Connected Educator Twitter Challenge

Co-written with @dougfrankish 

In honor of October being Connected Educator Month, the Tech Integration Specialist team at ASFM decided to provide voluntary teachers the chance to participate in a week long Twitter Challenge. While a lot of learning takes place within the walls of our school, the purpose for proposing teachers with the challenge was to extend teachers’ Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) outside their immediate context.
We began by creating a quick video commercial promoting the challenge- including a monetary incentive- which would extend beyond the intrinsic motivation of becoming a more developed and connected educator. From that point on, teachers had a few days to create their Twitter account, with the help from any TIS member, and complete the challenges at their own pace- as long as they finished by October 31st.

Participants who completed all 16 Twitter Challenges would have their name placed in a lottery to be the winner of 1 of 2 gift cards for $500 and $300 pesos to Starbucks or iTunes.

In the end 44 teachers participated, 26 of whom completed the challenge. Among the participants, leading by example, were multiple administrative members, instructional coaches, team leaders, and department heads. While many staff members took the initiative head on, there were a few who sought help and needed some encouragement. All along the way the TIS team promoted a growth mindset toward becoming more connected, learning further within the educational field, and using social media as a tool for doing so. To assist in the growth mindset area, teachers were provided video tutorials for differentiated learning as well as face to face support.

The “8 Day Twitter Challenge”, as we called it, consisted of a series of 16 different tasks to perform during the week. The tasks were designed to eventually expose all teachers to the main features of Twitter. For instance, they had to do a retweet, a modified tweet, use hashtags, search for connections, tweet a picture, follow people, etc. The complete list of tasks was as follows: (Full Google Spreadsheet)

Challenge # Challenge
1 Send a Tweet with your name, grade level/subject area & school. Include #asfmtech and #ce14
2 Add your name and Twitter handle to “ASFM Twitter Handles” sheet at the bottom of this page.
3 Follow at least 5 people from the “ASFM Twitter Handles.” Send them each a welcome Tweet, include their @username, #asfmtech and #ce14
4 Tweet your favorite educational website/blog/tool/resource by including the link (http://… or favorite URL shortener), short description, #asfmtech and #ce14
5 Follow at least 5 people from this list of Educational Tweeters
6 Look through the #Hashtags sheet at the bottom of this page. Search and explore a #hashtag in Twitter that fits your context.
7 Share another user’s idea by Modifying a Tweet from the #hashtag search of your choice. Include #asfmtech #ce14. Tutorial for help
8 Half way there! Tweet why you love being an ASFM Eagle, include #asfmtech #ce14
9 Send a Tweet with an idea or thought to share with other educators using a #hashtag from the list, include #asfmtech #ce14
10 Send a multimedia Tweet- include an educational photo or video (personal or from favorite educational site). Include #asfmtech #ce14
11 The multimedia Tweet is enough for one day, good job! Take the rest of the day to rest- or be ambitious and continue to connect with #asfmtech #ce14
12 Share 1 benefit you’ve found from using Twitter. Include any appropriate #hashtags and of course #asfmtech #ce14
13 Ask a question to your followers you’d like advice on. Include appropriate #hashtags to widen your audience. Include #asfmtech #ce14
14 Follow Friday! Use #FF and tweet the @username of educators you’d suggest others should follow. Add #asfmtech #ce14
15 Tweet your thoughts about using Twitter for a full week! #asfmtech #ce14
16 Last day of the challenge. Take this time to look over each step and be sure you have completed each one!


This turned out to be a very interesting week that exceeded our expectations. The results we found amazed us:

• Some teachers had already an account but had really never used it.
• Some teachers were completely new to Twitter.
• The participants, from all sorts of grade levels and subject areas, have formed an online community.
• The professional growth this week was astounding.
• Many teachers found useful resources and fellow educators.
• Most of the administrative staff jumped on board and modeled the use of Twitter.
• 25% of the staff participated, and more are talking about it!

We used the Random Name Picker from ClassTools.net as our tool for selecting the final winners!

Click on the image below to read through the Storify and see what the teachers and administrators felt were the major take aways from ASFM’s 8 Day Connected Educator Twitter Challenge.

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 1.24.33 PM

To help spread the Twitter Challenge love we had buttons made.

buttons

We look forward to more opportunities like this to promote the use of technology in meaningful ways. This challenge is over, but we hope teachers have discovered the value in a PLN and continue connecting, learning, sharing, and collaborating online.

 

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