Twitter in the classroom

Evidence: Technology implementation plan

Learning outcomes:

  • Develop practical and technical skills in all phases of concept, development, design, implementation, etc. for blended and online learning environments.
  • Demonstrate basic competency with design and implementation within blended and online learning environments.

I have been thinking about introducing Twitter into the class for sometime but have never got around exploring the research to see the benefit of using a microblogging tool in the classroom. I also never thought about designing a plan of implementation. I suspect I would have just tried to ‘wing it’. This evidence is a plan for implementing Twitter into a class and as a possible longer-term project.

Introducing a new technology as an early innovator is quite a bit of work so it is really important to have a clear, detailed plan before starting. Not only do you need details for how the tool will be used, but you need to develop a concept, a reason for why the tool is being used and what is be pedagogy behind it. It is also important to use the tool quite a bit before starting as the educator needs to be an ‘expert’ in it so students feel confident asking questions.

While I have not yet used Twitter in the classroom, having a tool to be able to converse with students (and students converse with each other) outside of an LMS or email really extend the breadth of the class. In terms of my teaching practice, this project really emphasized how important a detailed plan is when new tools are being introduced to the class, or to the school


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Lesson Critique

Evidence: Lesson critique
Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop and design intentional learning activities suitable for the appropriate environment and the learner
  • Critically assess and evaluate resources for best practice in online learning
  • Incorporate Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles

One of my classes, Biology 067 (Provincial Biology) is slowly being shifted in to a blended model. This is partially due to class time being cut by two hours a week and partially so students can attend class less. Most of my students are busy adults. Often they work full time, have a family, volunteer and many many other things. By allowing them to take part of the course when they choose I believe I would reduce some of the stress they must face.

I had moved some of my lessons on-line, but I wasn’t very satisfied with them. They felt boring and under-utilizing the amazing, creative world that is on-line. I hadn’t, however, reflected on what the problem was, or how it could be fixed. OLTD 502 forced me to do so.

I had to take a close look at my lessons, see how I was applying (or not!) UDL, and change the lesson to best practices for student success. It took an extraordinarily long time. With practice, this time can be reduced, especially as the more a skill is practiced, the easier and more familiar it becomes. Educators recommend that practicing skills is a way to become an expert, that is one reason homework is assigned. Creating a lesson is no different.

Attached is a PDF of the lesson


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