Bloom's Taxonomy: Comprehension, Application
This semester I introduced my two ENG 101s to Twitter, both in similar and in different ways than in the fall. In my ENG 101 Global Politics (GP) class, I had them use Twitter as a note-taking device while we watched films such as The Black Power Mix Tape. In follow up exercises, I'd have them re-read what the rest of the class Tweeted, reTweet those they found interesting, and 'message' the author to explain why. I imagined it as a writing process activity and a collaborative learning exercise.
In my other ENG 101 Ethics of Food (EF) class, I was a little overwhelmed because it wasn't a cluster (with 6 hours of class time): instead, we lacked a lab and only met twice a week. It took more time to get them situated with blogs, and therefore I rolled out Twitter as a later semester assignment. Since their Tweets would necessarily be out of class, I assigned their Tweets to the research portions of their second and third essays. Besides Tweeting what they enjoyed about the reading, a task I continued from last semester's classes, they were instructed to find articles related to class discussions - and their research - and to Tweet the links. They were to then follow up with a Tweet about why they chose those links.
How It Went
The GP class seemed to enjoy Tweeting as a form of note taking. I liked having visible demonstrations of their thoughts; Twitter allowed their note-taking to become public, and potentially evaluable. Their Tweets captured several key elements of the film. As I hoped, many students included some observations into their second essays on black power and civil rights. We used the hashtag #bpmt
Some of the EF class produced the Tweets I assigned, and I'm still waiting to see how they integrate that material into an assignment. I plan to create an in-class activity on Thursday that will allow them to 'draft' Tweets in class so that they can save a step outside of class. The problem here was participation: I only had 1/3 of the class figure out Twitter and remember to Tweet, despite it being worth 10% of their final grade (on a pass/fail basis). We used the hashtag #foodethics
Twitter is like an open note taking process. I might have students sign on to the school Wifi with their phones in the future and just Tweet responses that way. It allows notes to become comparable and traceable. It makes students accountable for in-class writing in a way that their notebooks sometimes do not.
Twitter is a valuable resource tool, but I may have made a mistake waiting so long to introduce it alongside the research components of the EF class assignments. The students that completed the task did a good job, though.
Global Politics Example #bpmt
Ethics of Food Example #foodethics