I assign a Career Exploration Project (attached) for my engineering students to learn about engineering disciplines, careers, and professional societies. They do research, write a report, and present their findings to the class. They capture the basics of the field and information about the professional societies, but I feel there is room for improvement, especially with professional societies and their benefits.
Based on an idea from the Teaching & Learning with Technology conference, I incorporated Twitter as a tool to learn about engineering/professional societies in addition to the project (assignment details attached).
I was surprised by the amount & quality of the information my students learned from twitter. Results are in the attached 5-minutes of Fame presentation and video as well as survey results summary. Some were reluctant or unwilling to use twitter, but I found most learned a great deal. I plan to incorporate a version of this assignment in other classes. Based on student feedback, I also plan to incorporate an in-class discussion component.
Way cool Michelle! A great way to incorporate technology with learning. I'm curious, how will you measure the effectiveness of this new tool or strategy at the end of the semester? What triggers will help you modify it if necessary or help you decide if you should continue it?
I love it, Michelle! What away to use contemporary social media to keep students engaged in a meaningful task related to their potential future career! I would love to do this with my students in regard to education, but I must find a way to "filter" the really negative blogs out. Any suggestions? And, I look forward to your results!
Pete, I am currently in the planning stages for how I can adapt this for my Math for Elementary School Teachers class. It is a bit different with that class. I currently share some social media resources with my students that I think they'll find useful, but I know without an actual assignment, many may not really explore them and learn how valuable they can be.
For my engineering class, I limited the accounts they could follow and use for the assignment (though I gave them the option of submitting additional accounts to me for review) to weed out the accounts I thought would be not as helpful. That may be one way to get around the negative blogs.
The instructor I got the idea from taught a nutrition class and part of what she wanted her students to learn was to build a professional network/identity through Twitter. One of her objectives was for her students to learn how to distinguish between accounts that were credible sources and those that were providing inaccurate nutrition information. I can't recall exactly how she did it (maybe through discussion) because I know she at least started them out by giving them a list of who they could follow (like I did).
I love that you used something high-interest like Twitter to create buy-in with your students. Very cool.
What an awesome idea!!
Thought I would take a moment to post a bit of an update...I heard from one of the students that was in the first engineering class I had complete this twitter assignment. He just got a NASA fellowship through ASU and attributed this assignment and his interaction with engineering through twitter as one of the main reasons for having the fellowship!
Michelle is awesome. I need to do this in the Energy Institute classes.