W4: Twitter and Technology

There’s tons of information out there on technology’s role in education, and it can be hard to pick out the right information.  Twitter allows use to follow a countless number of people who post interesting ideas and articles everyday that can aid me as a future teacher.  Here are 3 tweets I found today which caught my interest:

This first tweet by Steven W. Anderson contained an article that I found very interesting because it discusses how to run a Media-Literacy class that all students can succeed in.  The teacher talks about how she has to be up to date on all current medias, including outlets and material technologies.  To do this, the teacher says she spends a lot of time following famous speakers through organizations such as TED Talks or The Representation Project.  Some of the topics that she teaches in class include reality television, fear and horror, race, gender, LGBTQ issues, and commercialism in media.  To have her students dive more deeply into these topics on their own, the teacher uses project formats such as family interviews, essays, BLOG POSTS, radio ad creation, viral video creation, magazine articles, and presentations.  Using all of these different learning platforms follows the idea of differentiated instruction, which lets all students succeed.

In this tweet by Steven Anderson, a link to an article is posted about differentiating instruction through technology.  The article posted lists how different online resources teachers can use to engage their students.  For example, the author talks about Kaizena, a website that provides a space for students to get feedback for revising their work.  The teacher talks about survey monkey, an online survey creator that can be used to assess your work through your students feedback and it can also be used to get the input of your students.  The tweet also has helpful suggestions like downloading the youtube videos you plan to use in class so if the internet crashes, you can still give your lesson for the day.  This article also has helpful strategies like creating youtube playlists of videos from different perspectives on topics so students get a broad understanding on different topics.

In this last tweet, there was a link to an article about 3 ways a teacher can connect with their students.  The first way was to just use the first 3-5 minutes of every class or every couple of classes to talk with the students about more personal topics rather than what the students are currently learning.  I think this is an absolutely amazing idea.  Allowing the students to talk gives them a feel of empowerment and it shows that you, as a teacher, cares about the students outside of school.  The teacher can also pickup on important information.  For example, if one student often says that he/she has to babysit her siblings every night, it could mean that his/her parent(s) work late.  Simply talking and listening to your students makes them more comfortable around you, increasing their ability to focus and learn.

Another way to know your students which I never thought of before was to attend some of your student’s extracurriculars.  For example, if a lot of your students are on the basketball team or in the school play, you could attend one of these events.  Being around at these events shows your students that you care about them not just as a teacher, but as a person.  Lastly, this article talks about being available for your students.  Putting in a little extra time to have your classroom before or after school gives your students the chance to study a bit more with some help, or get to know you as a teacher better.

I’ve never had a twitter before and seeing hundreds of tweets in a couple minutes, just scrolling through and finding topics I’m interested in was something I never knew about before.  I’ll use twitter in the future when I’m a teacher (or whatever social media site is most popular at the time) to learn different strategies and ideas for reaching and teaching my students.

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