Monday, February 21, 2011

TweetQuests

A few years back, @mbfxc introduced me to WebQuests.  I instantly fell in love with them.  I loved...
  • that their purpose was to engage children in critical thinking using the web.  
  • that they could be completed in one hour, one day, or one week.  
  • that they provide the children choice.  
  • that you can make them as simple or as complex as you want.
  • that they could incorporate multi - media.
  • that the children were required to work together.
I continue to have fun creating them, and just as much fun watching the children engage with them.  I use them most often for Science, Social Studies, or Holidays.  But more often than not they are an integrated adventure, incorporating Mathematics and literacy as well.

About a year ago, I dipped a toe into the world of Twitter.  Not knowing what I was doing, I started by using it as a daily newsletter for my classroom.  The children tweeted what we were learning, and this year's class continues doing so.  Once the school year ended, I created a personal account and dove into Twitter head first.  Just as I love WebQuests, I love Twitter.  And admittedly, I love Twitter more.  After becoming familiar with it, I decided to have Twitter accounts for each of my students

The more we used Twitter, the more I saw different ways we could use it.  Now and then I share links with my students for them to explore during the school day.  This makes it much easier than emailing the link or bookmarking it to them.  Then came the day, when I found two videos that I wanted to share with them.  I wanted to quickly get them out to them, but in one post.  I decided to create a WebQuest of sorts using Twitter.  I like to call them TweetQuests.  
As you can see, TweetQuests fulfill the same purposes as WebQuests, and allow the children to communicate via Twitter.  The children are still provided with a choice, purpose.  They are also still required to engage in critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. 


With Presidents' Day being today, I wanted the children to develop an understanding of why we have the day off from school.  I created a WebQuest that provides them with a variety of resources to choose from to learn about the history behind the holiday.  Within this WebQuest is a TweetQuest, asking them to choose one of the honorary presidents to learn more about.  Again, they are engaged in choice, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

Recently, while viewing a tweet that I had emailed myself from my Droid, I accidentlally clicked on the wrong link.  Instead of clicking on the link of the blog post I clicked on the link for the tweet.  While I had heard and seemed to understand that each tweet had its own url, I don't think I fully understood until I did this.  This is when it occurred to me that you could create a TweetQuest using multiple tweets; linking one Tweet to another. 
Because of the 140 character limit, you are limited in how much you can say or how many links you post.  But...you could just create another tweet.  Or you could use Tweet Deck which allows you to extend your character usage.  Either way works.  Below is a video I created to show the process of creating a one tweet TweetQuest or a multi-tweet TweetQuest.  Have fun!