For the last year, my friend and sixth grade science teacher Bill Ferriter has been creating videos that reflect the content being taught and learned in his #SalemProud learning spaces. These curriculum-hashtagged, video tweets have been populating on Bill’s Standards Based Portfolio on blogger as he posts them on twitter.
One of Bill’s recent content videos captured at least ten things I like about doing this practice–The process known as #Hashtag180.
— Bill Ferriter (@plugusin) February 24, 2018
1–Relationship-Building And Content-Learning Occur Simultaneously
Bill is spending time with his daughter. While out and about, they realize a learning opportunity, and celebrate it together. Educators can strengthen relationships with students in learning spaces during instruction, too. What’s alarming is how often the twitterverse and blogosphere will make anyone believe that relationship-building and content-learning must be separate processes. That’s a myth!
Life is a spiderweb of the unexpected.
2–Learning Can Happen Anywhere
Bill and his daughter are at the park. They’re outside–The best learning space ever.
Think about this: Isn’t it fascinating how much time we spend in one space inside of one building? That’s signaling that learning only happens indoors, and in predictable spaces. That’s not real life–It’s 2018.
3–Learning Can Happen Anytime
Bill recorded this video outside of school hours. Perhaps, the best message we can send is that learning can happen outside of school hours.
Even more–The best message we can send is that learning happens in real time. That’s why I favor social media or platforms that can capture learning in real-time, instead of static, campus-based tools.
4–Video Killed The Radio Star
We live in the age of video–and beyond. How much more engaging is a video than an image? I admit, my fears of being on video hampered my effectiveness as an educator over recent years. Bill is unafraid to record videos on one-take. I admire that confidence so much.
5–The Midas Touch
By the very nature of recording a video, Bill’s personality comes out. I just watched another #sci6L11 content video in which he included his own vehicle in the example of pollen falling. I can’t help but think how cool it would be to see MY teacher’s personal side–Outside of school!
— Bill Ferriter (@plugusin) February 25, 2018
6–Know. Your. Stuff.
Believe it or not–One of the biggest challenges in education today is for educators to know their curriculum–And not just know their curriculum–But celebrate it! Professional educators should have their curriculum memorized. One of the best ways to embed expected learning outcomes into our second nature is to research, apply, and DO. That’s why hashtagging your curriculum every day is so meaningful.
No chef would ever cook a meal without knowing the exact recipe–That is, unless the chef had the recipe memorized, and can adapt the recipe to make connections with other elements in the process.
The reason why educators should know their curriculum like the back of their hands is because it will free up more time to invest in the very foundations of learning: personal connections and relationship-building opportunities.
7–Archiving The Dewey Decimal System of the 21st Century
By hashtagging this video with #sci6L11, Bill is creating an archive. That has huge implications, because Bill can recall this tweet at anytime, for his own practice, or to show his students, by twitter-searching: “@plugusin #sci6L11.” He can also access Bill’s Standards-Based Portfolio.
What if every NC sixth grade science teacher tweeted just one tweet to #sci6L11? How might that affect student learning?
8–Sharing Is Caring
Any North Carolina sixth grade science educator could twitter-search: “#sci6L11” and see Bill’s example. They could share it in class or use it to supplement their own learning.
9–Tell Your Story
Bill recognizes how sharing his specific sixth grade science content can help celebrate his school and community’s journey of learning. I never envisioned this as a function of #Hashtag180. Bill’s experienced, big-picture vision opened my eyes to that. And, really? Shouldn’t the community know exactly what we’re learning and teaching, and shouldn’t we be celebrating our students’ journey community-wide and beyond?
10–Unique Interpretations, Unintended Consequences
Right now, Bill has over 25.5k twitter followers. That’s nearly 26,000 twitter followers! But here’s the thing–He has probably x100 lurkers, and maybe more! That’s interesting, because each one of those followers makes personal inferences.
Every post’s meaning is inferred with varied depth, meaning, and value, per consumer.
Bill doesn’t know that I secretly, REALLY LOVE this tweet because all EIGHT of my great grandparents were born in the Netherlands. I’m not well-versed in flowers, but tulips are so precious to us Wooden Shoes, because they’re very symbolic of our heritage, culture, and faith. Seeing the inside of a tulip brought back memories of my last visit to my homeland, my hardworking farming roots back home again in Indiana, my longing to be with my family, and my appreciation as a proud, second-generation Dutch-American immigrant of a family that set voyage exactly 110 years ago this month… Albeit while North Carolina sixth graders can learn about plants.
The day upon returning from our vacation to Europe, I ran the Touch of Dutch 5k in my hometown of DeMotte, Indiana. And–I DID hashtag my 5k race experience with an NC science objective.
— Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) August 11, 2014