To Tweet Or Not To Tweet…A Guide To Tweeting With Early Learners

It’s done.  The major part of our project for EDCI 338 is complete and published.  Already many colleagues and friends have read the e-book and have shared it out, with very supportive comments, so it is very encouraging that what Liane Loeppky and I created is positively received and will be useful for others. The next step will be to publish in the iBook store and I will update this blog post with the link to the iBook store when it is officially available.

Our project has morphed over the course of the term from our original plan of developing a scope and sequence for teaching social media to young learners, to what it became, a more widely available and hopefully more practical tool to help teachers get started using social media in a responsible way with their students.

Liane and I met a number of times face to face over the course of the past two months to brainstorm, write and edit our ideas.  We also took time apart to research and write sections of the book before coming back together to compare notes and collaborate on the writing and editing together. As we were discussing the content of our book, we decided that we should also have our classes collaborate on a children’s version of our book for other teachers to use with their classes.  So, my class discussed and wrote the “rules and guidelines” for twitter use for kids, and Liane’s class painted the illustrations for our book.  We are planning on publishing that book on issue.com, just like our teacher’s book, as well as publishing to the iBook store and I will add those links to this blog as we finish the project.

We produced both of these books with the Book Creator App, a simple to use iPad app that I have used to publish two other books. You can find those collaborative projects here and here, both written by my students together with Tasha Cowdy‘s (from Japan), Jason Graham‘s and Ben Sheridan‘s classes (from Indonesia). The experience I had with these projects made the choice of using Book Creator and easy one.  The app is intuitive, and projects are easily shared back and forth between collaborators via Dropbox. Thanks to Ben’s expertise, our two children’s books are available to download from the iBook store so that the students’ parents can upload them to their iDevices and enjoy the books from home.  Those families who do not have iDevices were still able to access the books through publishing on issuu.com.

It is our hope that this resource that we have created will encourage others to thoughtfully and intentionally teach their young students the basic etiquette for using social media.  As our students mature and age, hopefully they will be able to apply this controlled and guided group practice to their independent use of social media when they are at an appropriate age to manage the responsibility of being in such a public venue.

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