These are my notes from Jennie Magiera and Autumn Laidler‘s ISTE 2013 breakout session, “Social Media in the Classroom: Amplifying our Students.” Subscribe to Autumn’s blog, “Science in the City,” and Jennie’s blog, “Teaching Like It’s 2999.” I’m audio recording this session to podcast later, MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

Lots of people don’t think social media has value in the classroom, they think of Kim Kardashian and
- people also think about cyberbullying

Many of our students in CPS rarely ‘have voice’ in their community
- our goal is amplifying the voices of our students
- they have lots to share
- it’s really hard for them to get their ideas out there, and many also need to discover their voice first

Think about the class community and how else we can engage each other, then expand that to the class community
- then go global

We taught together last year

1 way: silent discussions and back channeling
- are kids being able to talk to everyone at the table (reason for backchanneling)
- some one to gather ideas and observe/read other conversations

Backchanneling not just interesting for engagement, also important for assessment
- tracking who said what / when
- not just quantity of responses, also quality

Autumn uses TodaysMeet, no login required
- great for 3rd graders (asking for
Jenny likes Edmodo for archival and Schoology
- Schoology great for threaded discussions

It’s not necessarily about the tool you’re using, it’s also about the goal
- remember the goal, not the tool

Schoology lets you reply with videos, kids just type a “+” to share a video of ideas
- Autumn has 40% special education students in her class, having this kind of easy of use is HUGE

These tools can become part of your daily class culture and routine
- that can be SO powerful
- thoughtful reflections and chat

Kids that don’t do this every day (IT’S NOT PART OF THE CLASSROOM INTERACTION NORMS)

Those are examples of the class community

We are National Teacher’s Academy, 97% free and reduced lunch, 98% African American
- it’s so important to open the world of our students through technology
- letting students see what the world looks like outside our school and community

We’ve projected student work to the point
- “QR codes are making our entire school building into a bulletin board for sharing student work”

#ntalearns
- used a common hashtag district-wide Twitter Tuesday
- all grade levels participated
- talk to share our learning with each other
- kids will now say things like “Shouldn’t we tweet this”
- this flowed over to Wednesday and Thursday
- empowering students as well as teachers

Dealing with 13 year old rules
- teachers tweet with student initials
- sometimes we use Google Forms for students to submit their tweets
- Autumn uses Today’s meet to do a classroom chat first, then curate tweets to send them out later

http://www.grouptweet.com/ is another site to use, you can moderate student tweets before they go live like KidBlog
- this is freemium

Story of students engaging in authentic conversations / discussions with other classes
- using

our school is right next to Chinatown
- our students have a very myopic view of the world
- last year had focus on discussing global resources, having a discussions that switched gears from money and access to resources
- kids looking up heat maps of socio-economic
- kids have seen more diverse classrooms on TV, but when the kids saw another live classroom in CPS that had 1 white student and the rest African-American it really triggered an engaging conversation

We talk to 1st graders and 6th graders
- beautiful teacher/learner relationships among kids
- all using Google Hangouts
- digital learning day activity: what is your favorite app
- have meaningful discussions

Kids teaching each other
- feel very strong responsibility to share information and teach other kids

South-side students talking with north-side students
- talking about how we all life in the city
- 1st grade teacher addressed it from the perspective of bullying
- showed ways to stop bullying, prevent bullying, and just be a good friend
- older students applied this to current events as well as historical approaches to injustice
- students understanding people working together to share their voices and impact change, share ideas through media, has been done throughout history

Video we made: Join A Positive Group

Join A Positive Group from Autumn Laidler on Vimeo.

We as teachers are all authors on the same blog

Kids designed a poster to stop community violence
- Autumn brought in a friend who is a graphic designer
- also brought in a meteorologist

Our students need to learn what the expert knows, how they talk, etc.

We use KidBlog
- great story of kids becoming engaged when they receive feedback on their blog

Jennie’s kids all use aliases on their KidBlogs
- retweeting some of student posts, kids become engaged in discussions with community members, move to a more global focus / awareness
- story of people from Alaska and other places engaging

Anyone who is engaging with our kids on Twitter make our students feel VERY powerful
- it’s about relationships that we form

We’ve started bringing students to conferences
- from example of students live-tweeting from their perspective at a conference
- at iPad Academy last year, invited CPS students to live-tweet
- many were asking great questions

We want our kids to be heard, be heard in a positive way, to become part of the conversation
- we want our kids to know their voice matters
- they need to be part of the discussion

Students never ask “Who is going to listen to us”
- they are empowered and know their ideas / opinions / voices matter

WHAT AN INCREDIBLE SESSION THIS WAS – THE BEST ONE I’VE ATTENDED AT ISTE 2013 FOR SURE! I REALIZED LISTENING TO JENNIE AND AUTUMN THAT BECAUSE I WORK IN SO MANY ENVIRONMENTS WHERE FEAR IS SKY-HIGH WHEN IT COMES TO SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE CLASSROOM, I GET DISCOURAGED AND LOSE MY OWN CONFIDENCE IN THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPOWERING STUDENTS TO DISCOVER AND SHARE THEIR VOICES. IT IS SO EASY TO SUCCUMB TO PREDOMINANT ATTITUDES AND THE PREDOMINANT CULTURE, WHICH IS FILLED WITH FEAR RATHER THAN HOPE. JENNIE AND AUTUMN FILLED ME WITH HOPE AND INSPIRATION, AND THE STUDENTS WHOSE VOICES THEY SHARED TODAY DID TOO. I HOPE JENNIE AND AUTUMN CAN KEYNOTE ISTE NEXT YEAR. THEY ARE A DYNAMIC DUO THAT ARE ON A MISSION, WITH A POWERFUL MESSAGE TO SHARE WITH EDUCATORS AND PARENTS EVERYWHERE.


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