Reasons to be cheerful…….Twiducate!
Here are 35 ways to use Twiducate to deepen learning.
I have split the tips up into four sections; using the main “Post to Class” section, using the “Important Dates” section, using the “Class Bookmarks” and using the “Chat” option.
I hope you find it helpful and please, feel free to comment, and it would be great if you could add some more uses!
POST TO CLASS
1. Twiducate Words.
Post a keyword(s) for the lesson and ask you students to post their definition of the word. A nice starter, good for literacy, opportunity to cover misconceptions and a good way to engage students at the start of a lesson.
You can then ask students to vote on the “best” definition by clicking on the “like” icon (see more below).
To deepen learning, nominate students to decide on the keyword(s).
2. Ask questions using Twiducate.
Asking effective questions is the key to deep learning, Twiducate lends itself to this brilliantly.
Use Twiducate to ask;
- Closed questions – “Which gas is the raw material required for Photosynthesis?”, this will give you a specific answer, perhaps suitable for assessing prior knowledge etc.
- Open questions – “Who was responsible for the assassination of JFK?”, asks students to use Higher Order Thinking Skills such as application, evaluation and creation.
- Range finding questions – “Tell me what you know about Sustainability”, who knows what in your class? and how well do they know it?
- Hinge questions – “Global Warming? How’s fault is it?”, your lesson could hinge on this question, depending on which way the lesson goes, depends on the answers!
3. Twiducate Association Map.
Post an idea, concept, or question to the class and ask your students to post their one word ideas and thoughts. Twiducate allows you to “Print” posts, basically all the posts appear on screen, using something like Wordle you can cut and paste the posts into a word cloud (more later).
4. Twiducate consequences.
Create a chain story with your students, take it in turn to add a line to a story. I personally would use the Class Network list as this sorts out your students into alphabetical order, so your sequencing works effectively.
5. Starter sentences using Twiducate.
Similar to above, but this time you start the story with an opening line or paragraph and the students follow up with their own words. A real opportunity for creativity, remember to give your students suitable time to come up with something that they feel proud of (jotting ideas down first, then drafting before posting may be an option).
6. Translate Twiducate.
Ideal for a Modern Foreign Language lesson. Post your students a sentences in a foreign language, and ask your students to reply to you using the same foreign language. Or you can even ask the students to translate the sentences into English. (If I was clever I would write something witty here in French!)
7. Sum Up Twiducate.
Ask your students to read an article or chapter and then post their brief summary or précis of the key point(s). Although Twiducate doesn’t limit characters like normal Twitter does – you could limit the number of words yourself, perhaps an engaging way to differentiate? Could you sum up “Down the Mine” by George Orwell in 50 words?
8. Homework Twiducate.
Engage your students by posting them their homework! Remember, students can access Twiducate at any time, all they need is the class code and their six digit password. In the settings you can turn on or off the option to receive an eMail every time a new post is added – or in other words you will have instant notification when the homework has been completed. (I would suggest turning it off during class activities as your inbox will be brimming in a matter of minutes!)
9. Twiducate Self Assessment.
A beautifully simple plenary for the 21st Century learner! Ask your students to their own work using Twiducate and encourage them to write SMART targets on how they expect to progress. Ideal for each student to reflect on their own work and what they will do next lesson to help their learning.
10. Twiducate Peer Assessment.
Obviously similar to above but this time ask your students to assess the work of others. Pair students up, small group work or even class discussions on one piece of work. Asking students to reflect on work by others can help them develop their own understanding of what they are learning.
11. Twiducate Journalism
Use Twiducate to teach journalism. Ask students to use Twiducate to report news to practice communicating important information succinctly. This could be used in a History lesson to learn about past events or it could be a way to inform and engage students in current affairs. As a class project students could produce a live minute by minute account of a famous news story – either a live news story or a past event. Royal Wedding??
12. Twiducate famous conversations.
Invite students to post imagined conversations between famous literary figures such as Romeo and Juliet, Sherlock Holmes and Watson or how about Albert Einstein chatting to Professor Brian Cox? The options are endless, again supports creativity, literacy and engagement.
13. Twiducate is out of this world!
Create a fantasy planet and ask your students or “Alien explorers” to post back to the ‘Mother Ship’ what they have found out in today’s lesson – for example a lesson on Adaptation in Science could lead to the students posting about strange creatures found on planet Earth! Simply this is an alternative to the “write what you have learnt in the lesson…”
14. Twiduacte Maths puzzles.
Maths, Chemistry or Physics teachers need not feel left out from posting teasers on Twiducate. You have options in your post box to enlarge text, highlight text, colour text etc, don’t be frightened in using these as they may communicate your posts in a more eye-catching way.
15. Twiducate Speling!
Write a short paragraph or sentence with deliberate spelling and grammatical mistakes and ask your students to correct it for you! As you will well know, students love “out-smarting” their teacher, give them the opportunity!
16. Twiducate Vote.
Using the “Like” icon students can vote as to which post they like best, or which post they feel is correct. When all the posts are up from the class, ask your students to vote. You can then hover over the icons and see which post is the most popular – perfect way to lead into a class discussion.
17. Twiducate Avatar.
When each students signs in they will be able to update their Avatar – really nice option, they can make it personal by uploading images of themselves etc. They also have an opportunity to write a short biography of themselves, why not use this option to ask your students to write a target for the next lesson. When they next login to Twiducate their target will be available for them and others to see.
18. Wordle Twiducate.
The ‘print’ option enables you to upload all posts written in the class (also available for the ‘chat’ option), simply cut and paste this into Wordle and you will have a keyword cloud. This could be used for presentations, display, plenaries or starters. Put the word cloud up at the start of a lesson and ask the class “what do you think these students were writing about?”
19. Student Twiducate Questions.
Encourage your students to ask YOU questions. Perhaps you could set this up as a piece of homework, ask them to comment on a part of the lesson they perhaps they didn’t fully understand, or ask them to decide what they want to learn next lesson. By viewing posts before lessons you can plan directly for the specific needs of your class.
20. Everyone can Twiducate.
One of the main reasons why using Twiducate is so effective that it enables your students to contribute in lessons without them feeling pressured or under scrutiny by other students. Even the more ‘reluctant’ students will be able to express their thoughts. As Twiducate is live and can be accessed at any time you could set it up as a forum out of class.
21. Stuck Twiducate.
You’ve heard of a ‘Stuck Board’ right? It’s usually a display board in the room where students can pin up questions to the teacher and other students about areas of learning they are ‘stuck’ on. Remember being stuck is OK, staying stuck is not! Use Twiducate as a Stuck Board, encouraging students to write down areas of learning where they are not 100% certain. To deepen the learning of your students, get THEM to answer the questions of their colleagues.
The Important Dates section on Twiducate allows you as a teacher to post various pieces of information for you students, here are a few suggestions;
22. Post Exam dates.
Ensure that all your students are aware of their exam dates, these could be mock exams and real exams. Develops their self management skills so they can plan ahead.
23. Coursework deadlines.
Post up deadlines for students coursework, allow them to complete it in achievable chunks.
All homelearning (or as some call it, Homework) can now be posted on Twiducate, again another way to engage your students. Work is very very different to learning.
25. Assessment sheets.
Post up a copy of you class’ assessment sheets, students can access this any time they use Twiducate. This will obviously keep your students updated with what levels/grades they are working at, what their target levels/grades are and suggestions of how they can meet or even exceed their targets.
26. Parent Page.
This neat idea could be another way to communicate to parents about the fantastic and engaging learning that their children are doing in your lessons. You could write a brief synopsis of what students are learning in lessons, or to deepen learning ask each student in turn to add to the page; “Sarah, would you like to write three sentences to everyone’s parents about what we’ve learnt today?”
The Class Bookmarks section on Twiducate allows you as a teacher to post pieces of information that your students can access in lessons or at home, here are a few suggestions;
27. Bookmark a website.
Inform your students of a fantastic website(s) for them to learn from in the lesson. No longer will students search for a topic and bring up the first website they see (why is it always Wikipedia?), by bookmarking websites it will ensure that your students will be looking at you want them to. Ask them to compare and evaluate the validity of two websites or ask them to post five things they have learnt from the website.
28. Bookmark an image.
A great way to encourage visual learning. Bookmark an image, one that engages, stimulates or even a controversial one and ask them to comment on it. There are obviously many questions you could ask; what do you think this is an image of? can you write ten words to describe the image? what are the people thinking in the picture? what feelings are stimulated by this picture? can you write a headline for this image? can you write a story opening for this image? etc
29. Bookmark your presentations.
Bookmark the PowerPoint, Prezi presentations that you have used in class. As well as the students having the opportunity to re read it etc, you could also ask them to produce a slide for the presentation as homework etc.
30. Bookmark Revision Websites.
Choose the most appropriate website which will assist their revision and bookmark it for your students. Encourage students to find other revision sites and post the weblinks, ask your class to vote (using the like button) which site they prefer best.
31. The Chat option.
The Chat option in my mind is brilliant! Which ever way you use it, will help your students learn. Excellent for developing metacognitive skills and encouraging your students to learn form other students. At first you may be reluctant to use it, but please, it is a must!
32. For reluctant students.
For the more reluctant students, this allows students to discuss ideas BEFORE they post. Like any class dynamics some students will not be as comfortable as others in saying “but Sir! I don’t get it!”. Allow them to use this tool to ask other students about their learning.
33. “I’m stuck!”
Students may not post about when and why they are stuck but they may chat about it. As a teacher you can also contribute to the chat, so encourage your students to chat about their learning.
34. Planning for teacher.
Use the print option to view what you students have been chatting about, it may be very surprising. If they were all chatting about a certain concept, perhaps you will need to cover it again in another lesson in another way.
35. Wordle it!
Again using the print option in Twiducate, cut and paste the chat into Wordle and create a word cloud. This could be used for presentations, display, plenaries or starters. Put the word cloud up at the start of a lesson and ask the class “can you remeber what we were chatting about last lesson?”
…and one last thing, Twiducate is absolutely free!