I’ve been exploring resources on the Read Write Think website, scavenging for teaching lessons that integrate the connected learning methods into a feasible plan of action for when I become a teacher. I found some great resources that integrate technology into the classroom, and take a creative approach to teaching literature.
The most notable lesson plans I found were Romeo and Juliet in a Digital Age, Talking Poetry, and What did George do Today (which helps students learn about the American Revolution through Facebook). These lessons all spoke to me because of their creativity and representation of content.
For the Romeo and Juliet lesson I would have students portray the Romeo and Juliet relationship through social media posts. They could have the public occurrences as posts on a fake Facebook, then the more private conversations on Facebook messenger. They would have the shorter discourse on twitter. They could also post anonymously for the happenings which occurred while a character was alone. In this way it would make the story relevant to them so that they better understand character motivation, themes, and plot. I also think this forum of study would engage students more in the material.
The Talking Poetry assignment has students write Haikus, a less intimidating form of poetry because of lack of rhyme, then post them to Blabberize, a program that allows whimsical animals recite whatever you want them to. This would add a hands on aspect to the assignment and make poetry fun for those who don’t usually enjoy it on its own.
I thought the What did George do today activity was very creative, and I think I’d really like to do it with authors of books we are reading, and have what’s going on in their time posted on a fake social media forum. I always wished I had learned more about author backgrounds in high school because I think sometimes that is so important in understanding author purpose. Oftentimes books emerge from social or political issues that are relevant to a certain time, which students could not possibly know without extra instruction. I think having the author Facebook post or tweet about what’s going on while they are writing would give students great insight into how to interpret texts.
Connected learning can be an elusive concept because of its relative newness. There are still questions that the idea faces in the realm of standardization and implementation. Teachers need to start integrating into their classrooms and find what works through trial and error. If they do this they can fail forward, and find how it is that we can actively engage students.