After years of dabbling and many failed attempts, I have finally gotten my brain wrapped around this Twitter thing. It has always seemed like a foreign language, but now that I have immersed myself in it I can totally see the enormous impact it is having on education. Educators are chatting ALL the time, around the clock, with more hashtags connecting them than you could begin to count. There are no walls, no boundaries, and no limits to what we are able to share and learn! These chats create diverse communities of people who choose to learn, apply their knowledge, and teach others what they know. Is this not exactly what we want to see happening in our classrooms?
That's why this article struck me. If teachers can benefit from these chats, why shouldn't students? I was so excited to hear about these classes in New Zealand that were connecting regularly via Twitter. It is definitely something I want to be a part of. But I don't live in New Zealand. So naturally, there is only one thing to do: start my own!
This article so explicitly lays the foundation that all I really have to do is make the connections. My plan is to follow the same format as #kidsedchatnz for a series of four chats in September with a targeted age group of 3rd-5th grades (but everyone is welcome). September is our school system's Digital Citizenship Month, and this will be a great way for us to practice what we preach! The chats will last for an hour each week, probably around 1:00 Eastern, a time when students across the USA should all be in school and available to participate. I will moderate the first session with questions relating to digital citizenship, as well as general introductory type questions. I will then post a poll and let all of the classes vote on the topic for the next week. I will invite other teachers to moderate the following weeks based on the topics that are of interest to the students! I will also be creating a blog or website where we can post the questions ahead of time.
This series of chats will be a learning experience for us all. Hopefully it will be a positive one and those who wish to can continue on with it throughout the school year. I am hoping to have at least 20-30 classes join us for this project.
Please sign up here if you want to participate. Also, please help grow our group by sharing this post!