Twitterkids is an idea I came up with while teaching ESL in Spanish Harlem, to middle schoolers in 2007. I was just discovering new media and realizing the potential it had for helping me teach my middle school students English. New media is helpful in many ways, but the primary benefit is the ability to communicate our thoughts and ideas to the world. Why shouldn’t we use these tools to teach students?
In October 2009 AJ and I partnered with Epic Change to write the curriculum for a 2 week period to introduce fifth graders in Arusha, Tanzania to new media. When I taught ESL in Spanish Harlem social media was a large component of my classes. My students used twitter, tumblr, goodreads, flickr, tweetworks, yelp and the list goes on and on.
One of the reasons social media worked so well was because it was another way for my students to express themselves in English and communicate with other people around the world. So I adapted the curriculum I used with my students in NYC for the students in Tanzania.