Social Media Experiment: Day 7 – Communication!

Our goals were simple when we started this social media, formative assessment, learning and the brain experiment.  There were four.

  1. Apply what we are learning as we study about learning and the brain.  Our learning in the faculty cohort program should not stop with us.  The Center for Teaching and our schools, Drew Charter School and Westminster, have invested time and resources to provide us with this learning experience.  We want to share what we are learning with our colleagues.
  2. Learn about and model appropriate use of social media.  School should be a place of learning for all.  We are adult learners leading young learners to find their interests and passions.  We should model lifelong learning, risk taking, and collaboration.  We want to show our young learners that it is perfectly fine to struggle to learn.  Our learners need to consider appropriate use of all technology including how to use technology to learn and influence others for positive growth. 
  3. Find connections between our disciplines to integrate our content.  We are teaching in relative isolation.  While we have PLCs for some departments, we rarely find common ground for teaching and learning with our colleagues in other fields.  If we communicate (tweet) about what is being learned and what questions are being asked, will we find that our “curriculum bleeds together” with others?
  4. Increase the amount of formative assessment in our classes to promote learning.  How many times do we say or think “I can’t believe they don’t know this!  I taught it; why didn’t they learn it?”  We are done with this question!  We want to use assessment to help learners understand where they are and where they need to be prior to a graded test.  We want to know what our learners don’t know so that we can prevent failure and promote learning.  We need a window into their thinking.

Ok, there were 5 goals.  We wanted to have fun while learning together.  Learning is fun; even when we have to struggle.  When we work and learn together, we create a strong community…a community of learners.

I’m struggling to choose what tweets to highlight today. 

Do I document the conversations between learners?  The conversation between students and teachers is about what you are thinking and why you are asking.  Isn’t that great?

You should know that I took images of these tweets at 8:30 pm.  @senor206’s tweet and @Runningwitty’s reply were both tweeted around 6:30, well after the end of the traditional school day.  The learning, thinking, and conversation do not turn off with the bell.

We talk a lot about differentiation and individualizing learning.  Aren’t these four learners, @BeauMartin7, @epdobbs, @RunningWitty, and @senor206, individualizing the learning for these two young learners? Isn’t it great that your teacher is interested in helping you think about things that are important to you?

Do I document that it was reported that taking a 5 minute break between homework tasks makes the learning “sticky”?

Do I document students finding connections between classes?

Do I document how great the questions are in response to “My question is…”? 

Do I document how our adult learners wish they could take each other’s class?

In the Parent Parley with the Principal today, I was asked how we were going to measure the 20% increase in retention, the outcome discussed in How the Brain Learns.  The honest answer is I don’t know how to measure an increase in retention. 

I can say that we feel confident that we are meeting the five original goals.  We have data, in the form of tweets, that formative assessment has increased, social media for learning is being modeled, and connections between classes are being made. 

Remember what our friend Grant Lichtman says: “Questions are waypoints on the path of wisdom.”

We would love to hear from you. 

What do you think? 

We invite your questions.

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