posted on using Twitter a number of times on my US Government Teachers Blog, but it is more than appropriate to discuss it with eLearning. Sometimes the learning can't stay in the classroom and in those cases Twitter is a good substitute for a class discussion at home. Above is an example of when my students (and other teachers' students) have joined together to Tweet a debate (one tonight) and/or State of the Union. It was the brainchild of Frank Franz and has worked many many times as find that the kids have a dynamic discussion during the exercise and have far more Tweets than the required number.
- We pick a hashtag which our students include in every post. It can be as simple as #schoolnamegovclass. Here is what it looked like on last week's State of the Union.
- What about the kids who don't have Twitter! I generally use an editable Google Drive document, but one option I am using TodaysMeet which lets you set up a Twitter like screen that does not require a login/password.
- We require the students to make five comments during the debate and tell them that school rules apply (ie language, etc.).
- The teachers teach! This means you might say that some candidates are already running very low on funds or that the polls are great, but the goal is to win delegates. Having more than one teacher in on the debate makes for a richer discussion.
- I use TweetChat (which can be synced to your Twitter account) so I can see the comments from the other students and easily enter in my own. Assume the kids can see all of the comments and know how to follow the discussion. I also usually watch the debate/State of the Union on my laptop as well and split my screen as you can see from the video above.