Social Media Experiment: #20minwms Day 1

On Friday, January 7, 2011, my colleagues and I ran a practice round for an experiment that combines tweeting and social media with formative assessment and some of Dr. Souza’s brain research on primacy-recency.  I left school that afternoon with a strong sense of play-for-learning with my colleagues.  You can read about this practice round in the following blogs:

Experiments in Learning by Doing:  Social Media Experiment: Brain & Learning; Formative Assessment
It’s about Learning:  Achievement-Action: #20minwms
Quantum Progress:  20 minute pulse checks!  
¡Inglés fatal!:  The School as a PLC  

While we were all set to start on Monday, January 10, we were thwarted by Mother Nature.  Today, January 18, has been our next school day.  I was worried that we had lost our momentum.   In fact, I missed the 20 minute mark in my 8:00 class.  My learners thought it was hilarious!  (I did redeem myself during the rest of the day.)

More than 40 tweets from 11 faculty members went out over the course of the school day.  While you can follow us on Twitter, here are some samples:

¡Inglés fatal! posted My 20-minute learning which documents his students’ behavior as well as his learning.  He writes:

“My 20 minute learning for today: when the student has ownership of the activity, the impulse to abandon it is not nearly as strong as when they’re simply “carrying my luggage.”


@boadams1 and I co-facilitate Synergy 8.  The Mobile Technology Team (aka the Synergy 8 cell phone team) has requested to participate along with the 5 HS, 12 JH, and 2 ES teachers in our Social Media, Formative Assessment, Learning and the Brain Experiment this week.  In order to make this easier for his classmates, one of the MTT team leaders setup a backchannel using TodaysMeet for students not on Twitter.

Four faculty members sought me out today to ask for a lesson on Twitter and tweeting.  This was no easy task because I spent the majority of my day off campus with my learners at Georgia Tech’s ropes course.  We are going to have a Q&A session or a mini-lesson for new tweeters Friday morning.

@sgough reported being taught his learners.  It started because he had the hashtag mixed up.  He used #20wmsmin instead of #20minwms.  “So then I had to learn how to delete.  They had me resend.”  Several of his students and former students are now following him.   

Are we learning together?  Are we integrating research about primacy-recency for our learners?  Is there potential for learning, discovery, and connections?

To follow ¡Inglés fatal!’s example: 

My 20 minute learning for today:  I have a lot to learn from all members of our community regardless of their age or level of formal education. 

The most profound comment of the day comes from my learners when emerging from the ropes.

“Take risks and trust your teammates. Reach out a hand to help. The first step is the scariest.”




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