For the last year or so, I’ve been trying to get a group of like minded teachers together to study different ways of using social media in the classroom. We have a few Tweeters in the building so I was going to use that as the lure to bring them into the fold. Everyone was interested but we were never able to coordinate our schedules to make regular meetings work.
As with many of my projects, this is one I just decided to go ahead and do after waiting too long for the conditions to be just right. From now until the end of the year, 3 teachers (2 kindergarten and 1 second grade) feature students as guest tweeters on their Twitter accounts. Throughout the day, these students will be responsible for posting updates for their followers (parents) on what they are doing in class. To get this set up…
- Created new Twitter accounts for the classrooms. Some of the teachers already had accounts but were worried about parents seeing some of the comments their other Twitter friends might post on their timelines.
- Marked the accounts as private. We wanted to restrict followers to only those approved by the teacher. Especially at this young age, it’s important to control the flow of information and who has access to it. All parent and staff requests will be approved.
- Sent a letter home to parents explaining the project. This not included the url for the Twitter feed and some other general directions to make it easier for parents at home but also the teachers at school.
- Set up iPads with Twitter and TwitPic. Each classroom has an iPad that is ready to Tweet and post pics. I chose TwitPic because it seemed to be the easiest to use and let me remove our images from the public feed so only those who follow our Twitter feeds will be able to see these images.
So far the response has been good. About half the parents in each class have already signed up to follow the feed and the students are excited about being in control of the information that goes out to their parents each day. I’ll report back at the end of the year with some reflections but so far I’ve been happy with what we’ve done and would like to push it out to more classrooms next year.