You may have read these musings about hashtags and citizenship after the #LondonRiots.
This post is a brief reflective piece about a series of lessons with classes and Professional Development sessions with staff at Viborg Katedralskole (check the new website) focusing on student engagement, Twitter and Edmodo. It has been very enjoyable for me to be back in classrooms and working with colleagues to employ microblogging tools with students.
Why did riots occur in London and other cities in England during August 2011?
With both Kim and Marianne’s English classes this question was the starting point for our learning. Students were shown Twitter and introduced to Edmodo. The #LondonRiots hashtag was explored independently and in small groups and resources posted to Edmodo for collaborative discussion and further analysis. This enabled the students to see the resources their peers deemed important. A range of perspectives were debated.
SurveyMonkey was used to seek students thoughts on how they could represent their researched conclusions. Students wanted to produce, in no order of preference: essays, lyrics, poetry, video mashups, blogs, PowerPoints, live music performances, street art, documentaries and several other combinations of the above. A word bank of important terms, concepts and themes included: hashtag, tag, ideology, metadata, metalanguage, folksonomy, codes, conventions, printing press, democratic and microblogging.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching students closely read, view and discuss texts. I produced and posted some sample responses as exemplars and enjoyed the flow on Edmodo as students posted links and made a one sentence analysis of ‘the perspective. The level of engagement was very high and ‘the work’ produced has been excellent. The positive way students support each other is noteworthy. There was a Beat Poem performed with double bass, a music video that sampled brilliantly, a documentary using the Ken Burns’ effect with still images and street art, using post it notes that came with an oral explanation of ‘Love Walls’ and the significance of positive vs negative collaboration. It has been great with more to follow next week.
If their is a negative or downside, I think some students have spent much time on their presentations, neglecting their sleep and perhaps, formally assessed ‘work’.
I used the students conversations on Edmodo, their posted research and presentations to show colleagues at informal PD sessions. It is powerful to demonstrate student learning in this way and as always, teachers are looking for ideas that work, especially when student engagement is high. Enthusiasm for Edmodo is growing rapidly. I particularly enjoyed working with a group of beginning teachers. Their enthusiasm is infectious. I noted teachers thinking of many ways to use Edmodo in their day to day work and also for excursions that I never would have thought to do.
The students and staff are great to learn with here in Viborg. The creativity and openness is obvious and just I love the way enthusiasm is amplified by microblogging tools.
cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore
SLIDER IMAGE: Courtesy of Runi 🙂
The hashtag and the citizen : Darcy Moore's Blog
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Darcy, I am so jealous of your oppportunities! Your enthusiasm has no doubt helped to foster theirs. Great work! Love what you haave been encouraging over there with the ‘hashtag’ as an information skills process tool!
Very interesting account of your experience. Did you have any challenges getting the students to accept and adopt twitter? I work with French students (ages 18-22) and they have been very resistant to twitter
Do you have any tips for making them want to use it? I’d much rather gently encourage them and spark their own desire rather than harp on them too much, which would probably be counterproductive.
I jokingly introduced Twitter as a tool that ‘old’ people think is cool. I then explained the reasons for my own enthusiasm about the microblogging site before linking the social revolutions that occurred directly due to the democratising effect of the printing press. The students could see how people in countries like Libya and Egypt, I Iran and our own countries could share and organise, collaborate and agitate using this platform. We then looked the the #LondonRiots hashtag in the way I described. They really enjoyed following the event. It was interesting and ‘now’. Some of them still follow me on twitter and we talk occasionally on Facebook. It was a great experience for me and I believe the students had an interesting time of it too. Judging by their essays and creative endeavours, they were motivated and earn a great deal.