Friday, May 1, 2015

What If School Was More Like Twitter?


Dear Colleagues:

What if school was more like Twitter?

I discovered this question in a LinkedIn discussion group for Twitter-Using Educators. It motivated me to envision what a learning venue like that might look like. Well, here are my thoughts for two purposes as part of teachers' daily on-the-job tasks:

For Communication and Information Sharing. Teachers would use social media tools such as Twitter or Syzygy in LearningFront to communicate throughout the day with their followers or colleagues. For example, to find a place to park at a staff development session, share a vision for quality learning, identify what they're reading, share a web link, describe a cool activity in their classrooms, or ask for help on meeting student needs. Teachers would just have fun and learn from their colleagues as a part of their daily workplace! They might post something as simple as "off to eat lunch with my instructional team" or as complex as "what is data-driven teaching?" Simply put, Twitter or Syzygy are social media tools for teachers to communicate with each other when something is relevant and timely to share or inquire about.

For Teaching and Student Learning. Teachers would access and use online templates to construct lesson plans that integrate social media tools such as Twitter. For example, they might adapt the following templates or design their own lessons:



Payoff. The values of this approach are the pre-planning, delivery, and results from using Twitter to achieve a specific content standard. Once the Twitter session is started, teachers would adjust their Tweets to meet the differentiated needs and ideas of the students as the Twitter-generated lesson is taught through online or blended online and classroom settings.  Moreover, the examples demonstrate how a scoring tool would be used to assess both student performance of the content standard and the efficacy of using the Twitter timeline instructional strategy. Now, that's transforming what a lesson plan looks like!

"School as Twitter" is an exciting and evolving concept -- and highly inviting for us to improve upon as we collaborate to engage our students.

All of this thinking stimulated me to raise a new question: What would a standards-based curriculum comprised of "School as Twitter" lessons look like?

Nick Hobar