Monday, October 8, 2012

Using twitter for educational purposes

Once I created my twitter account, I spent a few time exploring this tool, in order to learn a little bit more about it. I didn’t know much about Twitter before, and even less about its possible educational uses. After reading some of the articles related to the use of this resource, I would like to comment several ideas.

As the article 50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom says at the beginning, there are some opinions which affirm that a “140-character microblog offered by the ubiquitous social network can do little for the education industry. Though I cannot say that I totally agree with this opinion, I consider that this condition limits its use considerably, especially in educational issues.  Despite this contra of Twitter, It is certainly interesting the many ways in which Twitter can be applied in the classroom. According to both the article mentioned above and the one titled 60 Inspiring Examples of Twitter inthe Classroom, I am going to present my own Top Ten list with some of the cases in which Twitter could be very useful both for students and teachers:

1.      Tweet about upcoming due dates or assignments: It is easy to use it as a reminder of due dates and assignments. It is quick and you don’t need to text many characters.
2.      Coordinate assignments: Twitter can be used for students to work in group projects.
3.      Track a hash tag: Students and teachers can follow and communicate ideas about different issues of interest.
4.      Write a story or poem: It is a good idea to use Twitter to engage students in poetry and improve writing and literacy skills through short poems and stories.
5.      Ask questions.
6.      Twitter pop quiz: Great idea!!!
7.      Classroom connections: It is possible to establish a worldwide classroom network using Twitter as communication tool.
8.      Foreign language news stream: Students in a foreign language class can build their reading skills and stay on top of the news with a foreign language news stream.
9.      Communicating with experts:  I am actually following Bryan Alexander, the author of the New Digital Story Telling.
10.  Daily word games: Undoubtedly a great resource for word games.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Classroom 2.0

One highly recommended web site for those people who are interested in Web 2.0, Social Media and Participation Technologies is Classroom 2.0. Started in 2007 by Steve Hardagon, this site is an online community which can be very useful for those teachers who want to use the internet tools and resources in their classrooms. 
 This online social network offers us a wide range of different materials. It is nonetheless recommendable to register to get full access to all of them. Among the variety of resources that it offers, we can mention the collaborative projects on WEB 2.0 labs, the discussion forum, chat, workshops, etc. There is also an online book available and written by the own members. They also set up many events and conferences throughout the year, which are worldwide and held online.
Classroom 2.0 is undoubtedly a very appropriate group where you are able to work with other teaching professionals interested in technology in the classroom. It is especially useful for those people who are beginners , and may not have a big knowledge of these resources and tools. I found it very interesting because it could also be a great support for people like me. I have some knowlegde about technologies in the classroom, but my professional experience is quite limited until the moment. Although my objective is to become a TESOL teacher in Spain, I would like to apply new technologies to my classroom, because I consider them powerful tools and resources to learn second languages.  This community could be a perfect support to clarify the doubts that I am going to  have in the beginning of my professional practice, and it could also help me to improve my habilities on using these tools.