Twitter HOTS & Establishing a Twitter Routine in the Classroom

Why and how to use  Twitter in the Classroom has been occupying me for a while now.

I have written about my thoughts in  Twitter Policy and Rational and  Guide to Twitter in the K-8 Classroom. A post for Twitter in K-2 is also in the making (stay tuned).

As I am on a Twitter adventure with our 4th and 5th graders and their teachers @teitelbaumsteph & @shellyzavon, I am breaking down steps to tweeting and the process of learning during Tweeting as a classroom.  Ryan Bretag’s post Twitter for Thinking Publicly echoed beautifully my thoughts about the “use of Twitter beyond the usual lower level posting assignments, message blasting, or basic discussion forum-like uses.”

Terry Heick came up with a fabulous Twitter Spectrum on Edudemic to include Higher Order Thinking Skills. He divided tweets up into three sections:

  • watch
  • talk
  • produce

While many of his 25 ways to use Twitter in the classroom in the Talk and Produce section are geared towards Middle and High School, I believe that all the “Watch” examples are stepping stones for our younger students who are tweeting as a class.  In the “Talk” and “Produce” sections, I can also see ways that the examples can be tweaked and adapted for elementary grades.

Mark Sample published in 2009 (!) a Twitter Adoption Matrix from the use of Twitter by his University students.

What I like about the matrix is the process students go through, as they move from passive tweeting to active tweeting and from monologic to dialogic tweeting. Mark gives examples of each stage, that I can see also adaptable to tweeting with K-8 Classrooms.

For my own understanding of the Tweeting process for Elementary & Middle School students, I  created another image in the series “It’s NOT About the Tools. It’s About the Skills. What are the skills and literacies, I want my students to be exposed to and develop?

From this graphic, my mind wandered to breaking the steps down even further. Below you can see me visualization of a Twitter routine we are trying to establish in our elementary and Middle School classrooms (a time when our students are too young to have their own Twitter accounts).

By tweeting with our students, we expose them to:

  • social networking strategies
  • support their growth as global digital citizens
  • model focused, clear writing

What routines have you established if you are tweeting with your students as a class? What are some of your tweetable moments that go beyond a “We went to Art today and drew a picture” tweet?