It’s Time to Use Twitter in Your Classroom

flickr photo by Rosaura Ochoa shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Twitter is an excellent tool for connecting, learning and sharing resources.

For primary students, a classroom Twitter account is a great way to authentically teach about digital citizenship. Each time you post a tweet, you’ll naturally talk about how it will be visible to everyone. You’ll model careful word choice. You’ll ask students about how the tweet might be perceived by readers. This scaffolding of digital awareness and skills is difficult to teach behind a firewall. And without those lessons, students are less prepared to navigate the world of social media.

There are numerous authentic uses for older students as well, including researching and connecting with industry experts and college professors, exploring trends and following various agencies, governments, and non-profits.

The tool can also be used for students to post questions and connect online around a specific class or unique hashtag.

Looking for other uses for Twitter in the classroom? Check out more ideas here, here, and here.


Great New Blog for Global Connections & Inspiration

creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo by Judy **:

There are a variety of ways to help your students connect globally.  If you are looking for ideas and inspiration, you should check out this great blog called the Global Classroom Project.

From their about page:

“We warmly welcome new members into the #globalclassroom community, and are happy to provide any support and guidance you need to get started on your global collaboration journey.

To join our community, please join our current project wiki and fill out the registration form. We would also highly recommend joining our online spaces on Google Plus and Facebook. You can follow us on Twitter at @gcporganisers.”

From a recent post titled, “Reflections on International Mindedness:”

A guest post courtesy of Toni Olivieri-Barton who blogs at

In the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization, “international-minded” students are defined as demonstrating all of the following attributes: open-minded, risk-taker, reflective, principled, balanced, inquirer, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators and caring. There are many ways to give our students enough time to practice these attributes. I have incorporated them into the library time and collaborating with teachers to allow students to show these attributes to others around the world

Global projects assist teachers and students in being able to demonstrate all those attributes, but especially open-minded, risk-taking, and reflective. In a global project, classrooms around the world meet virtually to discuss cultural similarities and differences. For students who may never get to travel outside of their neighborhood or school, this global experience is essential because they will hear ideas and opinions that they themselves have not thought about. Even understanding students in a different school in the United States can open up their minds allowing them to care and reflect on their life.” Read the entire piece here.

Out of Eden Walk

Photo Credit: Natman via Compfight cc

Journalist Paul Salopek is tracing the path of human ancestors and is walking from Ethiopia to Tierra del Fuego. He began in January 2013 and his entire journey will take about 7 years.

There are many ways to follow along.

1. Twitter: Paul Salopek

2. Harvard’s Project Zero:

“Out of Eden Learn is a unique online learning community designed to accompany Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden Walk. Through Out of Eden Learn, students from around the world can engage in Paul’s journey and all that it represents. They explore their own neighborhoods, investigate contemporary global issues, and reflect on how they as individuals fit into a broader geographical and historical context. In addition, they share their perspectives and interact with one another on an exciting digital platform that uses social media as a springboard for deep, meaningful learning. The goal is to ignite students’ interest in the wider world and support them to become more informed, thoughtful, and engaged “global citizens.”

Out of Eden Learn is an initiative of Project Zero, a research center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, in collaboration with Paul Salopek. With generous support from the Abundance Foundation, Out of Eden Learn is open to all schools and students, free of charge.” Read more here and here.

3. The New York Times:

Beginning piece, November 22, 2013

A Stroll Around the World

“ON THE GULF OF AQABA, Jordan — I AM walking across the world. In January I set out on foot from Herto Bouri, an early site of Homo sapiens fossils in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia, to retrace the pathways of the first anatomically modern humans who colonized the planet at least 60,000 years ago. My finish line is in Tierra del Fuego, at the chilly tip of South America, the last nook of the continents settled by our ancestors. This long ramble will last seven continuous years. It will span 21,000 miles. (I have logged about 1,700 miles to date.).”  Read more here.

Most Recent, November 21, 2014

Tiptoeing Through Kurdistan

” KARS, Turkey — ‘We have enemies.’

The old Kurdish woman said this by way of running me off. I had trekked into her mountain hamlet at dusk, hoping to camp nearby. She waved a hand at the stone homes around us. Most were empty. There had been a killing between neighbors. The house of the perpetrator had been leveled. Fearing retribution, his relatives had run for their lives. Armed members of the victim’s family were now guarding the place against their return. The watchmen’s lonesome campfire seesawed in the wind high up on a cliff.

“It’s not safe here,” the woman apologized. So I walked on. I slept five miles away in a field.” Read more here.

4. National Geographic:

Blessed. Cursed. Claimed.

On Foot through the Holy Lands, December 2014

“Jerusalem is not a city of war. Avner Goren is stubborn on this point.

We are on foot, walking under a cloudless morning sky in the Levant, following a river of raw sewage that foams in torrents from East Jerusalem—12 million gallons a day, Goren informs me—a foul discharge that runs for 23 miles down to the Dead Sea. We are trailing the waste as a form of pilgrimage. Goren, one of Israel’s leading archaeologists, thinks like this.” Read more here.

5. Out of Eden Walk Site

“Welcome to our digital campfire.

Although you’re joining it online, this discussion was actually kindled some 60,000 years ago, when our ancestors first wandered out of the prehistoric African Eden, and migrated across the Middle East and Asia, before crossing into North America and rambling to points south.

From 2013 to 2020, writer Paul Salopek is recreating that epic journey on foot, starting at humankind’s birthplace in Ethiopia and ending at the southern tip of South America, where our forebears ran out of horizon. Along the way he is engaging with the major stories of our time — from climate change to technological innovation, from mass migration to cultural survival — by walking alongside the people who inhabit these headlines every day. Moving at the slow beat of his footsteps, Paul is also seeking the quieter, hidden stories of people who rarely make the news.” Read more here.

6. Thematic Maps

A variety of interesting maps and resources are available here.