Sunday, October 11, 2015

Tweeting the Democratic Debate


I am teaming with several other teachers in my county on October 14th to have our students Tweet the Democratic debate at 9 pm on CNN.  Here is how we do it:
  • We pick a hashtag which our students include in every post.  It can be as simple as #schoolnamegovclass.  Here is what we used last year (but aren't using Tuesday). 
  • We require the students to make three comments during the debate and tell them that school rules apply (ie language, etc.).   Our kids like to see that we are trending so they do far more comments (20-30) and stick around the entire debate.  Our kids then have to take screenshots of their 3 comments and share in a Google Drive document.
  • The teachers teach!  This means you might say that some candidates are already running very low on funds or that the polls are great, but the goal is to win delegates. Having more than one teacher in on the debate makes for a richer discussion.  
  • I use TweetChat (which can be synced to your Twitter account) so I can see the comments from the other students and easily enter in my own. Assume the kids can see all of the comments and know how to follow the discussion.  I also usually watch the debate/State of the Union on my laptop as well and split my screen as you can see from the video above.  
  • What about the kids who don't have Twitter!  I generally use an editable Google Drive document, but one option I am using TodaysMeet which lets you set up a Twitter like screen that does not require a login/password.  We used it for the Republican debate and it was awesome and much better than using an editable document from Google Drive. 
We find that the kids have a dynamic discussion during the debates (or the State of the Union) and can't pull themselves away from the screen (big or small).  

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