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.


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