Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shakespeare in text messages and Twitter

My experience with Mr. Shakespeare in text message 

Two years ago when I did my 1st EVO, I enrolled in Multiliteracies where Vance and some other people were the coordinators. I thought it was an easy group but then I realized it was a bit difficult and had to drop as they had been discussing topics for a long time before that EVO session.

But before quitting that session (I was doing another one for kids) I happened to attend an online session by Mark Pegrum who also invited us to read his book “From Blogs and Bombs: The Future of Digital Technologies in Education”. During that session, he presented us with the following text:
“My smmer hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2 go 2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3:-@ kids FTF. ILNY, its gr8. Bt my Ps wr so {:-/ BC or 9/11 tht thy dcdd 2 stay in SCO & spn 2wks up N. Up N, WUCUWUG – O.  I ws vvv brd in MON. O bt baas & ^^^^^. AAR8, my PS wr J
He said that this was written as composition by an 8 years-old girl. We had to “guess” what she meant and that was it as we were supposed to do some other reading and comments.
Later on, a dear friend, colleague and EVO moderator for some time, Jennifer Verschoor, also gave us a text with a question “What about introducing Shakespeare” via text message. So, she wrote some acts from Romeo and Juliet in acronyms. We had a wonderful time trying to decipher what these two characters were saying. I decided to go far beyond that (as I usually do with all I find) and put many other classic stories into text message so my students could work with them.

My students did it great because they knew most of the stories and worked with acronyms beforehand. (By the way, Mangas related to Shakespeare can also be found so… plenty of material to work with him.)
We also worked with the following video

and they had to not only guess what the people were saying but also the impact of text messages in our society, especially teens.

Why all this? Because I think we can do wonders with Twitter as Graham and most of the others suggested. We can tell our students create cartoon characters and interact between them. An Argentinian colleague made a History project in Facebook where his students were different personalities from our past. He made the students be those people and the, they had to post in Facebook what was happening around 1810 when we started our Independence.
I’m planning to include a unit on Twitter and Facebook plus other websites in the public school I work so that students can start seeing the positive side of these sites. When I did Photopeach, Voki and Wallwisher projects last year, they went to the school lab and did all from there. I had some parents reluctant to let their kids work on projects like these, they even asked to talk to the school principal. Fortunately, the principal supported me and all went well.

Thanks Teresa Almeida d’Eca for reading this before anybody else.


  1. Dear Maria,
    wow, finally a post by you! Where have you been for the last 6 months --.)) Thx for sharing this. It's an excellent story! Hugs

  2. Thanks Marijana!!! I've been hybernating! LOL, Maria :)

  3. Dear María,
    As you know, Blogging is one of the most challenging opportunities to express online our personal and professional experiences. An outstanding webhead like you, is just inspiring and encouraging newbies on taking risks and demonstrate their talents innovating and improving their PD by posting and commenting on ELT issues.
    Bunches of congrats to you!

  4. Dear Maria,
    I completely agree with Victor Hugo that you are an outstanding webhead, and being a newbie I would like to thank you for sharing. It is great to be your Facebook friend, I always smile at your messages (just don't do anything). I wish I knew more about Facebook and Twitter (still puzzled by them, looking forward to PostBaw tweetmeet). Can I come to your classes on FB and Twitter, please? LOL, Sneza