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Twitter Pro D Talk


A modest proposal for teacher use of Twitter and other networking tools.

A modest proposal for teacher use of Twitter and other networking tools.

Published in Education , Technology
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  • - Vygotsky’s theory of Social Contructivism (learning is socially constructed... indeed the “meaning” of all things is socially constructed ie: what we know about a chair has been communally decided upon) - Thomas Freidman’s book (a series of major events have leveled the playing field and changed the learning paradigm) - Pro D needs to become participatory, elective, continuous (not limited by time or physical space) and collaborative to stay meaningful and keep teachers from becoming irrelevant.
  • In contrast to Jean Piaget’s understanding of child development (in which development necessarily precedes learning), Vygotsky felt social learning precedes development. He states: “Every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological).” (Vygotsky, 1978). The MKO refers to anyone who has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the learner, with respect to a particular task, process, or concept. This can be a teacher, coach, mentor, peer, or even a computer. The ZPD is the distance between a student’s ability to perform a task under adult guidance and/or with peer collaboration and the student’s ability solving the problem independently. Learning occurs in within that spectrum.
  • Hole in the Wall experiment is a beautiful example of all 3 aspects of Vygostky’s theory 1) The kids learn together and create value and meaning together 2) Computer and peers are MKO together 3) The ZPD is unique to every situation, based on which kids are using the device together.
  • Demo the two iPhone translator apps... Is learning a second language going to be necessary in five years? Is learning any “subject” going to be necessary? What are we doing here?
  • 33:40
  • - Current Pro D creates an atmosphere of being a task - limited by time, physical space - little choice for teachers of how, when, who, and what to interact with - teachers become disengaged, resistant, and static in the learning (just like we complain our students are)
  • - "the kind of education we had is not the kind of education our kids need" - Before we can ever hope to provide something for our students, we need to experience it ourselves.
  • -Wikipedia (with almost 4 million entries) has approximately 400 times the number of articles as Britannica. - While it’s accuracy is often (and correctly) questioned, we must also teach ourselves and our students to question the information derived from all books, papers, magazines, and speakers. - Errors and mishaps are not reserved for the internet, or the collective, nor do they negate the massive potential of the collective
  • In the spirit of social constructivism (learning together), a flat world (with easy access to millions of people and resources), and creating our own PLN (with people and topics chosen by us, developed at our own speed, because we are intrinsically motivated) I am going to quit talking. Together those with Twitter experience can help the newbies across the Zone of Proximal Development... and increase their own learning in the process. When we leave, we will each have a new cohort of learners to include in our PLN’s.


  • 1. The Power of We
    • Social Constructivism and Personal Learning Networks in a Modern Education Model
  • 2. A Modest Proposal
    • 1) Learning is Social
    • 2) The World is Flat
    • 3) Pro D is a State of Being
  • 3. How Do We Learn?
    • Basic Premise of Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory
    • Social interaction plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive development.
    • The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO).
    • The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).
  • 4. Can Kids Teach Themselves?
    • Education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education -- the best teachers and schools don't exist where they're needed most.
  • 5. f (x) = log x
    • Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat”
    • spread of information has been a logarithmic function
    • Netscape (internet browser) going public (1995) allowed for the connecting of ideas and individuals at an exponential rate, flattening the “learning curve”
    • “ If it can be done, it will be.”
  • 6. New Ways to Get SMRT!
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  • 15. Where To Next?
    • Creativity, Collaboration, and Connectivity are the Keys to Success in the New Flat World
  • 16. Growing Professionals
    • Current Pro D is faulty by design
    • Modeled after traditional instruction
    • linear flow of info from teacher to passive learner
  • 17. Creating a PLN
    • Twitter allows connections to form, irregardless of race, age, economic status, location, and even time. Learning becomes a personal choice, collectively constructed, inspired by “experts”, always available, and continuously evolving. PD becomes a state of mind instead of a day in the school calendar.
  • 18. Trendy or Transformative?
    • “ Wisdom of the Crowd” seeks to aggregate anonymously produced data... (where) people each enter their own calculations without influencing each other's findings.
    • “ Collective Intelligence” focuses on ... (the process of how) participants share information, correct and evaluate each other's findings, and arrive at a consensus understanding.” Henry Jenkins
  • 19. Join the Conversation
    • Groups of 3-4 on 1 computer (Social)
    • At least one Tweeter per group (MKO)
    • Work through the intro to Twitter live binder together
    • (ZPD)