Twitter

Processing Texts, Ideas, and New Understandings with Twitter Chats + Socratic Seminar

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Jennifer Lund and I had the opportunity to partner this month with IB Theory of Knowledge teachers Dan Byrne and Dr. James Glenn.  Our instructional design challenge was to think about how we might help student process the first chapters of an advanced text, The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and Why, by Dr. Richard Nisbett.  Inspired by our previous efforts with Socratic circles and Twitter chat with Emily Russell’s Language Arts classes, we all agreed this medium would help us meet our student learning targets.  After two short meetings and one extended planning session, Dan and James organized three student groups (Groups A, B, and C)  that combined students from both of their sections since our learning activities would take place during a period on a “block” in which both sections had the opportunity to meet together.  Dan and James designed the three groups to help us facilitate inner/outer circle groups for a Socratic seminar over the readings that would also incorporate participation through a Twitter chat.   Jennifer and I developed the discussion hashtag, the Twitter Chat etiquette mini-lesson, and the logistics for organizing our space in the library learning studio to accommodate such a large group.  Jennifer and I also served as co-facilitators during the chat by participating in the Twitter discussion, providing technical assistance to students, and helping students with the logistics of following the chat.  We also captured an archive of the Tweets with Storify and photos of the #toknisbett chat.

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The student response to the activity exceeded all of our expectations, and we were delighted that student reacted so positively to the experience in their “grows and glows” reflections!  Students enjoyed hearing multiple perspectives and opportunities to participate in the discussion, the Twitter stream, the organization of the 70 minute activity, and the physical space and setup for our Twitter chat/Socratic circle discussion.  They overwhelmingly loved having the opportunity for organic and free-flowing discussion; many expressed a desire to have a longer period of time for inner circle talk.

In response to student feedback, we’ll think about how to better incorporate the Twitter stream into the face to face discussion as well as help students interact more in the virtual learning space; we’ll also help students think through strategies for helping “quiet” students speak up more and how they can support those who might feel awkward jumping into the face to face discussion.

In the video below, Dan and James share their perspective on our collaboration process, their reflections on the learning activity, and their thoughts on how this mode of learning benefited students.  I invite you to take time to watch the video as they share their rich and nuanced perspective:

We are already planning our next variation of a Twitter chat and Socratic circle that will incorporate our write around text on text strategies and a gallery walk to help students generate the talking points and questions for the next discussion.  We will also continue to think about how these strategies help us elevate writing/composing processes and literacies as part of inquiry and visible thinking. We would love to hear how others are using Twitter chats and Socratic seminars or something similar to help students take an inquiry stance on a text and/or topic!

Join Us for a Chat About Transliteracy: #engchat November 22

I’d like to invite anyone who has an interest in literacy to join us at #engchat on Twitter Monday, November 22 at 7PM for an hour-long Twitter conversation about transliteracy. Here are some questions we’ll throw out for discussion:

1.  What is transliteracy?  Is the concept new, and if so, how does it differ from how we view multiple literacies (digital, new media, information)?

2.  How do position statements and definitions like those from NCTE—the Position Statement on Multimodal Literacies and the Policy Brief on 21st Century Literacies—inform our understanding of transliteracy?

3.  Why and how we might privilege transliteracy  in K12 and higher education classrooms as well as academic, public, and school libraries?  How does the changing information landscape lend itself to cultivating transliteracy for learners of all ages?

4.  Other questions–please feel free to bring your own questions for exploration to the conversation!

Here are a few selected readings to get you thinking:

Everyone is invited to join in this conversation–please join us at 7PM EST Monday, November 22 on Twitter!

Advocacy for Libraries and Librarians: The Twitter Petition

If you are someone who is active on Twitter, consider signing the Twitter petition ignited by Lisa Layera of the Washington Moms to help advocate for funding to support certified teacher librarians trained in technology integration, 1:1 computing, and broadband access for American schoolchildren.

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