Tweeting with Elementary School Kids

My teachers and students at my current school have heard me talk about Twitter more than once (well… more than a hundred times would be more accurate). I have been the “middle(wo)man” between the students and their classroom teachers to make connections (For Skype calls around the World), ask for advice, disseminate a project or request feedback (CSI Twitter) . How do I move from being that sole connector and disseminator to preparing students for that role?

I am planning on working this out with a 5th grade class (10-11 year olds).

First step was to create a Twitter Classroom account. At this point we are testing the waters and will protect our tweets, so only approved users can follow us.

We filled out the profile, added an avatar, link and a bio.

Lee Kolbert has set up a Google Spreadsheet for teachers who are using Twitter with their classroom ( students/parents). Great way to learn about how others are using it as a tool to communicate, collaborate and learn.

We had a “Twitter Meeting” with 5th grade to introduce Twitter and brainstorm ideas HOW the class was going to use it.

  • Sharing with others when we skype with people from around the world and what we learned
  • Summarize what happened in the classroom that day
  • Share links to classroom blog posts
  • Share with others how 5th graders learn best

As we were brainstorming, I sent out a Twitter shout out on my Langwitches account and asked:

5th graders and I are brainstorming HOW they will use a classroom twitter account. Give them some of your ideas . Please RT

Here are some of the great suggestions we received.

So, we are off to be pioneers in an uncharted territory of Twitterland with with elementary school students. I am hoping to observe and document our successes and pitfalls in order to encourage other educators to take the plunge and learn from our experiences.

If you are already experimenting with your elementary school students on/with Twitter, please share what you have learned.

We are also looking to follow other 5th grade classes to learn with and from.

5 thoughts on “Tweeting with Elementary School Kids”

  1. Just found your blog today, and you clearly deserve the awards.

    I love that your shout-out was also an immediate demonstration to the kids of how effective Twitter can be. @Blythe_Musteric is presenting on cool uses of Twitter in education at the CATESOL conference tomorrow and she put out a request for the most interesting ideas. I just put out a link to this post.

    –John

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for the shout-out for my Google spreadsheet. I hope more people will add their information if they are using Twitter in the classroom at all. For my class (4th graders), I’ve made the decision to use my class Twitter account (@mrskolbert) as a means of sending out updates to parents. I do not encourage the students to join Twitter as I feel they are too young and there is too much objectionable content/spammers on Twitter. I encourage their parents to follow our class account. Best of luck to you with your new class Twitter project. I hope to hear how it goes.
    Lee
    .-= Lee Kolbert´s last blog ..Parents Today v. 1960 =-.

  3. I LOVE that you are attempting to try twitter with your 5th graders. I personally really enjoy using it and get so much information out of it, yet trying to figure out how to us it in my own 5th grade classroom has proven difficult. Yet I will be following your progress with this, and look forward to hearing your successes!
    .-= Renee DeBlock´s last blog ..home =-.

  4. I’m curious how you handle the TOS for some of the web 2.0 apps. I know in this case its a class account managed by an adult, but do you have students/parents complete a permission slip or such when/if students have their own accounts? I’m trying to figure this out for my own classroom.

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