140 characters in search of a story: microblogging in language arts

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Presented at TIES Language Arts Seminar, August 18, 2009.


  • 140 Characters in Search of a StoryUsing Microblogging in Language Arts

    TIES Language Arts SeminarAugust 18, 2009

  • Brevity is the soul of wit.PoloniusHamlet II.ii

  • Brevity is the soul of Twitter.(what he really meant)

  • Participate via TwitterTag your tweets: #tieslaTake notesPost questionsParticipate in activities

  • Session OverviewTwitter basicsMicroblogging conceptsTwitter (or just the idea of Twitter)Edmodo: Twitter for educatorsLessons, activities, and resources

  • Before We StartWhat brings you here today?What do you hope to learn? What questions do you have?

  • What is microblogging?Microblogging is a form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send brief text updates (say, 140 characters or fewer). . . .


  • And why should we care? Why would you subject your friends to your daily minutiae? And conversely, how much of their trivia can you absorb? The growth of ambient intimacy can seem like modern narcissism taken to a new, supermetabolic extreme. Clive Thompson

  • Twitter Basics@replies - Public replyRT - Re-TweetDM - Direct messageTinyurl - Shorter is betterHashtag - Label your tweet

  • Twitter Talk What Im doingWhat Im thinkingSharing resources & linksConversation via @replies

  • Getting startedSign up for free account at TwitterTwitter in Plain EnglishThe Big Juicy Twitter GuideBlogging Sueblimely: Twitter for Beginners

  • Strengths of microbloggingConciseMetacognitiveSocial & collaborativeEphemeral

  • ConciseTwitters 140-character limit provides a great framework for creating compact messages. Not that theres anything wrong with being verbose; yet having taught writing, theres much to be said for getting straight to the point.Chris SessumsI like Twitter for its asynchronous, forced concision.Barbara Ganley

  • MetacognitiveI also want to explore students using tweets to send out questions and observations to the group while engaged in the "solo work" of the course--the reading and ruminating and writing that so often happens alone. How might sending links and notes this way deepen and broaden our learning experience together?Barbara Ganley

  • Social and collaborativeTwitter and other constant-contact media create social proprioception. They give a group of people a sense of itself, making possible weird, fascinating feats of coordination.Clive Thompson

  • EphemeralThe power of twitter in the classroom lies in harnessing the instantaneous and ephemeral nature of the tool.

    Darren Kuropatwa

  • Think-Pair-ShareHow might these concepts support your instructional goals?

  • Use Twitter to bring literature into your classroom

  • Intrigued by first lines?

  • Follow an author

  • Use Twitter to prompt writing

  • Daily writing prompts

  • Use Twitter to collaborate

  • Twittories, or Twitter stories

  • Use Twitter to find an audience

  • YouthVoices

  • Flash fiction & tiny poetry

  • Flash fictionWikipedia: Fiction of extreme brevityContains (or implies) traditional elements of fiction: character, plot, etc.FlashFictionOnline

  • For sale: baby shoes, never worn.Ernest Hemingway

  • Novel in 12 Words or LessTwelve-word novel win changes life. Fame, drugs, adultery, sorrow, tears, blood. Obituary. First five words free, she thought. Charles dead. Yacht for sale. Louise's love of poodles was overshadowed only by her love of barbecue.On The Medias 2007 Novel Challenge

  • Tiny poetry: TwaikuTwaiku: Haiku in 140 characters or lessCopyblogger Twaiku contestA wandering ghost / My dead father cries Uncle! / I must have revenge.Im following you / A compliment on Twitter / Not so in real lifeRealtime search results for #haiku

  • Tiny poetry: TwitkuTwitku: micro-haiku17 characters in 5/7/5 formatTiny Poetry Society wikihello/twitter/verse

  • Tiny poems by Diane Cordell

  • Its your turn.Try your hand at a 12-word novel, twaiku, or twitku.Tweet your composition.

  • EdmodoTwitter for educationPrivate micro-bloggingNo student email address neededTeacher controls group settings

  • Log in to Edmodo Go to http://www.edmodo.com Click Student linkEnter group code: blj382

  • Sample microblogging activityReading for the Gist. Harvey & Goudvis, Strategies That Work (2000).Use a variety of strategies to construct meaningAsk questions, make connections, visualize, make predictions, synthesizeNotes used for reader response

  • Lord of the Flies reader responseRead-aloud from Goldings Lord of the FliesDuring reading, note responses in EdmodoMain ideas, questions, connections, predictions, inferences

  • Standards-based lesson ideasIRA/NCTE Standards for English Language ArtsK-12 MN Standards in Language ArtsReading and LiteratureWritingSpeaking, Listening, and Viewing

  • Reading and LiteratureReading comprehension: QAR (Question-Answer Relationship) strategy: Twitter sticky notesUnderstanding dialogue in dramatic works: Reimagine Shakespeare dialogue as Twitter exchangeBiographical or character study: Synthesize insights into subject through a-day-in-the-lifeTwitter postings

  • WritingPersuasive essay: A concise thesis statement in 140 charactersResearch: Use microblogging to provide progress updates, organize ideas, evaluate resourcesAudience and point of view: Use Twitter scenarios to develop understanding

  • Speaking, Listening, & ViewingEvaluate media sources: Twitter as citizen journalismSocial notetaking: Use microblogging to provide feedback for oral presentations

  • What ideas do you have?Help write the e-book: Twitter for TeachersSend them to Scott:sschwister@gmail.comhttp://twitter.com/sschwister

  • Additional reading & resourcesNCTE Inbox: Twitter: 140-Character Professional Development and Writing ToolChris Sessums: Twitter Me This: Brainstorming Potential Educational Uses for TwitterDarren Kuropatwa: Twitter: Ephemeral Learning ToolTerry Freedman: Twittering in the classroom: some issuesClive Thompson in Wired: How Twitter Creates a Sixth Social SenseClive Thompson in NYTimes.com: Brave New World of Digital IntimacyBrian Stelten & Noam Cohem in NYTimes.com: Citizen Journalists Provided Glimpses of Mumbai AttacksNPRs On The Media: The Twitter Wire Service

  • ContactScott Schwistersschwister@gmail.com