Twitter has been a great way for me to encourage authentic learning in my class. I consider it authentic because it is not planned and the learning is student led. We read tweets from our friends and I let the class decide if we will respond and what we will say if so. Every time there is a topic the kids get excited about we pull books from the library to learn more. So far we have learned about owls, nocturnal animals, different types of weather, cardinals, snow, blizzards, Eric Carle, golden eagles, sink/float, pacific salmon, migration, batik, time zones, White House, squirrels, plus much more.
My class is also becoming much more confident about sharing what they know with their friends. Last week one of our twitter friends asked us about armadillos and if we knew where they lived. We tweeted back that we do have armadillos in Texas and would research more about them. The armadillo research center was VERY popular and the kids were so excited about the opportunity to share what they learned with another class. At the end of the week we worked together as a class to create a book to share with them using the StoryBuddy iPad app (results below).
The students now consider themselves “armadillo experts” and have made it the main topic of the last few Skype sessions we have had with other classes (pictured above). I’m proud of the learning that is happening in my class but even more proud of the excitement behind the learning. Connecting students is a wonderful thing but the power lies in letting them collaborate, create and share their learning together.
Here are the pages from the book we made in large group using StoryBuddy app