Thanks to both Jessica Caviness, and Novemberlearning.com for this one.

Part of creating, using and popularising a classrrom hahstag amongst your students may mean that both you, and they, engage with each other outside of normal class hours, and in contexts that are from you own lives.

Jessica Caviness, a States based math teacher, found herself tweeting to her geometry students from a baseball game. She tweeted a picture of a soda cup from a Texas Rangers game she was at, asking her students to come up with a math/geometry question based on the cup, involving volume. She also gave a shout out for the Rangers.

Students dropped what they were doing, and hopped online to post questions.

Here’s why you should do it.

Many, most, or possibly all of your students are already on social media, and already share in this way. Sharing with students on social media looks like it may increase participation. Personally, I’ve always found I get more from studnets when I share authentically with them something of my own life. Maybe because it;s what I ask them to do. There’s some research to suggest this is good pracitivce on social media.

Posting photos to twitter is easy to do. It takes seconds, and seconds more to think of a neat idea and tweet it.

This is a neat way of flipping your classroom, and getting your students to do the work of flipping it. There’s a good argument for getting your students to do some of the lifting work in designing questions, problems and projects for each other, with good guidance and scaffolding from you.

Some ideasa

Post real life photos like Jessica, and have your students tweet questions for you to do in class.

Set a theme, topic or idea for tomorrow’s class and set twitter based photo and tweeting homework based on it. If there’s a festival or national holiday, have your students take photos of things they found interesting and tweet them with a headline for discussion in class. Have you students visit a museum or exhibition on a topic and photo and tweet particular exhibits for class discussion.

How to do it

Set up a class hashtag.

Make sure your students follow you, and each other.

Make sure you know how to add images to tweets (On you smartphone, typically, take a photo, bring it up on screen, press the screen and wait for a share icon or button, and tap the app you use for twitter).

Try to choose authentic examples from your own life, and add something personal, even if it is homework.

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