To begin with, I think much of our first days will be spent talking about technology. Last year's staff survey indicated that this was an area of concern, so it seems natural to begin here. My objectives for the session are:
- Teachers will understand that Twitter is a valuable tool in education.
- Teachers will know the basic vocabulary associated with Twitter, such as tweet, hashtag, follower, etc.
- Teachers will be able to create a Twitter account and tweet to their followers.
- Teachers will be able to create backchannel discussions using hashtags.
After we have discussed the results of the pre-assessment, I need to share some important information. Most importantly, the three uses of Twitter that I discussed in my previous post. In addition, I will need to address concerns that people may have. My initial thought is that people will worry about things like cyber-bullying, equity of access and control of content. I will take these issues head-on; they are real concerns and there is no point to try to hide them. Throughout the course of my presentation, I need to keep the focus on the amazing things that Twitter can do for us, from the problems it will help us solve to the instructional opportunities it creates.
Concluding the presentation, I will ask the teachers to fill in the next two columns of the graphic organizer and discuss it with their peers. At this point, another formative assessment is in order. I will ask the staff to move to one side of the room if they have used Twitter before or go to the other side if they have not. For those who have not, I will further ask them to divide: those who feel comfortable to independently explore Twitter and those who do not.
This now gives me three groups, homogeneously grouped by readiness. They will complete the following learning activities:
- New Users w/o Confidence: We will move this group to a computer lab and walk them through the basics of creating an account, following people and sending out tweets. The major thrust will be to make sure these users feel confident tweeting information to their class. Further professional development will be offered later to help them use Twitter for more instructional reasons.
- New Users w/ Confidence: These users will be asked to go back to their classrooms, create accounts and find 20 people to follow. I will also ask them to tweet with yet-to-be-determined hashtag one instructional use of Twitter.
- Veteran Users: We will move to a different computer lab to explore the use of backchannels. I will use a website like Today's Meet to create a chatroom and hashtag for a discussion on instructional uses of Twitter. I will have compiled relevant bookmarks on Diigo, ask teachers to explore them and tweet their ideas with the hashtag we created.
So what do you think? What am I missing? How can I make this better?