Friday, March 8, 2013

Tweeting DC: the 8th grade DC Trip

Scholastica Travel Makes it Possible: 

     This Spring I will be heading to Washington DC with over 300 students for the 9th consecutive year.  I have co-coordinated the group for the past four years with Connie Gillenwater who retired last spring after 30+ trips to Washington DC.  Connie was a wealth of knowledge and it was great to be able to share the experience with her for the past nine years.  Trudging ahead, I am grateful to Amie Case for filling Connie's shoes as we embark on our first year without all the experience that we have lost.

   
     For the past 35 years we have used the same tour company, Scholastica Travel, based out of Greensburg, PA.  They have been a great company to work with & always provide great service.  Diane Rowe has been our tour director since I began, & she is the upmost pleasure to work with.  The most important part by far of any tour company is the tour guides who take part on the front lines and provide the direct service during the trip.  Diane has never failed to always have a great group of guides working together with her in order to provide our students a unique & memorable trip.  Taking over 300 students more than 400 miles from home is no small task, but Scholastica Travel makes it possible & allows us too share what is often the most memorable educational experience are students have.  When I walk through the halls of the high school I rarely go without hearing someone say, "Hey Mr. O remember in DC when...".  That in a nutshell is why I continue to go, & continue to make the effort to take as many of our students as possible.

Tweeting = Sharing = Learning:

   For the past five years I have been giving live commentary on our trip as we go via Twitter.  It has been a great way to share the experience with our elementary schools in the district.  Several of our elementary teachers keep a live twitter feed going throughout the day so students can read what we are doing or even see the occasional picture of a monument.  For a few years when I was still in the classroom I would have my students tweet as well & then have a live chat with elementary students when we got back.  It was great way for my students to take extra value in the learning aspect of the trip.  After all I believe very strongly that sharing is learning.

     The dates of our trip this year will be May 15th-18th.  If you are interested in following my tweets for your classroom follow me @RaiderEducation .  For following live I suggest a live feed like Tweet Chat or Twitter Fall . You can then follow my #RPLC for all the updates as we go.  Not sure how you would use this in the classroom?  Check out a few of the ideas below or post your own.  Thanks, & I hope you can share in our experience!!!  If you would like your class to get a special shout out from a particular place email me @ koneal@reyn.org with your class info.

Ideas for the classroom:

  • Hang a map of DC on your board, use push pins or magnets to attach pictures of monuments we see or connect with string to track where we go.
  • Assign a different monument, museum or building to each student in the class.  Have them research a little report.  When we tweet we have been to their topic have them get up & read their report to the class.
  • Queue up some videos from YouTube or somewhere like History.Com , Trip Films , or Field Trip to DC by Kids.gov to show as we tweet about the different places/monuments.
  • Have class discussion on places we go, find some great resources at Surfing the net with kids , National Geographic's Ultimate DC Guide , Washington DC ESL resources
  • Have students come up with good class questions & tweet them to me @RaiderEducation.  I'll answer as many as I can.  I'll even try to fulfill requests for pics, but most are uploaded at night when I have wifi access.
  • Learn about a different President everytime I tweet, I guarantee you'll get through all 44, if you need a good site check out usa4kids.com or The White House Presidents
  • This is a few, if you think of some more on your own post them below, would love to hear from you.
  • For your planning purposes below is a listing of the site we usually see throughout the trip.