Here’s a new thought: As a conference presentation or an educator workshop activity, why don’t people start holding “Digital Twitter Olympics?” I’ve written up the basic ideas and guidelines on the following wiki:

http://twitterolympics.pbwiki.com

Please take a look and edit/change the guidelines you see there, and also comment here to share your thoughts. The password to edit the wiki is “twitter.” Basically, this would be a fun activity involving both local and remote participants emphasizing the value and power of synchronous connections for learning. Twitter would be the “one to many” communication modality for the moderator to share “tasks” for each event as well as for team leaders to submit links to their answers / projects / results / deliverables.

This could be fun! 🙂 Here is what I have so far on the wiki:

The Digital Twitter Olympics

These are ideas for a conference presetnation or educational workshop activity, open for modification / remixing / reuse by anyone. Please make suggestions and changes here! The password to edit the wiki is “twitter.” Please leave comments, responses, and other feedback on this original blog post.

Objectives
– Have fun using digital collaborative tools together with other educators.
– Celebrate the importance and value of international teaching connections.
– Challenge participants and audiece members (if present) to think creatively to solve problems together using digital tools.

Teams
– In the hosting site’s room, two or more teams are formed with two or more members. (Four face to face members are recommended but not required.)
– Remote teams can also participate, but must register with the moderator in advance.
– Remote participants are also welcome, and can indicate their desire to participate by registering with the moderator in advance.
– Each team in the hosting site’s room must have (equipment-wise): an internet-connected portable computer, a projector (turned on and projecting onto one of the walls of the room or a screen) and PC speakers. Desktop VOIP and videoconferencing software (skype, iChat, etc) is highly recommended.
– Each team will designate a team leader that has a Twitter account. The leader will add the Olympics moderator to his/her Twitter account to receive task/event instructions and participate in the Olympics.

Moderator
– The moderator of the Digital Twitter Olympics is responsible for creating a wiki page (here or elsewhere) which will serve as the Olympics registration area.
– The moderator is responsible for publishing the tasks (events) to Twitter at predefined intervals of time during the Olympics.
– The moderator sets the Olympic schedule.
– The moderator is responsible for subsequently (after the Olympics are over) sharing the following information (here or elsewhere) about the Olympics:
– The tasks which were used / assigned to teams.
– The links to final task results for each participating team.
– A short paragraph reflection about what was learned and/or achieved as a result of the activity.

Sample Schedule
– Although the schedule is determined by the moderator, the recommendation for a hosted Digital Twitter Olympics includes three different events, each lasting – 10 minutes long, with a five minute whole-group review after each one.
– A sample hour-long presentation or activity schedule could look like the following, if the event started at 12:00 pm:
12:00 – 12:10 Introductions and team organization
12:10 Moderator posts 1st task/event to Twitter
12:10 -12:20 Team work time (task 1)
12:20 Team leaders post link to their final answer to Twitter
12:20 – 12:25 Review and Debrief results
12:25 Moderator posts 2nd task/event to Twitter
12:25 – 12:35 Team work time (task 2)
12:35: Team leaders post link to their final answer to Twitter
12:35 -12:40 Review and Debrief Results
12:40 Moderator posts 3rd task/event to Twitter
12:40 – 12:50 Team work time (task 3)
12:50 Team leaders post link to their final answer to Twitter
12:50 – 12:55 Review and Debrief Results
12:55 – 13:00 Final Review and Awards
– Additional time for review and awards may be required depending on the tasks and judging criteria utilized in the Olympics.

Tasks
– Tasks should go beyond requiring knowledge / comprehension recall, and challenge team members to seek and utilize international “live” connections to people – who can share expertise, resources, and perspectives.
– Moderators should be creative when formulating tasks, and keep them secret from participating teams.
– Moderators should feel free to copy and/or remix Digital Twitter Olympics tasks used previously by other people.
– Tasks should emphasize CONNECTIONS and the value of having ready access to other people (live or synchronously) as well as the power of digital tools to connect both people and ideas.
– Teams can use a blog, wiki, or other digital resource to publish final “deliverables” or answers to individual tasks. Preferably, the modality used should automatically time and date stamp the entry to validate when it was submitted.
– Example tasks:
— Create a webpage with images and links to three different ingredients used to prepare culturally or regionally distinctive foods. Record an audio or audio/video podcast of someone talking about a recipie using that ingredient. (Bonus points for groups including a video with a person actually showing the food or ingredient being discussed.)
— Connect to educators in three different countries and record an audio or audio/video podcast of them discussing a pressing or newsworthy political issue facing their community, state or nation at the current time. (Bonus points for interviews including elected officials.)

Options
– Off-site, virtually-connected, international judges can be utilized to score submitted team results.


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