In this short clip, primary languages teacher Lisa Stevens talks about how she uses Twitter in the classroom to enable her pupils to ask real questions from her network of like-minded colleagues about the themes they are learning. By crowdsourcing her network in this way, Lisa explains how she is able to gain authentic feedback in real time and make her lessons more engaging and dynamic as a result.
For example, she asked her PLN to answer the question "What musical instruments do you play?" and was delighted with the various responses in either English or Spanish which she felt raised the cultural and grammatical awareness of her pupils.
Lisa then goes on to say how Twitter has helped her develop professionally as a teacher and mirrors the view of many colleagues who have also made the effort to nurture their own personal learning network using the free micro-blogging tool.
To see another example of Lisa using Twitter in the classroom, have a look at her recent appearance on Teachers TV where she starred in the wonderful Online communities programme first broadcast in September 2009.
In the clip, Lisa projects her Twitter home page on the interactive whiteboard so her pupils can see her PLN's responses. Alternatively, she could have used a free PowerPoint Twitter Feedback tool from SAP which can be embedded within a presentation slide as a Flash file. I used this during my presentation at The Language Show 2009 along with the Virtual Magnifying Glass to ensure those at the back could see the tweets as they were displayed on the screen. This clip explains how to set up the slide, but first it show how to live tweet during a presentation to help the audience and others follow your ideas more easily.
You can also use Twitter as a live voting tool in PowerPoint. I remember seeing David Muir do this via Twitter and text messages during his presentation Podcasting for Pre-service Teachers at The Scottish Learning Festival 2009 and was very impressed.
Of course, Twitter is not for everyone and it may be blocked in your school anyway, but Lisa has certainly shown here how it can be used to break down the walls of the classroom and offer pupils and professionals alike huge opportunities to be enthused and make learning more connected and collaborative. You go girl!