Friday, May 07, 2010

School Supplies: Pencil case, Calculator, Twitter...

This August, all of our incoming Freshmen will be picking up one tool for school that may not be as familiar as the pencils, pens, and calculators they've been accustomed to.

That's because we're requiring all incoming 9th graders to have a Twitter account.

We run an annual one day Tech Camp for all incoming students and this year we'll be demonstrating the many ways students can use Twitter in their educations. From following current events to backchanneling lectures and labs to connecting with experts to building community lifelines and collaborating with their peers in sharing hashtags of links, apps, observations, and ideas -- students will be getting a crash course in the utility of the social web.

Right now, our tech committee is planning this year's camp. Among things to discuss are the nuts-and-bolts of computing in a 1:1 environment, digital citizenship and social media, and using the resources of Web 2.0 to connect with the world of education beyond the classroom walls.

We'd love to hear your ideas on what should be addressed at a high school tech camp!


  1. The Tech camp sounds Awesome, just from a logistics point of view what number of students does it involve? I am currently rolling out a 1:1 program this year getting the staff up to speed. I have a supportive administration and have 1 class a week with the yr 7's in a lab. Just had them all sign up to a google docs account to complete a shared assignment. Next we are creating a wiki that will be used by next yr's year 7's as an into to the school.

  2. Nice! Would be great if you could broadcast a hashtag for the tech day so those interested could follow along. Could use your success to persuade other schools to incorporate the same. Thanks.

  3. @jim
    Freshman class is around 160 students.

    That's a great idea. Will do.

    - Shelly

  4. What do you believe a twitter account will accomplish for these students? In my opinion at that age students are already sending twitter-like messages via Facebook such as, "going to see a movie" and I see this as more of a distraction and a method of socializing than a way to facilitate learning.

  5. @Jamie,

    Thanks for asking. My students and I use Twitter in my classes daily. We use it for quick communication, sharing links, creating hashtagged reference libraries of links, class discussion backchannels, as a lifeline on tests, and to crowdsource and get real-time information from beyond our classroom walls.

    Our intention is to open up this sort of understanding throughout our incoming class and to make use of Twitter and other Web 2.0 collaborative tools for engaging students in ways that are authentic in a 1:1 computing environment in 2010. Also to use the real-life use of Twitter and the presence of a real-time digital persona to teach digital citizenship.

    I have several examples of the work my HS students and I have done using Twitter over the last two years, and would be happy to repost them. Check "Favorite Posts" and "21C Classroom Ideas" in the sidebar for more (and they probably deserve an update...).


  6. Wow this is really cool. I hooe we also have this in our school. Hahaha


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