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Category: Paul Harrington

Tweeting with 6JF.

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This afternoon 6JF were introduced to the world of Twitter. It was unplanned but, as is often the case with spontaneous activities, was successful.

As I was half expecting a call from my boys’ school asking me to pick one of them up (everyone is being really careful with this bug going around), my ‘phone was not on silent as it usually is during lessons. Therefore when it chirped in my pocket, 6JF were amused. Then when it chirped again, they started wondering why I was so popular. At this point I hadn’t looked at my ‘phone but thought I’d better check, and it chirped again as I took it out my pocket. I’d just received some mobile Tweets from people I was following on Twitter, a Web site and service that lets users send short text messages from their cellphones to a group of friends. Launched in 2006, Twitter (www.twitter.com) was designed for people to broadcast their current activities and thoughts. Twitter expanded “mobile blogging” (updating a blog from a cellphone) into “microblogging,” the updating of an activities blog (microblog) that distributes the text to a list of names. Messages can also be sent and received via instant messaging, the Twitter Web site or a third-party Twitter application. A MySpace account can also be updated.

By this stage they were more interested in my ‘phone than drawing mindmaps about communities for RE, so when I read the following message,
I decided to go for it and ask the kids what they thought.

Once I’d explained what you did on Twitter, and they’d grasped that the messages I was receiving were being sent to a huge number of people, not just me, (this disappointed them as they thought I had, as one of them put it, ‘a thing going on’ ) they all had a nose at my ‘phone – it’s a good one (they were distinctly unimpressed by the make and model ;-O), but because BGfL had blocked Twitter so I couldn’t show them on the IWB – and came up with some ideas. I relayed their ideas back to Ewan McIntosh via text – again, kids were amused at ineptitude at predictive texting!
One thing I’d forgotten to factor in was the 140 character limit so the middle of the Tweet went astray (didn’t learn my lesson – did it again later!) but the gist was there.

We had a good discussion about social networking, and it did fit rather well into my RE lesson about communities – very serendipitous!
And then, my ‘phone chirped again with a Tweet from Ewan, thanking people for their ideas before another chirp and another message, this time just for them!
That really was the end of the RE lesson then, especially when we received Paul Harrington said ‘Hola’ to us as well!

Not sure if we can get past the firewall at school to use Twitter in the immediate future, but it certainly got one class of kids talking about the use of Twitter and social networking for their Spanish lessons and excited enough to want to find out more when they get home.

And it made their afternoon too that they got a reply – thanks Ewan and Paul (I owe you both a drink!) for proving what Twitter can do – and also that their RE lesson proved to be much more interesting and eventful than usual!


I was just catching up on my del.icio.us tags (you can see them on the right) – haven’t checked out the sites tagged by my network in the last few days. I usually do this daily to check what other people that I have added to my network are tagging (bookmarking). It’s a good way of sharing ideas as the sites are marked by one person but many others can potentially benefit from that research. Whilst checking out ‘what’s new’ I came across something in podfather‘s tags called Spell with Flickr. I checked it out and found podfather’s blog name – Ddraig Goch spelt out in funky letters!

So I had a go – and the result is above.

If you don’t like the randomly selected image for any of the letters of your chosen word(s), all you have to do is click on it and another image will appear. Here’s another version –

Then you just grab the code and put it on your site – I had to choose ‘square’ to make it fit my page.
Possibly not going to revolutionise anyone’s teaching, but it’s fun!


Back at the end of August, Paul Harrington blogged about Imagiverse and mentioned being involved in their Hands around the World project last year. As I’m always on the lookout for new ideas for global links, I investigated further and signed up Whitehouse Common.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, the time came to take part and on Friday I sent off a large parcel of handprints to Michelle Mock in California.

A brief idea of the project –

Hands Around the World – Students from classrooms around the world will create cut out paper “handprints” which they will send to Imagiverse for distribution to other participants. You will receive as many handprints as you send (at least one per student). The Fall exchange is themed “Holidays Around the World”. Since many countries and cultures are celebrating major holidays at this time of year, we would like to celebrate how and what you celebrate. What are the traditions celebrated where you live? What are the customs and traditions you observe? What might someone in another country not know about your celebration? What is the history behind the tradition?


So, being an adventurous kinda gal, I decided that the whole school should get involved, so over the last ten days, 480 kids have been drawing around their hands and decorating the prints to depict a festival of their choice. Then on the back they have written the name of the festival and a sentence or two about why it is special to them. Most classes cut them out too but I did end up with over 100 to cut out myself, and then I took photos of them all for posterity before parcelling them up and posting them to the USA.

Now we await the arrival of our parcels of Hands from around the world! Hopefully we’ll find out about some festivals and celebrations with which we are not so familiar as well as discovering how other people celebrate the ones we know.

Just as with our eTwinning project last year, I feel that this exercise has once more given the pupils the opportunity to reflect a little on events that happen every year, like Bonfire Night, Diwali and Christmas, and to remember the reasons why we have these events – even if some of their reasons for choosing to depict them were based on sweets and presents!

So – why not get involved? There’ll be another exchange in the Spring, with a new theme. You don’t need to involve the whole school, but nothing ventured, nothing gained! It could be a gentle way to introduce the idea of International projects to your school, and, as Paul pointed out in his blog, it’s an excellent idea for keeping kids busy during wet breaks!



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