Days later, at yet another game, Mrs. Caviness decided to dig a bit deeper into students’ thinking. She tweeted a new picture and asked students to develop related problems.

Again, students jumped on this opportunity immediately. Before the game was over, she had quite a collection of student-created problems, including:

What Mrs. Caviness found most exciting was the fact that students dropped everything they were doing at home so that they could connect with her around these short math blasts.

Now, Mrs. Caviness sees many applications for using this tool to strengthen what students do at school each day and to build a library of material that she and her students can use in a flipped classroom environment. We invite you to read more about her class and their uses of Twitter here. You might also choose to follow Mrs. Caviness on Twitter.

We believe that there are three essential skills represented by the stories in this article:

  • Teachers should have the skill set to build their own personal learning networks (PLNs) to be global.
  • Teachers should be able to leverage their PLNs to bring the challenge of authentic conversation to their students.
  • Teachers should be able to use social media to connect their students to real-world problems.

Like Mrs. Caviness, we believe educators should be powerful role models and provide examples of how to use the most powerful social media tools to expand the boundaries of learning. Otherwise, our students might only end up following #Bieberhair.

Let us know your thoughts.

Alan November is the founder and Brian Mull is the director of innovation at November Learning. They invite your questions through their website at http://www.novemberlearning.com.

Join Alan, Brian, and other educators from around the world at the Building Learning Communities conference (BLC12) in Boston this July, where Eli Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble, will be one of the keynote speakers. Use the discount key eSchoolMedia12 to get $100 off the cost of registration; go to http://blcconference.com.