Collaboration, Social Media

Connecting Students through Twitter!

When I first heard about Twitter, I wasn’t interested in joining. I thought it was a bunch of celebrities complaining about their lives (stupid!). Then about a year and a half ago, my husband convinced me that it could also be a powerful tool for educators. I had no idea what a PLN was and I was clueless to the amazing resources just a click away.

At the beginning of last year (fall 2010), I created class twitter accounts and a facebook profile so that I could communicate homework and other assignments with my students. {Side note: I strongly believe in meeting my students where there are (i.e. Facebook & Twitter). More on social networking & education for another post!} I also experimented with my French 2 students and twitter. They read an article and then we had a class discussion about it. Afterwards, they created twitter accounts and we used the hashtag #rvhfr2 to tweet about what they thought. The local news station ended up running a story and my students were wonderful.

Since then, I’ve tried to invest more time in my PLN (@mmelayman and this blog). I’ve gained a lot from other educators around the world and this summer I decided I wanted my students to be able to learn from people around the world too (they’re learning a world language after all!). I knew that I wanted to use twitter to find other teachers to collaborate with but I was procrastinating….until I found @TiceChampagnole and twittclasses! I was so excited to find a list of teachers in France and Canada that use twitter that I stopped being lazy and immediately contacted him. He suggested I contact @freddav and his class – @IDEM_in_English.

SO…my super exciting news is that on Thursday our classes will be tweeting together! His middle school class and my high school French 1 class will be “talking” on Thursday morning between 8:40 and 9:30am EST. My students have only been taking French for 5 weeks, but I think this will be a great experience. My students will be tweeting in French (for as long as they can with the vocab they know) and his students will be replying in English. There are still some details to be worked out (hashtag, individual vs class account, what to talk about), but I’m really excited about the possibilities of this collaboration. How COOL that my students in South Carolina will be communicating in real-time with students in France? Blows my mind 🙂

Update: This morning I told my students about what we’d be doing tomorrow..their minds were also blown. Their homework tonight is to come up with questions they can ask the French students (in French and in English). They seem pretty excited! After a trial and error this morning with twitter (student access is limited in our district), I decided to use my class account. My class will be tweeting from @rvhfrancais1 (I will be moderating their questions and responses). Our hashtag will be #RVHSIDEM.


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