Thursday, January 6, 2011

3 Days without Twitter = TORTURE

On Sunday, January 2nd, I was thinking about how to convince other teachers both at my school and elsewhere to join Twitter. I decided to go on a week-long “Twitter-strike.” I would not get on Twitter, not respond to any of the texts that come to my phone from Twitter, basically have no contact with the Twitter world until Sunday, January 9th. I kept a notepad and pen handy during the school day and I wrote down all the things that I missed out on, all the times I could have asked for help/ideas, all the times I could have helped another educator, everything I would have used Twitter for.

Well it is January 6th, so you can see how I did. I couldn’t take it anymore. Below is a list of some, (the real list was just too long), of the missed opportunities in just 3 days with no Twitter. What finally broke me was when a student asked, “Can I tweet about what we’re doing?” My Twitter strike was now prohibiting my students from using it and that was unacceptable.

My goal is simple: to let teachers know the power of Twitter who don’t already. There could also be some ways to use Twitter on this list that teachers on Twitter hadn’t thought of. There are so many other ways that Twitter makes teachers better that I haven’t even experienced yet. I am officially a Twitter-holic (thanks @kevcreutz for that) and want to share that joy with everybody!

Epilogue – since the creation of the first draft of this blog, my principal had approached me about doing a “Tweetorial” for our staff. See, my Twitter strike couldn’t have lasted, my boss wouldn’t let it!

Blessings on your 2011 – I pray it is Twitter filled and student centered!


1. Asking for China resources/ideas/people to Skype with in China for my 6th history unit on China

2. Helping an awesome teacher, @karacornejo, with her questions about outdoor ed and another question. (Sorry I didn’t reply Kara, still need stuff?)

3. Finding pastors for my Pastor to follow now that he is on Twitter. (Go @revdmc2!)

4. Asking for updates and sharing those updates with my students as they come in, about the Australia floods.

5. Welcoming our librarian and helping her connect with other librarians. (welcome @BevBrown61)

6. Showing my students the Ayers Rock photo that came from the astronaut that tweets pictures from space, during our unit on Australia

7. BRAGGING on my awesome 7th graders during school day about their Australia Google presentations they created and were showing. They really did an amazing job. Bragging about my shyest student getting up and talking because it was safer with technology. (COOL MOMENT OF THE WEEK!)

8. Telling again how I did my best teaching this week from the back of the room while the students led a lesson.

9. Updating parents about the everyday goings on in our classrooms.

10. Sharing, via twitpic, our technology-challenged chapel service, where we used a bull-horn because the sound system and projector were not working.

11. Telling others about my blog about Project X and the final stats from it.

12. Getting the tweets my principal was putting out.

13. Pursuing #stuchat

14. Participating in #edchat

15. Thanking people for RTing my blog (THANKS @gret and @blog4edu)

16. Searching for Ipad Apps

17. Thanking people for following me

18. Asking for help broadcasting my 8th graders Presidential presentations for parents.


20. COUNTLESS other activities, ideas, professional conversations

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Project X - Complete!

After 25 days, over 2400 pictures taken, and countless hours Project X comes to a close.  It was really an awesome project.  I cannot put in words how awed I was by how many people helped spread the word.  It showed me what a small world we really do live on.  We had over 3100 hits to the website, from 6 continents, 43 countries and all 50 United States.  You can see a summary of the hits here - PROJECT X ANALYTICS.  It truly shows the power of social media (Twitter and FB) as well as just regular old email and "word of keyboard." 

I would change some things if we were to do it again.  We needed to be more organized and uniform in our picture taking.  It would have been nice to be about a week ahead of the calendar as well, but as it was we were scrambling the day before and sometimes the day of to get it finished.   However, I liked the Weebly website and would definitely use it again. 

The 8th graders were very diligent in this project.  Yesterday was our first day back at school and as we summed up and discussed the project.  Some of their comments cracked me up - "Are you going to do something like this next year?"  "What could you do to top this?"  "Let's do a Lenten calendar!"  (At this point I said let's move on to Science.)  Their enthusiasm is contagious and appreciated though. 

We received a lot of positive feedback.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment on the blog, send an email, or tweet a response.  The 8th graders and I really appreciated it.  (My favorite was when we were told "Mele Kalikimaka" from Hawaii!!)  At the bottom is a Wordle of some of the comments.

God's blessings to all in 2011 - I wonder what Project Y will be this year . . . . . .  Follow along on Twitter at @mra47 and @aslsms