Twitter in the Elementary Classroom
I always am looking for new ways to incorporate digital literacy and citizenship skills into my Latin classroom. Being a middle school program, students are familiar with social media, and the many social media platforms provide natural ways to weave digital skills into the curriculum. As our students continue to develop their language skills, vocabulary, grammar, and cultural understanding, Twitter is a fun platform that we have used in a variety of ways.
|Tweets from Jupiter Optimus!|
- Our 8th grade students engaged in a very challenging research project on leaders of the Roman Republic. After they completed their research and presentations, we took to Twitter! Each student got to “be” their person. If Hannibal where alive today, what would his Twitter feed look like? Who would he follow? Who would follow him? What would be his user name? His favorite hashtag? You can read more about this project on my post: Ancient Roman Twitter.
- Twitter is also an invaluable part of my own professional learning network (PLN). I follow other teachers and members of the classics community for windows into other classrooms and information about activity in the classics world. I love Twitter chats, when teachers with similar interests sign in at the same time to engage in Twitter conversations in real time. They are sorted by hashtags – I’ve found #langchat on Wednesday nights for language teacher to be very helpful in developing my teaching skills and curricula.
- Early on, I began sharing my Twitter feed with my students during the last few minutes of each class. My feed is public, so anybody can find me @MagistraReardon, even without their own account. Students were brought into my PLN and observing my positive uses of Twitter without having to open an account or engage in the social media platform itself. I posted articles about new archaeological finds or ancient mysteries to garner their interest, and I tried to model digital literacy and citizenship skills in my posts. As a class, we engaged in conversations about digital skills when we visited my feed.
- Having a public feed was also great for parent-teacher communications. Parents could find my feed and see what we were talking about in class, what I was thinking about for my teaching skills, and how I was developing and gathering new ideas for my curricula. Instead of just asking “what did you do in school today?”, parents could ask “what did you think about the Antikythera Machine video in Ms. Reardon’s Twitter feed?”
|“What did you think about the Antikythera Machine video
in Ms. Reardon’s Twitter feed?”
Periscope is a live streaming app that was acquired by Twitter in 2015. Our class loved following @dariusaryadigs, an archaeologist in Rome, on Periscope (we turned the chat feature off). Mr. Arya walks archaeological sites giving tours and sharing information. It was a great way for our students to see Italy and learn about the history and science associated with the people and places they are studying.
There are ways to integrate some of the popular social media platforms into the classroom, helping students to develop digital literacy and citizenship skills, interact globally with others, and become comfortable with social media. Twitter provides a window into the classroom, and provides an opportunity for parents to interact with students. In our classroom, Twitter helped broaden the horizons for my students beyond our small classroom, across continents and millenia.
Comment below: How could you use Twitter in your own classroom to teach digital literacy and citizenship skills?
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