Regular Radical readers know that I’ve jumped on Kyle Hamstra’s #hashtag180 project — which is an effort designed to get teachers to understand their curricula on a deeper level by regularly Tweeting pictures, videos and/or lessons that are hashtagged with the specific essential standard that they are designed to support.
After two weeks of doing my best to share out examples of what I am doing with specific standards in my classroom, I’ve decided that I’m hooked.
I think what I love the best about the project is that it has forced me to think more carefully about my curriculum than ever before. In fact, I’ve opened our state’s essential standards document more in the last two weeks than I have in the past two years.
I’ve also decided to turn my daily posts into short video wonder questions for my students.
Need a sample? Then check this one out:
— Bill Ferriter (@plugusin) April 27, 2017
The way I see it, by turning my #hashtag180 posts into short video wonder questions or learning moments for my kids, I’m maximizing the value of the time that I spend creating each new post because it can be used as a parent/student communication tool, too. I’m more likely to continue creating new #hashtag180 posts if each post serves multiple purposes and helps me to tackle multiple responsibilities.
Finally, I’ve found a way to turn my #hashtag180 posts into a real live digital portfolio that would make George Couros proud.
Here’s how: I’ve created an applet using IFTT — a cool service designed to automate certain parts of our online lives — that searches for my new #hashtag180 Tweets and then posts them on this dedicated Blogger blog sorted by standard.
All that I had to do was create a “formula” in IFTT — which stands for If This, Then That — asking the service to search for Tweets with my curriculum specific hashtag and then to embed those Tweets as new posts in Blogger.
Here’s what the formula looks like:
It took a bit of tinkering to figure out the right “formula” for my applet, but now that I’ve got it figured out, I just have to duplicate it for each of the standard hashtags that I plan to use during the school year and my digital portfolio will build itself over time. For example, here’s the formula for the next standard that I’ll be teaching — and Tweeting about — #sci6p31:
Remember: I’m not doing ANYTHING to create the posts that you see in my digital portfolio. Literally nothing. Once I point IFTT to the right posts in Twitter and to the right Blogger blog, the service does the rest. It searches for the Tweets, grabs the “embed code,” and generates a new entry on my blog automatically. And it will KEEP doing that forever — or at least until I tell it to stop.
Think about all of this for a second, will you?
Now, the two minutes that I spend each morning creating a short video asking a wonder question or sharing a demonstration or linking to an activity is serving THREE essential purposes: It’s helping me to better understand my required curricula, it’s giving me an engaging bit of digital content that communicates classroom happenings to parents and students, AND it is automatically becoming a part of a digital portfolio that I can use as evidence of the work that I am doing with specific curricular outcomes.
That’s a helluva’ lot of value out of one simple Tweet, don’t you reckon?
So whaddya’ think? Is this worth doing? How would you improve on the steps that I have already taken? Are there any steps that you would leave out?
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