Sunday, April 24, 2011

Using twitter in the classroom

Our school had a session on online safety earlier this year. Many students were caught friending a stranger on facebook. The fake facebook name was "Sam ICScantfindmenow." ICS is the acronym for our school. Our two or three Sams took a lot of flack, though most of us assumed we knew which Sam it was. In reality, it was a teacher carrying out a meaningful object lesson.

Last night was our school's high school banquet. Many of our students have learned the valuable facebook privacy protection lesson, but apparently they have not learned the twitter lesson. While looking at banquet pictures, I noticed a student had her twitter ID visible. I followed it and from that one link, could track the comings and goings of at ten or so students over the last few days before I got bored and moved on.

While I became convinced that they were a close-knit group who like to stay in touch, I also realized that they may be unaware of the repercussions of broadcasting their movement to the twitterverse. One student did have her tweets protected, but many others were regularly checking-in on foursquare or tweeting their specific locations during spring break, unprotected.

This brings me to the movie below. Clearly many of my students are involved and using twitter on a regular basis. Students really are drawn to social media. How can I harness this power to engage my students outside of the classroom and teach them about digital literacy?

Stay tuned as I try to find an answer.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Toward TechX2011

Bangkok has a great community of professionals interested in educational technology. When I first came to Bangkok in 1999, I became involved with this community. I was new to the world of educational technology and looking to grab onto whatever was available. Twelve years later and I continue to work on finding new ways to integrate the ever-changing world of web tools into my teaching. I did take several years off to stay home with my young son, during which time I finished my Masters of Education with an emphasis in Information Technology.

Formal programs, are, however, often slow to respond to change. So I found in 2004-2005, disappointed as many of my colleagues were still learning about webquests and html. The world of technology changes rapidly, and as an educator attempting to effectively use technology, my methods and plans must be malleable to respond to changes quickly. This requires diligence, research, and a commitment to try new things.

April 15 marks the first day of the "unconference" for TechX2011 and the first day for this blog. With the start of this blog, I will remind myself of the need to be continue to integrate more meaningful technology use into my teaching and learning.

After all, I ask my students to do so.

On toward TechX2011. Here's to teaching and learning!

Add This