The Debate: Facebook or Twitter?
One thing that is very important to me is the ability to communicate with my students during the school year. I think this is critical in a flipped classroom because I want students to ask me questions about the videos they’ve watched, or about the closing “teaser” question that I pose before I dismiss them from my class that day.
In the IB program we have ManageBac, which compiles a list of upcoming assignments and tests. I also (thanks to my colleague) have Google Moderator on my Google site. But honestly, how many students are going to check those on a regular basis?
So I took the opportunity to email my students over the summer and ask them which they would prefer: a provate Facebook group where they can discuss the current project or upcoming test, or a Twitter hashtag to follow discussions within our class and from other IB students around the world.
The results were rather interesting. Out of the 50-some responses I got, only one vote was for Twitter and the rest were for Facebook. That’s not even the interesting part! Students told me the reason for their preference. They said things like: I don’t have a Twitter account, I don’t use Twitter, I don’t know how to use Twitter, and so on.
Is it possible that I am even slightly ahead of my students when it comes to technology? I never thought I would see that happen!!
So yes, my plan for August is to create a private Facebook group… for now. But I now feel obligated, and rightly so, to teach my students about Twitter – what you can do with it, how you can connect with people around the world, how you can find resources that will help with any research assignment – the list is endless!
So, while my curriculum spans almost the entire year, I think I will have to make adjustments and include lessons on Twitter, so that students are better connected, better informed, and better communicators.
I welcome any thoughts that anyone has about how you communicate in your classroom. I’m sure there are options out there that I either haven’t considered or don’t know.
First day is almost here, fellow flippers!!