Creating a Classroom Twitter

 Creating a Classroom  Twitter?
Based on...
Simon Sinek's work  of the golden circle.
 Sinek suggests, first understand the why -  the how and what will follow.

Teaching the Teachers: The Role of Twitter in Professional Development

Some Collaborative Research...
suggest we
"Move away from technology being a means to an end as this does not ask us to question or understand the full nature and value of education"

Catherine Cronin  is researching
" current technologies can be used in meaningful ways to support learning and teaching." 

And A Shared Question...
The question I repeatedly ask myself is: 
When using Twitter in the classroom, 
How can I respond ethically and critically?
(This question is influenced and inspired by the work of 
Keri Facer, Neil Selwyn and Catherine Cronin)

This question pulls me into considering the future. 
How do I set up a twitter account for my class?

The critical question for me is:

Why and How am I  going to use twitter?

                   Why do I needed a twitter account?

"Not organised
Not controlled
No physical boundaries
Real time dialogue
Accelerated relationship building
 sharing of information
Users are producers"

1. Knowledge is a verb

I wanted to see if it was possible to use twitter to nudge into play a knowledge creating culture. A culture where the action of improving an idea through connecting with others, creating and sharing ideas, changeing thinking and where the action of doing creating, changing and collaborating was a daily class expectation.

Ask your self would Jane Austen or William Wordsworth be comfortable with whats going on in your twitter feed?
If your answer is yes,  then possibly you are using twitter as a super flash way of writing cordial letters to another class. 
If you decide  Austin and Wordsworth would not be comfortable then there is a slight chance you are nudging into play something that is more reflective of Future Building  teaching and learning. 
What do you think?  I'd love to know how you experienced this.

2. Creating a Space for Student Voice by  By Catherine Cronin

3. Digital Citizenship

A Classroom Twitter
A Professional twitter
It's a beautiful thing!
My Professional twitter @dianagracenz is the 'Why'. 
My Classroom twitter @MathsPirates is an exploration of 'What' the 'Why' might look like. Does that make sense?

3. Twitter can be fast and frantic! 
Imagine a room with lots of people who are inspired by the things that inspire you, excited by the things that excite you, then one person asks a question. You all hear the question, you all respond at different times in multiple ways! 
"The knowledge in the room is the room" David Weinberger's book: Too Big To Know

Check out Steve Mouldey's  blog post Advice For Twitter Chats. A must have in my twitter survival pack! 

Before you start a class twitter...
1. Check in with your school leadership team.  Ensure they know why you are using social media with your class and how it is going to be used. Sometimes our colleagues may be unsure of Twitter. Edudemic write an interesting blog post. Worth reading!

2. Reading: Should Schools Implement Social Media Policies? By 21st Century Fluency Project may be of interest.

School parent community is unsure about social media?
1. Share Frank Drew's thoughtful and informed presentation on Social Media And Your Child

When should I use twitter?
1. Daily. Same time every day is a great way to step into the practice and connect with those who tweet at the same time!

2. I use twitter for maths. See @MathsPirates

How do I set up a twitter account?
1.  Depending on how you use twitter personally or professionally I'd reccomend you open a separate account to your personal/professional one.

2. Choose an identity for your class twitter. I chose pirates and the curriculum area Maths. @MathsPirates

3. Choose a password you will remember!

4. Choose a profile picture that can be easily recognised by a young student when scrolling through a twitter feed.  Choose a profile picture that can be easily spotted by other students. Many classroom twitter profiles are too hard to see, even from an interactive white board!

5. I used a different email address for my class twitter. Class Twitter school email. Again, keeping things  separate from my proffessional one. 

6.  I keep my classroom twitter account open on my classroom teacher laptop. This means we can tweet in the moment.

7. Read a great resource by Edudemic - A simple guide to twitter for teachers

8. When your established. Have a go at understanding and setting up a Twitter list. 
Read the step by step process by  21st Century Fluency Project

How do I get other classes to tweet with my class?
1.  Choose a snappy profile picky. Easily recognizable helps students and families identify you.

2. Follow lots of other classrooms who tweet. Follow a large variety of class levels. Remember  learning and ability is not based on chronological age.

3. Thank classrooms for following you.

4. Send tweets to specific classes. Invite classrooms into a conversation or  work on  a particular project together! Can you include a twitter community that would not usually tweet with a school?

5. Tweet interesting images

6. Participate in @kidschatnz Hashtag #Kidsedchatnz Wednesdays 2pm. Stunning conversations about learning!

7. Participate in classroom conversations around the world.  Fantastic participation list complied by Drew Frank

8. Read about how Social Media is being used in education By Edudemic

9. Read about 60 ways to use twitter in the classroom By 21st Century Fluency Project

10. Read Tips for using twitter at school By Candace Reim

How do I use twitter?
I use twitter during maths.  @MathsPirates
My students are referred to as 'Maths Pirates'.
I was inspired by Dave Burgess's  book Teach Like A Pirate  Hashtag #Tlap13
My explicit classroom teaching is influenced by Tony Wagner's  and Andy Hargreaves work on their research towards creating Innovators.

1. Create and Share Specific Learning. During every maths lesson my students tweet about their learning.  The students want to put their full name by what they said. They are beginning to  learn about digital citizenship so we talk about safety at the same time.

2. Knowledge Improvement. 
It  is the intention 'Maths Pirates' create, connect,  change and collaborate through Pirate Challenges using twitter.  The aim is to be explicit about the changes in our thinking and where the inspiration and influence in our ideas has come from.  Through twitter I am exploring what could a knowledge creating culture look and sound like in the classroom?

An example can be found in  Pirate Challenge No.2 Create a Marble Run

After the challenge, students reflect on three questions:
- Hardest thing about the challenge?
What would you do differently next time?
Where is the Math in the Pirate Challenge?
After sharing reflections to these questions 'Maths Pirates' repeat the challenge the following week. Maths Pirates are encouraged to be explicit about where their improvement of ideas came from and who inspired them!

Communicate to your student's families. 
They will want to connect with you and share in the learning! 
I sent this notice home... 


Your child is a Math’s Pirate!
We are using a blog and twitter to assist us with our learning.

You can find Maths Like a Pirate blog at

You can find Maths Like a Pirate twitter account at

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to throw out a hook!

Hearty Swashbuckling Regards,

Diana-Grace  Morris

No comments:

Post a Comment