I have been following @anderscj for some time now and enjoyed the content he puts into twitter. Today, however, he has thrown some provocative quotes at his learning community:
I am really interested in the first quote, by Mark Twain. I often think that we learn despite the way we’re taught. How many of the world’s most successful people were successful at school? How many of the world’s most talented people had their talents discovered, enriched and advanced at school? How many of the people who have achieved success in the “real” areas of life such real-estate, business, cooking, social work and creativity were successful at school?
In this technological day and age, also, we have to be curious about the lives lids are living online and how much more creative, non-threatening and collaborative they are than their school lives. Scary stuff, but also exciting for people who are willing to rethink and continue to learn themselves:
I also really like the penultimate quote about education threatening long-held mores and beliefs. I totally agree with this, but often find myself surrounded by teachers who would not agree with it. Why is that? What is it about schools that makes them breed people who deny the need for constant change? How do they become these bubbles that exist in separation from the real world? How do we burst the bubble?
I have really been trying to get Twitter working for me as a teaching tool. So far, it has been very effective as a way to communicate with other teachers and interesting people around the world in order to share ideas, thoughts, resources and so on… So, it must be just as effective as a teaching tool, right?
Well, over the last week or so it has started to prove itself. I began by putting the same provocations out to the Twitter community that I was putting to my students. I had some useful responses from @todbaker, @shamblesguru, @klbeasley and @surreallyno and I shared their responses with the students. This interaction undoubtedly gave my students new perspectives on the issues they had been thinking about.
Then, I put out an update that just listed the things that my students are currently inquiring into. This included the work of Paul Watson, ex-Greenpeace and founding member of Sea Shepherd. Somehow, an employee of Sea Shepherd picked up on the update and started following my class @nist6ss. As a result, my student is now in direct contact with Omar from @SeaShepherd_Aus and is able to get information about the organization straight from the source. How exciting and powerful is that?
Last night, I put out an update about another of my students. He is trying to find out how Anne Frank’s diary created a shift in thinking. He is interested in hearing from people who have read the book and finding out how it affected their thinking. This morning, we had a reply from a former teacher at this school, @RLN6343, who is keen to put my student in touch with two of her students in Switzerland who recently read the book. It will be very intersting to see what effect our students have on each other’s learning.
Would these situations have been possible without Twitter?
Has anyone else seen similar success stories of Twitter in the classroom?