Monday, July 28, 2014

Use Social Media and Tagboard during your Next Field Trip!

File this post under "better late than never!"
Great kids, great field trip!

Last spring I read a post from Lisa Nielsen entitled Using Social Media to Spice Up your Next Museum Trip. She suggested using Tagboard to collect hashtags from Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms in one place to document a field trip. As luck would have it, Señora Patton had asked me to chaperone her upcoming field trip to the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh, followed by lunch at Mallorca, a Spanish restaurant also in Pittsburgh. Well, the old lightbulb went off in my head, so I started making plans to integrate student cell phones and social media into our field trip!

I started by outlining the project and getting administrative approval. Once we got the okay to move forward, and since use of social media for educational purposes was still relatively untested in our district, I met with the participating Spanish students. I discussed how the project would work and demonstrated the Tagboard web site. Since at the time we were in the middle of the NHL playoffs and the Penguins were still in the hunt, I searched the hashtag #penguins. Coincidentally, we saw a tweet posted by a former KHS student!

Next, students were given a list of project guidelines that they signed and returned, indicating that they would participate in the project. They also were required to return a signed parent permission slip so that we were all on the same page as far as expectations and how the project would work.

On the morning of the field trip, I shared the hashtag that we would use to document our day. As we toured the Nationality Rooms and had a delicious lunch at Mallorca, students posted pictures to Instagram and shared facts on Twitter using the assigned hashtag. Señora Patton then shared the resulting Tagboard during their next Spanish class, and the students enjoyed reviewing what they had seen and learned during their field trip. And the best part, in my opinion, is that they were able to learn from the postings of their classmates!

As it turned out, although the vast majority of students signed up to participate, not all posted on the day of the trip. A couple kiddos admitted that they had an image to uphold in their social media accounts and didn't want to post educational stuff. Say what? Yes, we did have a couple of silly pictures posted, but they are kids and they should have fun on a field trip, right?

Take a look at our Tagboard and perhaps learn a thing or two or three about the Nationality Rooms and Mallorca!

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