I thought I would share a recent example of of the integrated way in which various digital/social platforms can be linked and used in the classroom.
Y6 class, space topic.
The pupils have a blog, created on blogger, which the teacher updates.
Literacy unit (and linked work) was newspaper linked, journalistic writing and so on.
How we started:
A very simple lesson – aimed at questioning skills and linked to interviewing an astronaut – the children had to think of questions they would ask and build these into a report they were writing. These were collated on a Padlet, which was embedded in to their class blog.
The pupils are well versed in contributing to Padlet – and did so at home.
Next we linked to Twitter. The pupils are aware that there is a school Twitter account, it has been used before for contacting local businesses and sharing photographs of work. We discussed how we might limit the questions in order to keep to the restricted number of characters, and, more importantly how we could find someone to ask…
It's all about relevance…
Luckily for us the Channel 4 Space Season and been a hit – and that has hash tags and twitter handles all over it. So we started there… It's worth mentioning that I did do 'live' twitter search – but I used an iPad and Air Server and so was able to put Air Server on once search completed….
We then tweeted what looked like a willing volunteer, an Astronaut who had been on the Space Station itself – who – amazingly replied!! (Huge thanks to him!!) He was able to answer several questions, and used photographs and links to the Space Station live to get his messages across.
Every day that week I was able to show the children more photos, more answers and really keep the topic alive! – The links for their writing, and with the blog at home were really clear – genuinely exciting (for staff and pupils) – and produced some awesome, genuinelt motivated work! Enthusiasm was everywhere, and the whole school buzzed with the pictures and replies we were getting!
What we learnt:
- It was great for e-safety, the other twitter users who got involved provided the perfect opportunity to discuss advertising and online 'stranger danger'.
- Use of the blog both in and outside the classroom was also beneficial, those children who cannot access the blog were still a big part of the lesson.