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Twitter in the classroom - four

Have been introducing a Year 8 lower ability class to data collection, presentation and spatial analysis. This led to a rather random Tweet on Tuesday. I asked my network to tell me their location and whether they preferred their bread toasted on one, or both sides before adding the cheese when making cheese on toast.

What led up to this? Well I was telling the class about my theory that Northern people liked their cheese on toast different to those down south. This theory, I explained, comes from my time working with the Hampshire Outdoor Education Service. The pupils challenged me ('Prove it!') and so I decided to set a hypothesis based upon my assumption.

The next problem was how to collect data! The class cam up with the questionnaire idea although we identified that to be too geographically limited. I said I would ask my personal learning network. This modelled informal learning to the pupils.

Thank you to those that replied! An unintended side effect was that my Facebook contacts also replied as the Tweet was automatically shunted by TweetDeck. The next lesson I presented the class with the raw data, and showed them my Twitter replies and Facebook messages. They really loved some of the detail, and were also amazed that I was connected to someone in Bruges and California. They were also surprised that I had friends.

The next stage was to create a map by creating placemarks in Google Earth:

We then described the spatial pattern of the data and discussed limitations. The class then decided to remove any -outliers' and we drew a line on the map dividing the country in two by using the 'Path' tool
The result? Yes there is a pattern. Those who live in the North of the UK like their bread toasted on both sides. The final stage was to evaluate the findings: how confident could we be? The class then cam up with some top tips to improve the experiment.

All in all, a great lesson for exploring data collection, analysis and conclusions. Could be used in Maths, Science, Geography......


  1. Very interesting method of teaching. Technology should be introduced to the classroom more often, and you do that quite a bit, which I congratulate you for! Now it's just a case of getting people like Harris to follow suit.. GULP.

  2. I'm from the North but live in the South, and I like my bread toasted on one side... Does that make me a freak ?

  3. Alan - that means you just don't fit in anywhere ;-)

    Next lesson we will go on to looking at some ethics and drawbacks of the investigation. For example, the pupils were very quick to pick up on the small sample.

    Steve - I agree. I think that teachers can use very simple technology to make a big impact when it is used well. Also the expertise of students should be used. To me, a school should give you detention if you don't use your mobile or MP3 player (generic of course ;-) ). I think that it's mad when school pay lots of money for cameras etc when almost every student has one in their pocket.

  4. ...and I, who might just be the furthest north of your respondents, likes it toasted both sides first before adding the cheese (which has to be a nice mature cheddar, of course!)

  5. So following the pattern Val ;-)

    Have received some interesting pictures of people's cheese on toast lately too.


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