Adding a Twitter Feed to My e-Learning Class

My online journey continues.  My tech-guru mentor and DeLC, Carey Eldridge (shout out!) has helped me immeasurably as I try to tailor my elearning page into something more than just an “elearning page”.  I have stated that I wanted to change my terminology from “course page” to “class page”. I want to transform my thinking for my students from taking an online course to attending my class that happens to be online. I have tried to do this by recently adding a few things to my class.

A twitter feed has been added to my page. It’s still in its development phase. beta version? But, the link is there! I have created a twitter account and I will try to update it daily. I  have asked for student tweets to add some dimension to the page. I will also post reminders, tips, extra incentive and a cheering section on this page when student chatter is low. I like the idea of having a twitter feed, because it is easy to update and allows the students another way to connect.  If twitter is already on their phone or mobile device, its very quick to check a status and have a reminder if they can’t log in to the CLASS to see what’s happening.

I have started a discussion that asks for audio or video feedback. This has not been curriculum based (to start) on purpose. In a face-to-face class, we would certainly have discussions that get “off topic” or fit into teachable moments, or just have some fun! I’m hoping this allows students to get involved without fear or worry. Sometimes students don’t get involved in class discussion for fear of giving a wrong answer, but these discussions have been opinion and for fun. I’m hoping this helps with student engagement and participation. It could open the door to having more confidence in posting to other class discussions.

I have yet to try some more collaborative tools I was introduced to at the OTRK12 conference, but that has certainly made me push my boundaries further than I would have had I not attended. I signed up to twitter, I made an effort to expand the discussions, I have trial-and-error-ed some timeglider, voicethread, snapchap and jing. I’m also still in development stages here!  I’m slowly getting feedback from my students who have noticed the changes, but don’t always participate in the changes. I’ve heard, “the voki is cute”, “the go!animate was weird, but funny”, “i love the video instructions” and (best of all) “the video feedback helped me so much more than when you just type it”. (way to go D2L grader!)

I’m getting there. I’m expanding my horizons. I’m pushing my boundaries. I’m opening new doors. And I certainly didn’t do it without help and encouragement from those who have already been there or have lots of experience to help. Thanks!

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