Yesterday was the first time this year that, as a class, I was able to participate in our New Zealand based classroom Twitter Chat (#KidsChatNZ), which happens every second Wednesday from 2-2:30pm. Like a normal teacher, with too much to do and too little time to do it in, I had planned for it, but forgotten about it and 5 minutes to 2pm was a scramble to pack up, send kids to Kapa Haka and get the rest settled in front of the IWB.
We made it there only a few minutes late and that is when I realised that half the class was gone and 90% of those who sat in front of me had never heard of Twitter. So we began from scratch, followed from Tweet Deck on the Interactive Whiteboard. As we would read a tweet I would dictate a childs reply and explain word for word all of their questions.
The class looked not too enthused and then a child asked “Can I just tweet myself from Einstein?” (Einstein is our desktop computer) and another piped in “Yeah, and can I use the iPad” and a third added “I can use your laptop and the Intergalactic Whiteboard”. Just like magic they paired up and off they went. Me trying to model the process of tweeting went out the window and they took control of the ship. I just pulled out my iPhone and joined in under my handle, as a way to prompt, and roamed the class checking in with them all.
First 5 minutes = Lifetime = Too controlling
Next 25 minutes = gone in a flash = learning, collaborating, discussion, connecting & FUN.
I guess it is a bit like that old Confucius saying about Tell, Show and Involve.
At the end I was amazed, took a brief brainstorm and was blown away by the words that the kids used to describe the experience, which I have recorded in the Word Cloud below.
If you are thinking of a class twitter account just go for it and ride the chaos. Your kids will love it, will enjoy being connected with the world and, in my opinion, we need to model online behaviour to our students and Twitter is a quickly growing online medium. So if you join in a twitter chat like I did with #KidsEdChatNZ or just tweet with another class like I did this morning you will see your children truly becoming global and digital citizens.