Tweet Tweet: Educational Technology and Digital Learners

I had never really joined the Twitter movement until this past week. I was never really interested in sharing my constant thoughts with the world. However, after joining, I now realize that Twitter can also be a resourceful tool. I began to follow other teachers and educational technology accounts. As the week went on, I explored tweets others made and found some interesting tweets about educational technology and digital learners. Here are three of those interesting tweets:

  1. 8 Ways to Integrate Instagram into the Classroom

This article takes a look at a different social media platform that may seem strange to use in the classroom. For social purposes, Instagram is used to connect to others through pictures. Research has shown that Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform at this time. This may be because pictures can pass along a message immediately to other followers. It is also being increasingly used to promote brands and businesses. So why wouldn’t it be used in the classroom as a learning tool? Once laying down rules about appropriateness and consequences, teachers should be on their way towards incorporating this platform into their lesson plans. Below are some ideas to get started using Instagram as a learning tool:

  • Pop Quizes: Split students into teams. Each team has to comment on a number of pictures. Ways to assess the students could be to have them answer a question about the picture and how it relates to the class content or identify a close up of a picture and why that picture was chosen. To prevent cheating, all comments can be held until the end of the class and then approved so students can see each other’s work.
  • Where in the World?: Ask students to post pictures to their Instagram accounts of places they go to that are related to the course content. Create a hashtag for students to use to make finding the pictures quick and easy.
  • Student of the Week: Choose a different student to be in charge of the class Instagram account each week. Let them post pictures about their daily lives to increase classroom community.
  • What Would Honest Abe Do?: Have students create posts pretending to be a historical figure. What would they post if they had Instagram back in the day?
  • I Spy: Have students post a picture of an object they see everyday coming to school. After all pictures are posted, students choose someone else’s post to write about for an assignment.
  • Showcase Showdown: Post pictures of students work throughout the year to encourage improvement and display progress.
  • Schoolwide School Pride: Host a photo contest for students to post pictures showing their school pride. Incorporate other classrooms into the contest to build a bigger community across classrooms.
  • Join an Instagram Community: Use “Discover” to find trending and popular hashtags. Find a way to relate the hashtags to class content and discuss how other Instagram users are using the hashtags.

Incorporating Instagram into the classroom can help to foster student engagement which will in turn encourage academic improvement. Using Instagram in the classroom is not limited to these eight steps. By using a social media platform students are familiar and interested in, there are unlimited possibilities to use this tool.

2. Makin TSYL

Transform Your School Library (TYSL) is a movement I have just recently come across. The movement is designed to be a full service education movement to transform education and  encourages schools to transform their library into a digital learning space for students. Turning books and other physical resources into digital resources helps to engage students to learn material. The goals of this movement are to build a community of thinkers and make a difference in students’ learning by “making libraries relevant in the 21st century.” Information in this media center is able to be complied all into one place to help both students and teachers to gain new resources, ideas, and the ability to collaborate with others. This new library design is beneficial for teachers to consider because it can help to personalize and blend learning in their schools. Digital is changing our lives, so why not use it to change learning? Check out the link in the tweet to learn more about the TYSL movement.

3. Blogging About the Web 2.0 Connected Classroom

This tweet talks about ways to make classrooms truly global. Being able to connect with other colleagues and learners on a regular basis fosters thinking, learning, growing, and reflecting. Making a classroom global is beneficial for teachers in that there are endless opportunities for students to learn. Ways to make a classroom global are through social media platforms and blogging sights. By being able to look at what other people are saying about a content topic, it can then be further broken down and discussed in a classroom. This process of making a classroom global can be expensive. A way to cut down on costs is decide exactly how the classroom is going to be global. For example, if video chatting with others is the main priority for the class, a good webcam and mic would be beneficial to purchase. Instead of trying to invest in every new innovation, decide what the main priority is and purchase tech that applies to it. To further investigate how to make a classroom global, visit the links below that were provided by this tweet.

Teacher’s Guide To International Collaboration On The Internet

QuadBlogging

Skype Classroom

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