Sunday, September 6, 2009
My Shocking discovery of students take on Social Networking in the Classroom
So, it's Friday morning...maybe about ten minutes or so before the end of class. A few of my stellar students have finished with their assignment and as much as they try to hide them I still manage to see their cell phones out! As I walk over to them, they notice that I see their phone so they prepare to lose their phone for the rest of the day (I taught these students last year, so they already know that I take phones). To there surprise, I come over and say "Let me see your phone?" I told them that I don't want to take it, I just want to see it. I asked them if they could get on to the Internet, and they were like "Of course!" I told the young lady to get on to Twitter.com for me, as she was doing that I was explaining to what became a small group of students about what we were doing and trying to accomplish in my Paperless Class at Johns Hopkins University. I was explaining that we could use this tool for participating in class so that students that usually don't participate can put their ideas out there without the fear of "being wrong..." And the kids immediately chimed in on that. When I logged in to twitter from my students phone I was able to show them what I was talking about exactly, and they began to see the reality of the idea and I wasn't just "bluffing" them. With what I was able to explain to and show them it opened to a class discussion. So the first thing that a student mention was that what if everybody doesn't have a phone that can get on the Internet, so one of my other students shouted out, "well if enough people have Internet phones, we could share, type on to the screen:
then what they have to say after." I was very surprised to hear that and even more so everybody agreeing with the idea. Then another student took it to another level with another suggestion, she said that we could twitter questions and comments for students while they were doing presentations to be asked and as a form of participation & notes. I was very impressed with scholarship and maturity of that comment. With the district's filtering system on the school's Internet and the administration's choke hold on cell phone being on school property, I don't know what the next step is for these students and the use of a Social Network in the classroom. What I do know is that when we do get to that next step I have a good amount of students that will be ready!