This week in my exploration of ISTE Coaching Standards with my graduate program in Digital Education Leadership at Seattle Pacific University, I am continuing to examine ISTE Coaching Standard 3 and specifically point G, in an effort to understand how teachers can create…
This standard immediately made me think of my final assignment and Global Collaborative Project from EDTC 6103 in the Spring of 2017. In this project, I worked together with my administrator, advanced eighth-grade language arts students, and parents to create a global collaborative environment. If you scroll down you can see the whole breakdown of the project from planning to execution to feedback and reflections. One unexpected outcome of the project was the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) that took place. And now that the state of Washington’s educational legislative body (OSPI) and similarly in other states have hooked onto the fact that social emotional learning is essential to a student’s health and future my project is even more relevant. The unexpected part came as many students do not get to experiment with new digital tools in their classrooms very often especially not real world social media platforms due to unpredictability and fear. I decided to push the envelope a bit so that my students got to use Twitter during national poetry month. I got the okay from my principal and the parents were notified. This gave my students an authentic audience and an external megaphone to share their work. The flip side and surprising part were that students felt exposed and vulnerable with their writing out in the public sphere.
Now, taking a step back I first want to use Washington States OSPI’s definition of SEL “social emotional learning is broadly understood as a process through which people build awareness and skills in managing emotions, setting goals, establishing relationships and making responsible decisions, leading to success in school and in life. Research shows SEL on a large scale supports better performing and more positive school communities” (2016, pg. 3). I think in our current 21st-century digital revolution that digital citizenship fits directly into that “awareness”. Being able to build a positive self-rewarding social media presence that adds to your life instead of distracts or detracts is something that now needs to be taught in classes.
Therefore, to implement SEL “effectively and equitably schools will need to (1) start by evaluating and building school and classroom environments that are conducive to SEL; (2) incorporate principles of universal design for learning when adapting SEL curricula to their unique climate; (3) emphasize equity in the selection and implementation of curriculum; and (4) take a holistic approach, understanding that each person (child and adult) will start at different places and progress in different ways along an SEL continuum” (2016, pg. 7). As I began my project with my students I did not know realize how serious posting on the internet can be for some of them. Online personas are extremely personal and some of my students struggled with posting and sharing their poetry. Not only but some just could not handle the wide range of communication that Twitter allows for. As the social benchmark, standard five states students should have the ability to “demonstrate a range of communication and social skills to interact effectively with others” (2016, pg. 4). Although many teachers and adults do not want to admit it being able to communicate on social media is essential to these effective interactions with their peers. At the end of the process, I believe that some students understood through my examples that a social media platform like Twitter does not have to be for ranting or spamming people. It can be used for good and for a specific purpose, to make friends and connections and build a network of people for your own community.
Click to view slideshow.
Global Collaborative Project
Poetry & Twitter
National “Poem in Your Pocket Day” in person shared on Twitter
#pocketpoem, #poetryhw, #poetryisd #npm17
April – May 2017
ISTE Teaching Standards
In order to clearly reflect on the alignment of the ISTE Teaching Standards in the project that follows, I have used the standard number and letter to identify them accordingly.
- ISTE Student 2 Communication & Collaboration Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
- a. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
- b. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats
- ISTE Student Standard 5 – Digital Citizenship Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
- a. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
- b. Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity
Communication with Collaborating Partner
For this global collaborative project, I have chosen to utilize a vast amount of teacher professionals on Twitter during the National Poetry Month of April. Most of us teach English for middle or high school classes; there are also teachers that tweet posts for their elementary school students. Although I did reach out to a couple of other teachers specifically, it was more about working on a larger platform. Our shared intent of expanding our students’ reach regarding sharing their work is increased via Twitter (2. a. & b.).
My colleagues and I did communicate over direct messaging on Twitter. I also reached out to other Humanities teachers in the ISD via email to inform my local colleagues and interested district employees. Given the collective subject area expertise and subjects taught, we will focus our attention on language arts content and skills. Specifically sharing and writing our poetry. Since I started working with PSESD and Corelaborate as a Washington Teacher Leader my ability to monitor and use Twitter has expanded. It became apparent that this vast social media platform could be an opportunity for a wider community might provide a rich opportunity for a technology-supported collaboration project between our students (2. a. & b.).
The goal of this endeavor is to expose my students to a global collaboration project, which allows students to work with peers across the Twitterverse and see how far their posts/tweets can go. It can also teach valuable skills like digital citizenship, communication and collaboration, and information fluency (5. a. & b.). I decided to work with my two-morning Advanced 8th-grade Language Arts classes; I have roughly 26 students in each class. I chose those two sections because I thought they could handle the responsibilities that come with using Twitter and making the required deadlines of posting a lot better than my other classes (5. a. & b.). In those two classes, I have 24 boys and 26 girls which I think will play a part in participation. Each student will be asked to create and use a Twitter account during the month of April and early May. April is the National Poetry Month (#npm17) and April, 27th we would participate in International Poetry in your Pocket Day. The project will be a sharing of creative writing to a wider more authentic audience while sustaining a professional demeanor on a social media platform. My students will “like”– communicate and collaborate with other students via Twitter (2. a. & b.).
Technology & Communication
I have already stated the use of technology will be predominately the Twitter application on their smartphones. I created a new account for this project and to keep the students safe from trolls and spammers. Twitter is a free social media tool used for communicating. You are allowed to use 140 characters to message other people; certain hashtags will allow others to connect and collaborate easily (2. a. & b.). Students were told to either tweet their poetry as written or take or make a photo of their poetry. Some students used Canva or iPhone image editing apps; others just took a picture right from their interactive notebooks.
Instead of National Poetry Month and my students and I beginning our two to three weeks poetry unit. Students will receive four different poetry writing assignments that they will need to post to Twitter. All will use the hashtags #poetryisd, and #poetryhw for collaboration with their peers and they will Tweet at me (@ottenadpoetry), so I am notified that they have done their assignments (2. a. & b.). Students will also participate in International Poetry in your Pocket Day.
This project will require multiple check-ins with Twitter but will be primarily asynchronous in nature. Students will be posting at different times and will have certain requirements to hit at various times. They are required to interact with their fellow students’ tweets regarding “likes,” replies or retweets. I will also keep up on the people following the account and block any trolls or spammers. I have consulted the district’s AUP and the fact that the students are at least 14 years old and Twitter is open on all classroom computers we are not violating anything. I have notified parents of what is going on in the classroom and opened the window to allow them to follow our classroom interactions.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards
Comprehension and Collaboration:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.5 – Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.6 – Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.10 – By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.D – Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.6 – Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
Global Collaborative Project Outline
Six A’s of Project-Based Learning
|6 A’s of Project Design
||What is the point of writing when the audience is only my teacher? How can I get my students’ creative writing heard by a larger audience? What could push them to create better more thought out poetry?
By placing the poetry on Twitter students have a true authentic audience that feels larger and more important than just our classroom and their classmates.
How will your project require students to produce something that has personal and/or social value beyond the school setting?
Students will start to see what happens when their poetry is shared and found. Specifically on the National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 27th. Students will have their poem they want to share with them and also share it on the web. It can be one of their own making or one that inspires them in some way.
||What disciplines, content areas, and standards will your project address?
This project hits an array of standards that only pertain to poetry and figurative language in language arts. Specifically, it is for my 8th-grade advanced language arts classes at IMS. It also requires the students to share their writing with people who may or may not like it. Their bubble becomes much larger than it used to be once we put things out there on the world wide web. It also connects securely with the following speaking and listening standards. I have taught several different units for poetry and at the high school level, we used to have a poetry night that was hosted by the language arts department. Teachers, parents, admin and of course students would attend. This event was great but I always thought that the poetry could be sent to an even wider audience.
What higher order thinking skills will students be using?Learning Targets: Students can analyze how the structure of the text can contribute to its meaning. Students can use their Twitter accounts to correctly post and tag their poems in a multimedia setting. They will use the social media tool to connect with the outside world.
||How will the adults collaborate to design the project and/or assess student work?
I have reached out to my whole language arts department at my school and my TOSA for the whole district is also sharing the Poem in Your Pocket in the next newsletter. Teachers are sending me their favorite poetry and poems they have written so I can share it on Twitter for them or they can share themselves and use the same hashtags.
I am also collaborating with the national cohort of teachers who are participating in the same National Poetry Month. I saw how other teachers were conducting their programs and I got ideas of how to entice students to post their tweets.
What opportunities will students have to observe, interact, and work closely with adults?My students are posting their poetry alongside adults for National Poetry Month. They can see using the same hashtags what it looks like to publicly disperse your materials. We also perused Twitter together to like, retweet, or reply to certain poets and their work.
||How will students engage in real investigations and field-based work?
What technology tools and media sources will students use?My students are predominantly using their phones or school provided laptops to post their Tweets on to Twitter.
How will students be expected to communicate their new knowledge and skills?They are expected to post their tweets within specific calendar dates using certain hashtags and tagging my poetry Twitter account @ottenadpoetry. Hashtags include #Poetryhw, #poetryISD, #Pocketpoem, #NPM17
||How is your project grounded in real-world learning?
Students have to create a piece of creative writing which is not always set in the real world, but then presenting it and sharing it on Twitter a social media platform is more connected to real-world. They will have to learn as it has taken me quite some time that self-promotion is crucial for success. It also is clear that presentation matters, students who are taking their time to make a graphic that goes along with their poems are getting more traction than those who simply take a photo of their notebooks and post it.
How will your students work in teams and problem solve with each other?
Students worked together to find poems for Poem in Your Pocket day and which ones they would post and why.
How will your project help students develop organizational and self-management skills?
Beyond the other two questions, I think students will develop organizational self-management skills. This project counts on them remembering to write their poems, create some graphic, and post the poems in the time allotted for their due dates.
||What project criteria will students use, and how will they reflect on their learning? During the week following most of the posting, I will have students reflect on the process of writing the poetry and then having to share it on Twitter.
How will standards be assessed? See rubric below.
Steinberg, A. (1997) Real Learning, Real Work. New York: Routledge. adapted from National Academy Foundation’s Project-Based Learning: A Resource for Instructors and Program Coordinators
CCSS Poetry Rubric
Timeframe: April 16th – May 5th
Activity details: Students will participate in our Poetry Unit by also posting on Twitter and being involved in the International Poetry Month. We will use different hashtags to get in the correct threads of communication so they can spread their poems to larger audiences.
Execution of Project
Parent Guardian Email/Letter
Our classroom is getting connected! Please follow us on Twitter as we use this social media tool as a class to share, connect, and collaborate with the world around us during Poetry Month. We are in the beginning stages of a poetry unit and April in Poetry Month. For the rest of April and beginning of May, we will use our classroom Twitter account (@ottenadpoetry) to share snippets of our work, learning, and life at school.
Our goal will be to tweet several times per weeks about poetry. At first, I will model how to tweet about our work or exciting poetry opportunities. As the students grow in their understandings of how to use Twitter to share ideas, they will begin to tweet independently or with a partner.
Students’ safety is of utmost concern. Last names should not be used in tweets and accounts. We will avoid using images of students in our Tweets. Responsible use of social media and Internet safety will be explicitly taught in our classroom to ensure all students know how to stay safe while online. Here are our classroom norms for using Twitter:
- Approve your tweets with an adult before publishing especially if you feel it may be deemed inappropriate.
- We only connect to classes and people who add value to our learning.
- We use first names only on Twitter
- Twitter is a tool for learning.
Finally, if you do not have a Twitter account, and need assistance on creating one please come by and ask me or ask your student. We would be more than willing to help you create a Twitter account so you can start following our class. We will probably not follow you back because it is our policy that we only follow other classrooms or educational Twitter feeds. Using these social media tools will give you a glimpse into our classroom and your child’s learning in a new and exciting format. I think you will love being “connected”!
“Tweet” fully yours,
Mrs. Autumn Ottenad
Email to Staff & Colleagues:
I am working on a class for SPU that requires a Global Community Project and I have decided to combine our poetry unit, national poetry month and Twitter with my students. I was also hoping that if you have Twitter you could potentially tweet some poetry using the #poetryhw and #poetryisd. If you even could email me a poem I can put them on Twitter for you. I know my students would love to see teacher input on this topic.
The other event I am trying to work into our schedule is Poem in your Pocket Day #pocketpoem (https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/poem-your-pocket-day). It is on April 27th and students should carry around a poem in their pocket and share it with people throughout the day.
Here is some of the information I shared with students and parents. “Our classroom is getting connected! Please follow us on Twitter as we use this social media tool as a class to share, connect, and collaborate with the world around us during Poetry Month. We are in the beginning stages of a poetry unit and April in Poetry Month. For the rest of April and beginning of May, we will use our classroom Twitter account (@ottenadpoetry) to share snippets of our work, learning, and life at school.”
Thank you so much,
Mrs. Autumn Ottenad
8th Grade Humanities
Collection of Student Artifacts from Twitter
Feedback from Students
|Positive Feedback for both Twitter & Poetry
||Positive for Twitter/Negative for Poetry
||Positive for Poetry/ Negative for Twitter
||Negative Feedback for both Poetry & Twitter
|Risa W. – The poetry unit was not as bad as I thought it would be, I liked tweeting the poems instead of turning them in. I don’t like the reflections though.
||Trevor C. – Before we just turned it in. Poetry is bad but I like that we just post it on Twitter.
||Ruth S. – I liked the unit, but I feel like I was not used to posting my poetry on twitter. I would write the poetry, but sometimes forget to post it. The poetry was fun to write.
||Tommy B – It was terrible, horrible, no good we could have just turned it in during class no one even reads the poems on Twitter.
|Mason B. – Tweeting the poems was really fun! Poetry was a chance to express true feelings hidden within other words, using rhymes, and making everyone more fun to read!
||Matthew K. – This unit was as interesting unit to do. It was an interesting way to share poems. It was pretty boring but it was fine.
||Makena L. – It was good to try to involve social media but it may be hard for students without a smartphone but it was annoying to make a twitter.
||Alec B. – Twitter was a mess and is not an educational platform. Poetry is fine, just boring as ever. Technology should be used in other, more educational ways. Whatever.
|Breana L. – I like tweeting them so everyone can see, but it is kind of confusing.
||Cody C. – Tweeting our poems instead of reading them out loud was way better. More convenient and faster. The writing of the poems was the bad part. Poetry is very boring.
||Madison N. – The actual unit was okay…but the Twitter part was unnecessary.
||C.J. G. – Last year we had more instruction, this year we were just told to write poems.
|Leila R. – Tweeting my poems wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I liked tweeting my poems out rather than having to read them out loud.
||Daniel A. – I didn’t think it was terrible, but it was not the most fun. Personally, I don’t enjoy poetry, but I am grateful we didn’t need to present them. Overall, I think the unit was okay.
||Shoki I. – Just turning in poems would have made more sense. Making a Twitter was completely pointless
||Noreen A. – This unit was not the worst and it went better than I thought. Poetry is not my favorite, but it was fairly easy. The twitter part was different, but it seemed pointless in my opinion because most people just made the account so they didn’t have a large following.
|Medha V. – I like tweeting our poems because more people are able to see it and I don’t feel embarrassed like I would if I was reading it to the class.
||Benny P. – I did not enjoy the poetry unit, but mainly because I don’t like poetry in general, but I did learn a lot about poetry.
||Camille P. – Compared to past poetry units using Twitter was definitely different. I think it’s difficult to use and some people don’t take it seriously and post random stuff. I don’t know whether it would be beneficial to use again.
||Chris A. – My experience was mehh…it was less boring than other poetry units. It was kinda bad and corny.
|Anonymous – I love this unit and I enjoyed the prompts we wrote about and posted. I also liked the way we shared the poems on twitter allowing me to share my poems and get used to technology. My only question is why we are the other units so much longer? I honestly wish I got to explore more mentor texts.
||Gavin B. – I don’t like the poetry. The Song lyrics were okay. I liked using Twitter in class.
||Aiden L. – Tweeting poems made me self-conscience about what I write so it made me think so it was fine.
||Braden H. – Ever since the Twitter verification did not work I lost my LA book problems have stirred though I had to re-do some of my poems.
|Mary – Poetry on Twitter is a really good tool for poetry, we get to post our poems.
||William W. – I do not like poetry but I kind of like writing it. Tweeting the poems is good and an easy way to turn it in from home.
||Aoife B. – The poetry unit was the best all year. I enjoyed it, but Twitter sucks. My poems don’t fit 140 characters other than that , good.
||Lizzy J. – I was eh with the Twitter thing because it was a little extra and no one reads other people’s poems (at least I didn’t) and my mom got mad that i got an account without letting her know.
|Katie Jo – I like how interactive it was, also I liked how I got to see other people’s poetry. I really enjoyed it!
||Jeremy D. – Tweeting has been really easy to do, but poems aren’t fun. Tweeting was fun and a good use for poems.
||Emme F. – Tweeting poems – it is embarrassing to show school work in a public social media place. Where I usually don’t talk about it. It was also a little extra work that seemed not helpful.
||Jack W. – This was a pain it was nearly impossible to get photos to load and my poems were too long for a Tweet.
|Katie – I liked using Twitter because I felt like it was a “safe environment” to share my poetic product. I also liked that I could explore poetry unlike I did in other units.
||Isaiah J. – Tweeting my poems has been okay. I liked the poetry unit last year more, although it was interesting to share my poems with a larger audience.
||Lindsey C. – Posting poetry for a grade is uncomfortable. Poetry is very personal and I don’t feel okay with sharing my feelings with everyone. Additionally, it’s hard to find all my posts even with the hashtags which is extra work for me and you to find them. I could be a good idea but not for middle schoolers.
|Abi C. – My experience with Twitter was okay. It gave me some examples if I was stuck on what to do. It was okay compared to other units.
||Ethan V – My experience with Twitter was fine and I was able to post without any problems. I just had small problems with the pictures. I thought it was a creative way to share, but not private.
||Eva A. – Technology is a bit problematic, but I like this better than having to stand up and share.
|Eli L. – This poetry unit was shorter than the one we did last year and also we didn’t have a final project this year which was nice.
||Sophia C. – I didn’t like tweeting my poems because I don’t like sharing my writing I think it was a good concept, but I personally didn’t like it.
|Kathryn M. – Tweeting poems went well. I thought it went better than most units, and it was fun. It was not terrible horrible no good.
||Eden C – Tweeting poems was easy, but it seemed odd to force us to make an account. The comparison was okay.
|Preston J. – I think that tweeting the poems were a good idea, and I am glad that we do not have to present them to a class. Also, this poetry unit was more unique than others I have taken before.
|Ansh P. – Tweeting out poem was a pretty good experience and was relatively easy to do and better than other tests.
It is interesting to note from the qualitative and quantitative data about the male to a female breakdown of their take on the project. Twelve of the fifteen students who liked both the poetry unit and the use of Twitter were young ladies and on the opposite end of feedback for those students who hated both parts six of the eight were male students. When I think back on it, the students who wrote negative feedback about both elements of this unit are pretty cynical students in general and usually criticize what I put in front of them. It is this fascinating new cultural trend of apathy, that “nothing is cool” and I know that is not a new trend for teens to think nothing is a fresh idea but I can’t imagine being negative about a teacher letting me use Twitter in a class assignment even if it was for poetry. The last piece of data that gave me hope for this overall project was the ten boy students who do not like poetry but liked the Twitter part of the project. Analysis of their interest is important because these are all students who I struggle with engagement and enticing them to do their best on their assignments. In this instance, their motivator was the ability to use their phones and use Twitter, but that had to come with some poetry. So either way, I did one of those fun teacher tricks where I got them writing what I wanted them to all under the guise of “fun.”
This project was more successful and easier than I had expected it to be. I am very lucky to have an administration team that allows for experimentation and trial and error. He and the rest of my staff allowed for me to try something new and use an online tool that is not usually utilized at the middle school level. But because Twitter is such a notorious application, due in part to our current political situation, I thought practicing in a more academic setting could help students learn about how to act on an expansive social media platform.
Access to technology was the initial challenge as standardized testing ate into our planned timeline. And standardized testing uses all the laptop computers in the building. But most students have a smartphone with the Twitter app-enabled, therefore I just had to bend the school rules a bit to allow students to access the app from their mobile devices. Those few students who did not have their Smartphones or did not have their own devices (tablet, or laptop) at their disposal I allowed to use one of the seven desktops I have setup in my room. While Twitter proved to be a useful tool for arranging the open and moderated communication between students, I failed to consider how some students would handle the requirement of creating an account on their own. It again made me take stock of the fact that we call this generation “digital natives” because they were born with a tablet in their hands, but when it comes to tasks like opening a new account or application they struggle. Establishing the hashtags in Twitter required students to sign-up, log-in and post a tweet and ensure they tagged the correct people and hashtags. Then, I had to individually check that each student had posted and labeled their tweets appropriately. Once students joined, I had to individually like and/comment on all 55+ students to their specific tweets. And, all of this was done asynchronously between classes or from home. I also had to monitor my new account like a hawk to ensure I did not have any trolls following me or someone who had posted within our hashtags which were gross or offensive. In the end, I had to delete one to two items per day.
As students began the formative stage of writing their poetry they needed time to make their poems before posting them. So some time in class was spent just generating ideas and creating versions of the poems they would eventually post. Students decided on their own how they would post their poems to Twitter. Because they have a 140 character limit, most students took pictures of their poems and posted them that way. While others created word art and graphics that helped desirably present the poems.
I anticipate trying this project again and potentially having a classroom Twitter account all year long. I had parents immediately begin to follow me and it was a great way for them to have more insight into what we do in my classroom. I have not spoken with my administration about doing it again, but because he did not deal with any actual backlash or parents being upset, I figure I would have the ability to try it again. I think I would also add in some more analytics about best times to tweet and when will students get the most views. I would also use the work I did in Module four of this class to push the digital citizenship piece about netiquette and the real feelings that come out of putting things out into the World Wide Web.
Colorful Poetry: 22 Diverse Poetry Picture Books for Kids:
KUOW Local Recorded Poetry Collection: http://kuow.org/post/treat-yourself-washington-grown-poems-national-poetry-month
Washington State. (2016, October 1). Addressing Social Emotional Learning in Washington’s K-12 Public Schools. Retrieved August 2, 2017, from http://www.k12.wa.us/Workgroups/SELB-Meetings/SELBWorkgroup2016Report.pdf
The Poet Tree Project: