Cintia Andrade's design narrative: A Twitter experience

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Cintia Andrade
15 April 2013

Title Tweeting with teens

Narrator

I was teaching English to a group of advanced students - all teenagers. I was responsible for implementing a project involving digital technology in the class.

Situation

It was a small group of about 6 students aged between 15-18. We met twice a week for an hour and a half. They had a great relationship with one another and with the teacher. We'd been together for almost a year and I felt they were the perfect group to try a project, as they'd give me sincere feedback.

Task

I wanted to work with students' digital literacy and to get them engaged outside classroom hours.

Actions

1. I asked students to create a Twitter account and to follow me and their classmates (I created a second account just for the project). - A lot of students demonstrated then that they weren't really into Twitter.

2. Every week I posted questions related to the topics we were seeing in class. - Some students posted lots of answers, but most of these were directed to me, they didn't really engage in conversation with each other.

3. During the classes, I would ask them questions related to what they had posted on Twitter. - A lot of students had not been following the discussions and thus felt "left out".

Results

I expected students to practise the language learnt in class outside classroom hours, and I was pleased with the fact that they interacted in English only, even with one another. Something else I hoped to achieve was to get them to try a new digital tool and learn how to use it - some students took to it and learnt how to use hashtags, how to do searches and other things.

Reflections

The first lesson learnt for me had to do with the choice of the digital tool to work with. I believe students should've had a voice in the decision and I shouldn't have imposed a tool I chose upon them. Also, I was responsible for prompting students with questions. Maybe if I had asked them to post questions, they would've interacted more with one another and less with me only.

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