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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More twittering

Categories: Geography General

A while ago, I posted about a web service called twitter. I said I'd like to explore this at some point, and between inspections, enterprise events and after school courses I've been presenting, I kind of forgot all about it. Basically, as I see it, it's a way for you to tell people what you are up to while you're on the move. It's a bit like SMS texts. If someone decides to follow you on twitter, they can get updates sent to their phones, or else they can access what you've been doing through the internet. Anyway, I got an indirect reminder of this through an English colleague, and set to thinking how I could use this with classes. Here's what I've been thinking...

1) For communicating in the summer from the Alps field trip. Last year, I tried to blog from the Alps using my phone -did this retrospectively- and had some difficulties ( I was trying to send photos to flickr/blog, and my i-mail wasn't working). My ordinary text messaging was fine, as long as it was just text. I think we could probably use twitter to keep people updated on where we're going/where we've been etc. I would be quite happy to let students do some of the updates, it's your trip. Your friends/parents could be following your journey through text updates, and it may save you a few bob too.

2) For Advanced Higher Diary/Fieldwork. Quite a lot of the time at the moment, I find myself starting a period asking for updates on fieldwork for the Geographical Study- What have you done, where have you been, why did you choose certain sample points, what were the difficulties in your sampling methods etc. I think we could maybe utilise this in the same spirit that we've used bloglines this year, and use technology to make things easier for all of us. I could follow your updates and would have my own record of how you've been doing. This would certainly allow me to be more focused on particulars of your individual fieldwork in class as I'd already know the bulk of what you had achieved. You would have an informal record of what you'd done and could then write this up - something which I've noticed hasn't been so easy if you haven't kept an accurate field notebook. The great thing about both of these ideas is that I don't have to disclose my mobile number to anyone and neither do you.

It would be easy to be sceptical about twitter as just another way to tell people you don't know more things they don't need to know about, but I think this is something that both students and parents might quite like. I tried using twitter last night and today when we were out on a trip, and another major plus is that it's really simple to work with. I'll be mooting the idea to Advanced Higher next week, we'll see how we get on with this.


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