Tag Archives: social media

Learn and Share…A reason to tweet – #TrinityLearns

I’m often asked about using Twitter.  I almost always say that I use Twitter to take notes when I’m at conferences.  I use Twitter to crowd-source my notes.  To some, it seems complex and complicated.  To me, it is comforting to know that others are picking up ideas that I may miss while I’m thinking.

This week, Tony Wagner and Madeline Levin spoke in Atlanta.  A collaborative effort between The Walker School, The Lovett School, The Westminster Schools, and Trinity School brought these two speakers to Atlanta.  At Trinity, we asked our faculty to attend one of the two talks.

The screen shot below shows the start of the Twitter notes shared at Tony Wagner’s 4:00 talk at Lovett.  Important to note, there were many tweets at Wagner’s talk.  I captured ones using the hash tag #Wagner.

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 8.29.47 PMI usually use Storify to capture tweets from conferences to have notes from my learning experiences.

On a whim, I sent the following email to our community the next morning.

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 8.47.24 PM

The response was, well, shocking.  I received 5 email messages thanking me for the notes and another dozen face-to-face thank you’s and questions.  Here are some of the comments I received in writing.

Love it! Another great example of technology embedded PD.
I LOVED Tony Wagner’s session. I’ve got my husband on baby-duty for one more day so I can go tonight as well!
Thanks for this email!  Hopefully we’ll see even more tweeting tonight…
Thanks for sharing this.  I am sorry that I was here deep in the details but glad to have been able to read everyone’s comments….
Thanks for sharing!  I did not take notes but wished I had!
First of all, thank you for encouraging Twitter.  I actually looked at it last night to see what the conversation was during the talk.

The response was so positive that I was motivated to tweet during Madeline Levine’s talk and Storify the notes.  As I was sitting in the auditorium waiting for the talk to begin, Michelle Perry came to check with me about the hash tag #Levine that I sent in my email. She noticed that the #Levine hash tag was all about Adam Levine.  Awesome! Michelle is not a seasoned user of Twitter.  She noticed something that I failed to check.  We quickly checked #MLevine and made this correction prior to the talk. I love that she was so proactive about her understanding and our learning.

After the talk, I created the Madeline Levine – Atlanta – 2013 Storify shown and linked below.

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 8.59.15 PM

I sent the following email to our community to share our notes.

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 9.09.09 PM

I was so pleased with myself about completing this task before I left to go home.  Dr. Levine spoke to parents at Trinity at 7:00.  My hypothesis was that the Storify could “go to press” because parents wouldn’t tweet.  I failed to consider that the administrators in the evening session would tweet.  So, I felt compelled to Storify and email one more time.

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 9.14.46 PM

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 9.16.33 PMAgain, I received several thank you’s and lots of questions about the notes, sharing what was learned, and the power of Twitter.

Even if a teacher-learner only contributed one tweet to the stream of #Wagner or #MLevine, they participated in the crowd-sourcing of notes for the learners in the room, the learners reading on Twitter, and the learners using the notes to stay connected.

How do we create more reasons to learn, to share, to investigate, to risk, and to grow?

Connecting Ideas – Action, Traction, Reaction

In Synergy, a non-departmentalized, non-graded, transdisciplinary, community-issues-problem-solving course, we use blogging as a means to communicate and collaborate on ideas as well as to reflect and to revise thinking.

Currently we offer our learners an Action-Traction-Reaction prompt to spur their thinking, reflection, and writing.

One of our learners offers this reflection that connects his thinking about his team’s project with the ideas from Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize Wish:

Relating Jamie Oliver’s Prize Wish to my Project

Posted on November 17, 2011

Jamie Oliver, a celebrity chef, wished to educate every child about food as a use of his TED prize. I’ve known about his fight against obesity and eating right since learning about his TV show in 6th grade, so this wish makes sense to me. He’s creating a

Strong, sustainable movement

to educate every child about food.

The core of this action is to create a movement. This core action could be applied to my project, because in my project we are trying to get people to clean up after themselves, and stop cutting in line. Both of those problems are just bad examples that people have seen and copied. Creating a movement would create new standards in the community for cleanliness in the lunchroom, and could reverse the bad examples in place there.

For Jamie’s wish, he wants to create an online community and also a movement. He said

The grassroots movement must also challenge corporate America to support meaningful programs that will change the culture of junk food.

I didn’t know what a grassroots movement is, so I looked it up. I came up with this. “A grassroots movement (often referenced in the context of a political movement) is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures.”

For Jamie’s project, he is relying on creating a following, that would create the foundation for his project and help spread the message. But he also would like to create traveling kitchens and a traveling food theater to make his project entertaining and interactive. From my perspective, the traction for this project is based on two components: people and interaction. This is a good formula for other projects who are looking to gain traction in a community. You draw the people in with interaction, and then rely on them to feel passionate and spread the word.

In the comment section of the article, many people were eager to partner with Jamie’s project to support and help organize his ideas. I think that the biggest way to attract reaction like this, is to be backed by TED! But the other large factor is that he’s addressing a large problem and is presenting a sound project plan. Creating this plan is an easy thing to do in Synergy to make sure our projects look attractive in the eyes of the administrators inside and outside of Westminster. If our projects only look half-baked, they won’t attract support.

“Grassroots.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. 20 Nov. 2011.

[Permission to post obtained from student and student’s parent.]

Do we write to read and learn what we are thinking?  Do we prototype, seek feedback, and revise?  How do we connect our thinking to the ideas of others?

Shouldn’t we practice?

[Cross-posted at It’s About Learning]

Students Request Common Formative Assessment

I remember making a note to self about coming to office hours that afternoon. After thinking for a few minutes about my question, I decided to ask here in class instead of waiting until office hours. Hearing the “oohhs!” of my classmates, I was relieved to hear some of my peers had the same question.
MC (from the 2/8/11 journal)

The opportunities to reflect and ask questions are incredibly important.  How often do our learners leave class without asking their question?  For whatever reason, questions go unasked and unanswered. From our friend, Grant Lichtman, we embrace the idea from The Art of Questioning chapter in The Falconer: What we wished we had learned in school

 “Questions are waypoints on the path of wisdom.”

Have we ever stopped to ask “What do you need or what would you like to learn or work on tomorrow?”  If we want more student-directed learning, wouldn’t a great first step be to involve them in the planning of tomorrow’s lessons?

Yesterday, I sent out a #20minwms tweet at the 2o minute mark in class, but I also used exit cards as an additional opportunity for my learners to help inform our next steps in their learning.  I chose 4 to tweet as evidence of learning from class.  These learners from Algebra I said:

If you read my previous post, you will share in my excitement for GW.  I was very pleased with the notes and ideas on all of their exit card.  Then on my way to dinner, one of my Synergy 8 learners asked a great question.

I explained my version of the day’s exit card and the following conversation happened.  To be clear, @TaraWestminster and @fencersz are two of our Synergy 8 learners while @bcgymdad and @danelled111 are my teammates.


While I’ve been considering how to promote more student-directed learning for quite some time, I have to admit that I have never considered student-directed common formative assessment.  Isn’t it great that these two bright young learners feel they have a voice in their learning and assessment?  Won’t you join me in applauding their advocacy for themselves and other learners?  Doesn’t this show that we are a community of learners?  We learn from each other; we focus on learning and questioning. 

It is about lifelong learning!   


Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School.
     New York: IUniverse, 2008. 35. Print.