One of my Yr 5 students spent time today out of the class planting native trees for Arbor Day. He returned around lunch time, but I didn’t really really get a chance to talk to him about it this afternoon.
So I saw that he’d just tweeted a “Hey”.


Four little words… “I’ll make a doc”. It’s been a long week and I know I’m tired, but that’s not why I welled up with tears.

Powerful stuff this motivated, independent learning thing.

[update] He shared the doc with me via Twitter DM because he wasn’t sure how to spell someone’s name. I wasn’t sure either so I texted a colleague. He waited… until I forwarded the texted answer. Sorted.

This kid is 9. Tweets and follows me with parental permission. Love it. 🙂

15 Responses

  1. That is pure MAGIC!

  2. That is pretty cool. It is what we hope from all our Learners – intrinsic motivation, independence and able to ask for help.
    Awesome stuff that learning thing!

  3. Sweet! That is great that your student was so passionate about Arbor Day. I love it when children get so excited about learning.

  4. Hello,
    My name is Shaniqua Washington and I’m a student in Dr. Strange’s EDm 310 class at the University of South Alabama. It’s great to see that your students are highly motivated to be an independent learner. Technology can really be put to good use.

  5. Hi Michael,

    What a small world! Imagine my surprise when I find that I have been assigned by Dr. John Strange of my EDM 310 class at University of South Alabama to view and comment on your blog this week! You and I were just tweeting yesterday!

    First of all, I’m astonished that you have a 9 year old student who is willing to volunteer his time in support of Arbor Day. What a fantastic character trait to have at such a young age! Secondly, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at his response to you. The fact that it was more convenient for him to “make a doc” to answer your question demonstrates his comfort level with the application of technology. This clearly exhibits the exemplary education your student is receiving.

    One final point I would like to make regarding your brief but informative post, is the fact that your student has the desire to follow your blog and tweet you. He also has the parental support and permission to do so. What an extraordinary way for them to encourage his curiosity to learn! This also speaks volumes for your apparent dedication to your students.

    I look forward to following your future posts and learning your secret for planting seeds of interest in the minds of your students!

    Christie Mason

  6. I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. It is awesome that a 9-year-old little boy would want to plant trees for Arbor Day! I love that your students keep in touch with you about what they are doing. Personally, I would not have a student on a social networking site at all let alone, a 9-year-old. In this day and age one has to be very careful with something like that. I am thrilled to know that he has parental consent though! It made me giggle that he said, “I’ll make a doc.” I had no clue what that was until last week, and I am in college!

  7. I was assigned your blog for Dr. Strange’s EDM310 Class as well. This story is awesome! I see the change coming. Students, when given the responsibility to learn like this, no longer despise learning. It is no longer a teacher spouting facts at children. This also works to relieve the stress that comes with traditional learning. It is a truly remarkable to see.

    twitter: bebe_thompson

  8. Hello,
    I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Like the others said, it is pretty awesome that you have a student who is so passionate about Arbor Day. I believe it to be important in life to be passionate about things, and if you choose to contribute to something then you should give your all to do your best! However, I still do not think I would allow a 9 year old student to follow me on Twitter simply because of the world we live in, parental consent or not. Cool post!

    Will Smith

    • I’m not sure what you mean by “the world we live in”. I feel like I’m modeling the correct use of social media for my students. I share much of my twitter feed with them and I would never post anything that I considered unsuitable for public consumption, nor do I engage in private conversations with students.

      I do know that about half of my class have Facebook accounts already. If I can show them how I use social media responsibly then I can set expectations that they will do the same.

  9. I am a student from EDM 310 at University of South Alabama. It is very nice to see a student that age that cares about planting trees and to see that he already knows how to use a computer so well. I am impressed!

  10. Hi Teachernz!
    My name is Jamie Lynn Barbour and I am student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I am one of Dr. Strange’s EDM310 students. I thought this post about your student was very touching. I think that it’s a great thing when kids get involved at a young age with philanthropic work. Giving back to the community is really important. I also think that it is really cool that your 9 year old student is a technologically advanced independent learner. He just up and created a document about his planting trees all on his own and shared it with you through Twitter. What an amazing kid! I hope one day my students will want to follow and look up to me as a teacher like your students do you. Thanks for sharing.
    Thank you,
    Jamie Lynn Barbour

  11. That is pretty awesome for him to be able to tweet and create a doc all by himself! I wish I had learned to do that when I was that age. I can’t imagine what students will be doing in the future.

  12. Hi, this is Chasity from the Edm310 class at The University of South Alabama. It is very impressive how students can grasp technological advancements at such young ages. I know this makes you proud as a teacher to see all the hard work pay off.

  13. My name is Tonya and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. It is nice to hear of a child taking interest and going out to plant trees. It brings joy to my heart to know that our children care about this Earth and the beauty in it. Also, it truly amazes me that children are so high tech today. I am amazed that your student knew what twitter was and actually knew how to use it. I am just now trying to learn the basics of twitter.

  14. Hi, my name is Chris Perry and I am a student in edm310 at the University of South Alabama. I think that it is amazing that your students are so interested in a day such as Arbor Day. I know that many children in the United States are not. They think it is silly and unimportant. It is nice to know that there are still children out there that do care about our planet. Also I am shocked to see that your students know what facebook and twitter are. I did not think that they would have any knowledge about those things. The use of technology can go a long way if used in the proper setting.

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