When integrating technology into the classroom it is imperative that the work aligns with the curriculum. If the activity fails to align to the content standards of the subject, the activity is diminished and detracts from the purpose of meaningful technology integration: engaging students through 21st century mediums.
The “American Composer – Twitter Profile” project that I have developed is built upon the principle of play as presented by Thomas & Brown (2011). Students are asked to:
- learn not just about the composers, but where to access credible information on the subjects.
- create content that represents what they have learned.
- understand how they are generating new understanding of the topic through unique representation of the material.
Furthermore, the project incorporates all five areas of Hobbs’ five core competencies of fundamental literacies:
- Access. Finding and sharing appropriate and relevant information and using media texts and technology tools as well.
- Analyze. Using critical thinking to analyze message purpose, target audience, quality, veracity, credibility, point of view, and potential effects or consequences of messages.
- Create. Composing or generating content using creativity and confidence in self-expression, with awareness of purpose, audience and composition techniques.
- Reflect. Considering the impact of media messages and technology tools upon our thinking and actions in daily life and applying social responsibility and ethical principles to our own identity, communication behavior, and conduct.
- Act. Working individually and collaboratively to share knowledge and solve problems in the family, the workplace, and the community, and participating as a member of a community at local, regional, national, and international levels.
Students will research influential American Composers utilizing online resources of their choosing. Research will be done utilizing both personal devices and school computers. Students are then asked to translate their research to 140 character tweets that illustrate important events or information about the composer. Through the “People to Follow” and “Trending Topics” categories, students will gain insight and context into the life and times in which the composer lived and operated, bringing deeper understanding to the subject and the music they composed. Students will then again engage in technology to create an electronic version of their profile utilizing a template. Lastly, students will complete a “gallery walk” of the completed profiles through interaction with actual tweets on the part of the teacher. Students will view the tweets and the attached composer profiles utilizing personal devices.
Please visit the following links to access the materials for “American Composers – Twitter Profile”
- Lesson Plan.pdf
- Twitter Profile – Research Assignment.pdf
- Twitter Profile – Directions.pdf
- Twitter Profile – Mozart.pdf
- Twitter Profile – Blank.pdf
- Twitter Profile – Blank.docx
I encourage you to be creative and formulate a technology supported learning opportunity for your students. Though it takes thought and time to set up, it is something that can adapt and grow as technology advances (as will your students!) Have ideas on how to make my project even better, please share! I would love to hear your thoughts!
Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy: Connecting culture and classroom. Thousand, Oaks, CA: Corwin/Sage.
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace?.