French preschoolers tweet daily

French preschoolers near Bordeaux can’t read or write just yet, but that hasn’t kept them from contributing to the Twitterverse.

Since the start of the school year, a class at Albert-Camus in Talence has been posting updates of their daily activity to a joint Twitter feed, @camusmat04.

Each day, the class of 29 children proposes and discusses topics, and then they vote on a winner. From there, each student tries their hand at writing a tweet, and their teacher then combines them into one post that two students type into the computer.

One tweet reads: “We gathered snow to see how it turns into water.”

Teacher Philippe Guillem came up with the idea of using Twitter in the classroom as a means of teaching students how to recognize the alphabet in its various forms  – cursive, keyboard, and screen  – and to help them transition from oral to written word.

Guillem says the exercise is meant to educate not just the students, but their parents, too.

“They have to consider how this will play out when their children are 12 years old and using the tools of the future,” he told the AFP.

At the start of the year, only one parent had subscribed to Twitter and only a few used Facebook. Now, around 80 percent of the parents follow the class on Twitter, comprising most of the classroom’s 89 followers.

To protect the students’ privacy, tweets are visible only to approved users.

Sources: AFP, Canada.com