Digital Learning Day
Originally posted on smartboard.
Today was the first of what I hope will be an annual event: Digital Learning Day. The Alliance for Excellent Education suggested that teachers try one new thing, one new technology in their classes today. It was kind of a no-brainer for me since I’ve already used wikis, google sites, and blogs; I decided to have my students take part in a Twitter chat (using #FresnoDLD).
On the first day of class, I asked my students to set up a Twitter account–they were not excited, in fact some of them complained immediately. I talked with them about how Twitter allows teachers to take part in powerful learning networks and about how we need to stay open to new experiences (especially since that’s what we expect of our students). They grudgingly complied with my request (although I knew that was more about the power dynamics of teacher-student rather than because I was so convincing).
Today, I spent time talking about the benefits of Twitter–one thing that really helped was that in response to a tweet I made last night, a professor across the country had blogged about the topic I’d chosen for the Twitter chat: transactional theory (I owe Greg Mcverry bigtime. Please go to his blog and comment!). After my pep talk, I then modeled different aspects of Twitter (trying to keep it pretty simple). I asked students to do a test tweet–there were a number of things we had to problem solve before everyone’s tweets worked.