Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Live Blogging a Twitter-Enhanced Latin Test

At 1PM this afternoon, I'll be live blogging from my classroom as my Latin II students take a test on Caesar's Gallic Wars. I'll be reporting on all aspects of the test taking and will be reposting from our live class Tweet feed.

Tweet feed?

Yes, because they'll be doing the entire test online via their blogs, exclusively using online dictionaries, and using Twitter as a live lifeline and place to help one another through the test.

"SO," the cynic says, "they are just going to copy the work of the smartest kid in class, right?"

Well, no... not exactly. Because each student will be translating a different section of the text.

To get students involved actively in the Tweet feed, there will be a requirement to participate in the Tweets. But, this will not be a 'minimum' requirement -- that just encourages students to post some junk quickly so they can get that out of the way. Rather, this will be an 'equivalent' participation requirement -- meaning that students will be required to pay attention to the feed and reply in proportion to what is incoming.

And the kicker? Students will be receiving two grades: one for their individual work and one for their helping other students and taking an engaged and active role in the Tweets.

We've been working for the past week and a half on setting up this situation and making sure everyone in class is comfortable with it. That's not to say that we spent a week and a half learning to use Twitter: that would be silly. Rather, a week and a half ago, I started projecting a Tweet feed on the wall during class translations and allowed students to take part in the feed while we were having discussion and while we were working on the translations.

It worked like a charm. Over the last week alone, I've seen student confidence in translation work increase and on the last informal assessment I gave, the overall class average was up 5 to 8%.

Check out the live blogging at 1PM EST. Available via RSS, on this site, and via Cover it Live.

Teaching Latin via 21st Century Skills and teaching 21st Century Skills via Latin: that's what we do.


  1. Mirabile dictu and nunc dimitis! I believe the pigs are airborne and hell is in the process of freezing over!

  2. Fascinating site! Could you please go over the details on how you set up your students with Twitter and what instructions you give them about the use of Twitter.
    How about your tests with Twitter. How do you make sure that your students are not on a site with the Gallic War translation.
    I'd love to get your feedback
    Cedric (cebiner@loyolahs.edu)


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