Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tweeting the Cuban Missile Crisis

Twitter is a great way to increase communication in the classroom. There are many ways to useTwitter to increase communication with students, parents/guardians, the community, and the world at large. In particular, I like that students can follow experts in the field. That's so powerful.

Recently, I used Twitter in a different way. We Tweeted the Cuban Missile Crisis. During class, we studied the Cuban Missile Crisis and watched large portions of the film, 13 Days, which dramatized the two weeks in 1962 where the USA and USSR teetered at the brink of war.

I tasked students to impersonate an important character from the Cuban Missile Crisis and Tweet as if in real time (though in 6 not 13 days). I also assigned myself a role in the class as I too tweeted from the perspective of the NYT.

It worked! I'm always worried about trying new things, but it really worked! Take a look at the Twitter thread.

Things that make me happy:

  1. Using Twitter extended the conversation beyond the classroom. Most of the tweeting was done outside of class period. Check out some of the back and forth.
  2. The simulation asked students to play the role of expert. It is always good to ask students to play expert. It was clear to me that most students did outside research to keep the conversation going.
  3. They were writing to an audience bigger than just the teacher.
  4. It's hard to hide. Kids have to participate. 
  5. In Puentedera's SAMR model this entire activity fell firmly in the redefinition category. We did something that was previously inconceivable. 
If you want to do this too, respond to this post on Google+ and I'll help you get set up. 

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