Throughout the year I have made an effort to integrate technology and Social Media into the education and learning of my students. As a class we worked with Twiducate and Edmodo. Although these have allowed students to get their feet wet and learn some of the uses of Social Media in learning, it remained limited in really revealing to my students how fun, exciting, interactive and informative it could be. . . until yesterday.
For those that have been following my students and I are learning about the Inuit and the Arctic in our Social Studies class. We were going over some of the historical information about the Inuit and the Arctic, when one of my students made a simple statement.
“It would be great if we could talk to someone who lived there.”
Instantly, a light bulb went off in my head, because of Twitter. One of the members of my PLN, Brian (@Nunavut_Teacher) lives in and teaches in Iqaluit. That evening I touched base with Brian and asked him if he would answer some of my students’ questions.
This morning as the students arrived I had them think of 2 or 3 questions they would like to ask. I also informed my teaching partner Melissa – @missmissa008 and asked them to join. To view most of the conversation please check out #BBNU using twitter. Here are some of the highlights of our conversation.
This was just the beginning of our conversation and questions. Our full session lasted roughly 35 minutes. During this time the kids asked about everything, even what Brian’s favorite food was and whether or not he played video games. (Thanks again Brian)
This was a great experience and learning opportunity, both for my students, and Melissa’s students. It allowed students to understand that information and learning does not only come from text; that learning can happen across vast distances. Using Twitter showed students the benefits of social media and how it can be used in class. Most of all, it was an engaging activity that had all the students reading and asking questions.
If there is any doubt in the mind of an educator about the positive uses and applications of Social Media in the classroom, I hope that this has provided clarity and evidence that this is a tool that can be used to engage learning while removing the walls of our classroom, and allowing the world to enter.
Also, for those who are hesitant to change and add technology to their classroom I ask why would you deny your students this type of learning and experience?