This past school year, 50 eleventh- and twelfth-graders at San Francisco’s Burton High School started tweeting in class for the first time.
Many were familiar with Twitter and some use it on a daily basis, but never for school. As in most instances, there’s a major disconnect between the role of social media in their lives outside school — where they use Twitter and Facebook to chat with friends, and update their status — and what happens at Burton. This class also demonstrates what recent studies have shown: that a large majority of kids have cell phones, even if they come from low-income families. In these two classes, 90% of students had cell phones, and 63% qualify for free or reduced lunch.
But the fact that they were tweeting in class was enough to get them excited in the project. The video below looks at the impact of KQED Do Now, a weekly activity for high school students that engages them in topical issues using Twitter, with these students and their teacher Wendy Berkelman.