Participate in this activity for students to explore current issues using social media.
Do Now is a weekly activity for students to engage and respond to current issues using social media tools like Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Vine. KQED aims to introduce 21st Century skills and add value to learning through the integration of relevant local content and new media tools and technologies. Do Now gives students a chance to practice civic engagement and digital citizenship skills while they explore ways to connect topics in their classes to the present day.
Do Now can be scaffolded to meet different teacher needs and student learning outcomes.
- LEVEL 1: QUICK & EASY (1-class period): help focus students at the start of a class period. Most activities are six to eight minutes in length. They can completed without teacher assistance and can be used to introduce ideas connected to the rest of the lesson.
- LEVEL 2: RESEARCH AND WRITING PROJECTS (1-class period – 1 week): Each Do Now provides additional resources to deepen students’ learning around each topic. Encourage your students to back up their opinions with data and link to evidence to support their claims. This is a great opportunity to talk about what makes a source credible.
- LEVEL 3: MEDIA-MAKING PROJECTS (1 week – 1 month): Arguments are most effective when supported by compelling media! Explore our digital media tools and Do Next media project ideas to encourage your students to explore the affordances of different media formats to make their voices heard.
Here’s a video that shows the impact of Do Now for students. This video was filmed at Burton High School in San Francisco:
Here’s a breakdown of how Do Now works:
- Do Now activities are posted every Friday at kqed.org/donow. The topics focus on civic issues that cut across current events, science, and the arts.
- #DoNowU (Do Now activities with a science/health focus written by college students) will be posted on Wednesdays on these dates: April 6 & 20, May 4 & 18.
- Each activity features a media resource that can be played directly on the website.
- Directly below the media resource, there’s a question to prompt student responses, followed by background information on the topic to deepen understanding and engagement with the prompt.
- Students should respond to the Do Now either in the comments section on the website, or they can tweet their response, or post responses on other social media platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, etc. (students will need to set up accounts on these platforms if they don’t have them already).
- We encourage students to reply to other people’s posts to foster more of a conversation. When students post their personal opinions, ask them to support their ideas with links to interesting/credible articles online (adding a nice research component) or retweet other people’s ideas that they agree or disagree with.
- We value student-produced media linked to their tweets. You can visit our video tutorials that showcase how to use several web-based production tools.
- If students are setting up new user accounts to participate in the Do Now either in the comments section on the website or via social media platforms, we encourage them to personalize their profile with images and names that represent their identity and inspire interaction. We respect students’ right to privacy, and of course rely on teachers’ judgment about how much personal information students should make public. We encourage teachers to design a system to keep track of their students’ responses with a consistent naming convention or hashtag.
- Make sure all responses include the #DoNow hashtag assigned to the topic (ie., #DoNowBike) as well as your own class hashtag if you want to track your students’ responses.
How Can Students See the Do Now Conversation?
- You can use a hashtag search platform like hashatit.com to search for a specific Do Now post and see all of the responses on various social media platforms.
- KQED produces a weekly synthesis of the student responses to a post called Do Now Roundups. This is a great way for your students to see a curated analysis of student perspectives on a given Do Now topic, and possibly see their own response as part of the conversation!
Do Now is a free activity, open to anyone to participate. If you are interesting in using Do Now with your students, here is a self-paced tutorial that will get you oriented and ready to implement. Give yourself about 90 minutes to go through it.
Follow @KQEDedspace on Twitter to receive the weekly Do Now.
The Do Now discussion can reach beyond the classroom and connect students far and wide. If you have any questions, email Annelise Wunderlich at firstname.lastname@example.org.