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TIES 11: Creating Student Centered Mobile Learning Networks using Facebook, Twitter and Cell Phones

Mike Slowinski, from West De Pere High School in Wisconsin shared how he is integrating social media collaboration in his session on "Creating Student-Centered Mobile Learning Networks Using Facebook, Twitter, and Cell Phones."
He used the analogy of Frutios vs. Fruitloops to demonstrate that students prefer using certain tools, and while "walled garden" type products may look and taste like more popular sites, when push comes to shove, students want to use the tools they're comfortable with.

He started in their district with Facebook
  • Dual Identitiy (Social-Social vs. Professional-Social)
  • Professional Account (WDP-FirstnameLastname)
  • Symbolic Picture
  • Limited to School Activities
 Students were asking questions outside of class all the time. Facebook message/Inbox was used a lot. Students didn't have to put out perceived "dumb questions" in class, and allowed organic questions. Also posted on Wall.

Twitter Integration
Some students may not log in to Professional-Social at home, so a few students felt it was less invasive to follow the teacher on Twitter.
Facebook Twitter App was used to post Tweets to his Teacher Facebook wall.

Cell Phone integration, so that students were able to receive Twitter updates via their cell phone.
Less missing work, students engaged, reminders around 5:30 were good prompts.
Facebook Pages/Groups for parents as well. Mike posted video updates, that parents could then view on their wall. They found it more personable, and parents felt that they knew him better come conference time.

He created pages for clubs, and then was able to create events for different activities. This helped with planning.

His West Depere Library page allows him to communicate about new apps or other activities, and students can "like" the page with their social account, as long as their privacy settings are set to Friends Only.
He also reverses the process with Facebook posting to Twitter.

After showing some sample activity pages on multimedia research on an artist and the book "1984" in which he included collaboration with students at Kent State University and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire,  Slowinski showed how he created an LMS workflow for "The Facebook Classroom.
Students used the notes feature to blog, and incorporated pages for the
Slowinski incorporated PollEverywhere for cell phone integration, and kept his cell phone use to texting as opposed to advanced features on Smart Phones, which most students didn't have. Anticipatory set, quick surveys and exit cards were some of the ways he incorporated them.
He embedded a poll on the controversy over "race-based mascots" in a neighboring district and solicited community response on his Website. He also uses Google SMS and ChaCha.
Hashtags on Twitter are another method of incorporating cell phones into the classroom through backchannelling. His Twitter feed is embedded on his Website.
Slowinski identifies the following benefits to his methodology:
  • Differentiation
  • Increased student motivation
  • 21st Century Literacy
  • Collaboration
  • 24/7 classroom
He feels this provides more authentic learning in his classroom.
Doug Johnson noted that Facebook wants everyone to only have one account, and Slowinski acknowledged that he is probably in violation, but feels the benefits outweigh the risks.


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