Saturday, January 24, 2009

Twitter with 4th Graders

This week, I took on a large task. I have opened up my personal time to my students and Twitter. With long discussion and rule creating, I opened up their world to using Twitter. We are using Twitter as an educational supplement for students to ask questions, receive help and study new skills while they are home. We are still in the infant stages of Twitter use. I have 5 students involved at the moment. We only follow each other... kind of a closed circuit Twitter use.
I am finding these students love the fact that they have the ability to ask questions the night before the quiz. They love the interaction with me as their teacher while they sit at home at their computer. They are taking a social networking site and using it for educational purposes.
This is foreign to many 4th graders. I have spent the first half of this school year laying the groundwork for digital responsibility. This is not an easy task. Sadly, some 9 and 10 year olds think of social networking sites as a place for gossip and rumor creating. I have spent much of this time showing the learning aspect of these sites.
As of now, our Twitter community gets it. We have had great conversations about topics discussed in class. I helped a nervous student find links to help him study the night before his math quiz. The next day, he thanked me over and over again. In the infant stages, this is working better than I would have ever imagined.