October was Connected Educator Month. As a way to celebrate and wrap up the month, at our school we created a week long activity, a.k.a. Twitter Challenge. For some time now we’ve been nudging our teachers to use Twitter to form or increase their PLN (see Twitter for your PLN). This was just the perfect opportunity to encourage the use of Twitter!
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. Here’s the complete list of tasks.
|Friday||10/24/2014||1||Send a Tweet with your name, grade level/subject area & school. Include #asfmtech and #ce14|
|Friday||10/24/2014||2||Add your name and Twitter handle to "ASFM Twitter Handles" sheet at the bottom of this page.|
|Saturday||10/25/2014||3||Follow at least 5 people from the "ASFM Twitter Handles." Send them each a welcome Tweet, include their @username, #asfmtech and #ce14|
|Saturday||10/25/2014||4||Tweet your favorite educational website/blog/tool/resource by including the link (http://... or favorite URL shortener), short description, #asfmtech and #ce14|
|Sunday||10/26/2014||5||Follow at least 5 people from this list of Educational Tweeters: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/12/40-educational-tweeters-every-teacher.html|
|Monday||10/27/2014||6||Look through the #Hashtags sheet at the bottom of this page. Search and explore a #hashtag in Twitter that fits your context.|
|Monday||10/27/2014||7||Share another user's idea by Modifying a Tweet from the #hashtag search of your choice. Include #asfmtech #ce14. Tutorial for help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR2OI-QJnKk|
|Tuesday||10/28/2014||8||Half way there! Tweet why you love being an ASFM Eagle, include #asfmtech #ce14|
|Tuesday||10/28/2014||9||Send a Tweet with an idea or thought to share with other educators using a #hashtag from the list, include #asfmtech #ce14|
|Wednesday||10/29/2014||10||Send a multimedia Tweet- include an educational photo or video (personal or from favorite educational site). Include #asfmtech #ce14|
|Wednesday||10/29/2014||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|
|Thursday||10/30/2014||12||Share 1 benefit you've found from using Twitter. Include any appropriate #hashtags and of course #asfmtech #ce14|
|Thursday||10/30/2014||13||Ask a question to your followers you'd like advice on. Include appropriate #hashtags to widen your audience. Include #asfmtech #ce14|
|Friday||10/31/2014||14||Follow Friday! Use #FF and tweet the @username of educators you'd suggest others should follow. Add #asfmtech #ce14|
|Friday||10/31/2014||15||Tweet your thoughts about using Twitter for a full week! #asfmtech #ce14|
|Friday||10/31/2014||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!
To help spread the Twitter Challenge love we had buttons made.
To make things even more attractive, those that completed the challenge participated in a lottery in which they had a chance to win a $500 or a $300 pesos iTunes or Starbucks card.
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.