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An educational experience combining Twitter and literature in lower secondary education

“Several students took great pleasure in writing this obligatory tweet, wondering if they could write more to talk about the novels they read outside of my class. A teacher recounts how she takes advantage of the social network to open her class to the world.

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ATTENTION! The English translation is automated - Errors (sometimes hilarious!) can creep in! ;)

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“Several students took great pleasure in writing this obligatory tweet, asking me if they could write more to talk about the novels they read outside of my class. A teacher recounts how she takes advantage of the social network to open her class to the world.

Many educators meet on Twitter to discuss education and share their successes. Young people are also meeting there more and more, migrating from Facebook to Twitter for the anonymity offered by this network as well as for the direct contact it allows with their favorite stars. It is therefore relevant to think that the two worlds could meet during school activities, both in a school context and in a context of openness to the world.

Twitter to create an inter-class network

Often, students of the same level read a work at the same time, but the discussion takes place behind closed doors, the students only interacting as a class. However, it is possible to open the discussion on Twitter by creating a hashtag associated with the activity. Everyone can ask their questions, provide relevant information related to reading, give their opinion and react to the interventions of other students.

Here is an example of what was done last year in two groups of the first secondary of the College of Montreal, around the novel Stolen child, by Marsha Skypruch.

Twitter to open up to the world

In addition, it is possible to leave the school network by opening up to others. I experienced this in class at the start of 2014, with my students' last reading as a starting point, a book they chose from a long list of suggestions. The idea was to get them to express themselves about their reading and to show them that their opinion was interesting and that it could be read by publishers, authors and other literature lovers.

In order for their tweets to flow, they would have to type the hashtag #livreauchoix and, ideally, link to the author or publisher using their username. In addition, their sentence had to contain the title of the novel and a summary of their thoughts on it. Here is an example of what has been done:

As a teacher, I was impressed by what happened following this adventure. On the one hand, several took great pleasure in writing this obligatory tweet, wondering if they could write more to talk about the novels they read outside of my class. On the other hand, students see the reactions that tweets can cause: some are now followed by the author of their novel or the publisher they cited, even chatting via Twitter with the author or seeing their twittering strolling over RT. The social network allows them to be part of a community of readers and to interact about their novel, something they really appreciate. Several even speak of continuing the experiment by digging for reading suggestions or continuing to share their impressions.

In conclusion, Twitter is an easy-to-use tool for creating compelling discussions around novels read in class or literature in general. And you, are you #choice book?

 

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About the Author

Sophie Gagnon Roberge
Sophie Gagnon Roberge
Sophie Gagnon Roberge is a secondary 1 French teacher at the Collège de Montréal. Passionate about literature, she created and is the editor-in-chief of Sophielit.ca

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