Saturday, April 17, 2010

Using Twitter to Document a Class Field Trip

I haven't had much time to write here in the last couple months and hope to have more in the near future. Until then I thought I would compose a quick post about our recent field trip to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. We had a great day! This was the second year I have taken students on this trip and I knew it was going to be a great educational experience for them. The students spent the day checking out the CBF headquarters, which one the first buildings to win a platinum award for green construction. They also canoed in Black Water Creek and dredged for oysters on the bay.

This year I tried something new. I had the students set up twitter accounts before we left and sync them to their mobile phones. We then gave them a few questions to keep in mind on the trip. During the trip we set aside a few minutes after activities for them to post tweets about what they were learning. We used the hashtag #cbfft to post the tweets. This allowed them to be searched by teachers and students at the school so they could follow what we were doing on the trip. It worked pretty well too. However, something must have happened with Twitter's ability to receive text messages because nothing the students posted from about 10:00 (When they got off the bus) until lunch time posted. Luckily tweets showed up for the rest of the day.

This was a really easy way to document the field trip and many of the students really seemed to enjoy it. I am going to include a few links below, feel free to explore them to see how I set this up and the results. As always thoughts and suggestions are welcome!

Twitter Setup Instructions
Field Trip Questions 
#CBFFT Search
Trip Video