131 Using Twitter and Interactive Broadcasts to Engage and Empower Meteorology Students

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Theresa Ruggiero, Concord-Carlisle Regional High School, Concord, MA

By the time students are high school upperclassmen taking science electives they have mastered the “teach and test” model of learning. As they transition to the next phase of learning it is important that they learn to harness their curiosity and access the resources that will help in their quest for knowledge. In this semester long meteorology course, this skill is developed by requiring students to create and use twitter accounts for the class. Students follow one another and meteorology sources like their local meteorologists and the NWS. Students use their twitter feed to share interesting weather stories, their own weather pictures, videos, presentations and data, and to reach out to experts to ask questions about current weather phenomena. Once a week, the class watches the same hour of the nationally broadcasted “The Weather Underground” show on the weather channel. During the broadcast, we use twitter to pose questions to the hosts who answer them on air in their “sounding off” segment. The questions also contain our class hashtag so that we can all see and comment on each other’s questions. Those questions also inform the week’s lessons. This model of curiosity driven learning, seeking out experts, contributing your own expertise or perspectives, and building a blended digital and in person learning community has engaged and empowered the students, opening up interest in meteorology and building skills for learning beyond the high school classroom environment.
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