A silent debate on Twitter, anyone?

Is it possible to debate a subject in writing? Marie Germain, a teacher at Sainte-Claire school in Longueuil, has demonstrated this over the past few years with her students. In doing so, she also makes them aware of the ethical use of social networks. She invites all classes who wish to experiment on Twitter from April 11 to 14, 2022.

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Is it possible to debate a subject in writing? Marie Germain, a teacher at Sainte-Claire school in Longueuil, has demonstrated this over the past few years with her students. In doing so, she also makes them aware of the ethical use of social networks. She invites all classes who wish to experiment on Twitter from April 11 to 14, 2022.

A silent debateA chat is a live exchange on a social network, Twitter in this case, about a given topic. Questions are launched with a keyword to group them together (#dbts22) and other users are invited to respond with their opinions. A debate lasts about an hour. "It is an opportunity to learn how to express one's opinion in a respectful manner, to present counter-arguments in response to others, in short, to contribute to a debate without hindering the dialogue and by showing open-mindedness", explains the teacher of the 3e elementary school. In fact, at the end of the debate, students will be asked to consider whether the debate changed their opinion on the topic under discussion.

To remove or not to remove the historical monuments?

Over the past few weeks, classes from around the world have been invited to officially register for the debate. Students in registered classes were given the opportunity to vote on which topic will be debated live on Twitter.

They had three options: do hauls on social networks have a place, should historic monuments be removed because they symbolize racism, should commercial hunting be banned? In the end, it was the second choice that prevailed, this video from MAJ de Radio-Canada as a prelude to the discussion. "It's a pretty serious topic and it shows that young people are interested in social issues," says the teacher.

The six questions that will be used to fuel the discussion are already available on the Silent Debate website, as well as directions for responding by identifying yourself and the question you are answering. Those who wish to prepare their students for the most formative experience possible can use other resources to to be better prepared and documents specific to the debate available on the same site.

Open to all

You do not need to be officially registered to participate in the debate. Any person or class with a Twitter account can participate. To join the discussion, simply follow the keyword #dbts22 during the official debate periods from April 11-14, 2022, which will be announced shortly. Follow the Twitter account of Mrs. Germain's class for upcoming details.

"Twitter is an extraordinary platform for exchange and its educational potential is enormous. Young people can express themselves in writing, which is less engaging than the images and video that are posted on other platforms. It's also a time to learn how to use social networks in a way that respects others," concludes Marie Germain.

École branchée previously reported on the first edition of the Silent Debate held in 2013: To your keyboards for a silent debate!


Dimension (s) of digital competence related to this article
1- Act as an ethical citizen in the digital age
6- Communicate using digital technology

To see the Framework.

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About the Author

Martine Rioux
Martine Rioux
After studying public communication, Martine worked as a journalist for various publications, before pursuing her career as an interactive communications consultant at La Capitale, a financial group, then at Québec Numérique, an organization she took over as general manager before making the jump. as political advisor in the office of the Minister for Digital Government Transformation. Today she is the online Editor-in-Chief and Special Projects Manager at l'École branchée. Her dream: that everyone has access to technology and can use it as a tool for learning and opening up to the world.

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