Tuesday, 21 January 2014

We Asked and They Answered: Canadian Olympians Rule

Have I mentioned lately that I love Twitter? If not, I absolutely love the power of Twitter and the connecting that occurs with it! Twitter continues to provide awesome connections for my grade 3 students including our new adventure with Olympians.


Do you ever experience that "Wow, did that just happen?" moment? My students and I did today! But before I share it, I should give the background information: this weekend I was planning an Olympic unit for my grade 3 class and was wanting to connect with some Canadian Olympians on twitter to ask questions to about being Olympians. The Canadian Olympic Team on twitter told me that on www.olympic.ca you can see which athletes are on Twitter and to ask them directly if they would answer our questions. So off I went to see which athletes were on twitter and tweeted the more active ones to see if they would be willing to answer a few questions from my class. I thought maybe one or two would respond since they would be busy getting ready for the Olympics after all. I was way off in my prediction as within twenty-four hours I had received responses from fifteen Canadian Olympian athletes!

I wanted to easily find the tweets for when we started our Olympic research so I came up with the hashtag #olympianchat and off we went. Today we tweeted out to Chandra Crawford (@ChandraCrawford) and James McNaughton (@McNaughtonJames). Chandra Crawford won gold in the 2006 Olympics and James McNaughton will be competing in his first Olympics. Both Chandra and James answered all of the questions shortly after we tweeted them which wasn't expected since they are busy getting ready for the Olympics. They even addressed the students, who had tweeted them, with their names. It made their day to have a tweet addressed to them. Their effort to respond and do so with enthusiasm blew me way and caused the "wow did this just happen?" moment. It was a moment that my students will remember for a long time. When they see the athletes competing they will feel a connection. Chandra and James were just the start of our #olympianchat athletes with many more to come all week long! Thank you to Chandra and James for replying today and to all other Canadian Olympians who said they would reply to our tweets this week. I appreciate the power and positive effect that your simple and quick act will have for my students. We will be cheering loudly for Chandra and James as well as all of the other Canadian athletes we connect with.

Many people from my PLN have tweeted me about this project and said how interesting it is, so my advice is jump in with your students. All that can happen is they reply with interested like fifteen or so did to my tweets or they don't reply because they are busy getting ready for the Olympics. So go for gold and see what you can get!

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