Transforming History Lessons with Twitter

We have recently started a class Twitter feed to extend our classroom beyond its walls and share our learning with the world. The students are so thrilled to upload their work samples for parents, teachers and other classes around the world to see. They excitedly wait to see whether we have any new followers or replies and my inbox is crowded with emails from my students sending me examples of their iPad work to post. They love to hear my laptop “ping”, indicating a new email, and announce matter-of-factly to the class “That was me, just sending you my work for our Twitter”. This latest technological venture for us has brought a new-found sense of enthusiasm to our learning environment.

Last week as part of our History studies we connected with experts via Twitter to completely transform our History assessment. The existing assessment task required students to observe photos of old and new technology and pose and answer questions based on what they could see in the images. I immediately thought of Twitter and the possibility of engaging with experts to answer our questions, and provide us with new information that we could not gain ourselves by analyzing a photograph.

I sourced images of old techology from the Queensland Museum‘s online catalogue and as a class, we discussed our prior knowledge of these objects. Each student then chose an object and created at least three questions about the object, relating to changes in technology over time. I flicked them the image of their chosen object via the Flick app, and in Explain Everything, students used the image to accompany one of their questions. We tweeted our questions to a range of companies and were very pleasantly surprised to see many of them happily answer our queries.

Those companies probably don’t even realise, but they made my students’ days and extended their learning beyond what we isolated in our classroom would have ever been able to achieve. Thank you!

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