To some, a Twitter chat can mean endless banter that can cause major distraction. Young people love to use the popular platform to communicate with their friends on what they are doing at any given moment. To educators, this kind of use doesn't jibe in the classroom...and mobile devices in many schools are outlawed for that reason alone (well, it's more about texting than Twitter...but these are similar issues).
At KQED, we have looked at Twitter and researched ways to shift its use to measure learning, something that teachers would want to introduce to their kids. KQED Do Now has become that model where high school students from all over the Bay Area participate in a weekly Twitter chat and discuss current events. They talk politics and policy, social issues, science, and even arts and popular culture. Last week's Do Now, students investigated contact sports and concussions, looking at research conducted at Stanford University about helmet safety in football. On Twitter, they discussed whether new policies should be put in place.
We collect and archive these tweets in our weekly Do Now Round Up. Here's one from a few weeks back where students graded President Obama's performance during his first four years as president.
Do Now has become a great conversation starter and warm up exercise for students. Here's a video that explains how KQED Do Now adds value to learning. It's worth checking out. Maybe we can get you and your students to join the conversation Spring along with our new working group of educators from all over the country.