Learning with Silvia Tolisano

“Now, please collaborate in your team to document what you have experienced and what will happen in our model lesson and thereafter,” is the directive from the “Silvia Tolisano ”. We feel rather unsure of what a collaborative blog post “looks like and feels like” – but we guess we are about to learn.

So – let’s think back …

The session starts with the usual, frustrating IT issues. Our visitor, Silivia Tolisano , is waiting patiently to begin her session with our staff (P-6). Her day is to be filled with conversation around digital literacy. Kind of difficult to share her ideas with no internet access! Fortunately , our tech magicians pull a trick out of their hats and soon, we are up and running.

Silvia asks us to play on our devices. She wants us to Tweet (#MSMCPD) and she wants us to message one another.

Really, what she wants us to do is to document our learning using a variety of channels. And so, we do.  While the people who have dabbled, or indeed immersed themselves in this kind of syntax before race ahead, everyone shares their findings and inspires one another to “have a go!”.

Silvia assigns some “jobs”. Our visitor (Natasha Terry-Armstrong who was visiting us from Shore School in Sydney  notes all the links on our Google Doc , Jina  takes  notes and someone else records ideas. By the end of the day, our PD is documented and shared in numerous ways.

The time rolls on and before we know it, the learning about being a “citizen” in the now and the future is over. With much to ponder, we are sent home.

The following day, our Year 4 team meet with Silvia. She goes around asking each one of us what we would like to focus on next. Mark begins by saying he would like to Skype. Silvia happily shares her experiences of this type of connecting.

Then Sarah, Aviva and Jina share their  hopes. Finally, we decide that we would like to see Twitter in the classroom as our model lesson.


We arrive in 4B to open the world of Twitter via Silvia’s amazing experiences. She starts off by sharing the history of communication with the children. She starts at cave paintings and ends with the wide world of Twitter! Children are fascinated by the journey.

A Twitter account is initiated for the class. The “egg” image (signifying the birth of the account) is the starting point that leads to the children linking to other classes’ Twitter accounts and deciding if they are suitable and interesting enough to follow.

Silvia shows the children that a tweet cannot be more than 140 characters and she speaks about the importance of tweeting “tweetable” moments. What’s worth sharing?

Sadly, the lesson ends too soon and we move on to a reflection session.

Students are lucky enough to have a follow up lesson with Silvia in which she extends their exposure to Twitter and the extent that tweets can reach. Students feel excited to try and use Twitter to connect globally.

Some of the teachers are blown away by the content of what was presented and the doors that Twitter might open.

About Jina Belnick

I am a full time learner - tumbling head first into education and joining my learners on the amazing adventures that we encounter daily at our PYP school in Melbourne, Australia.I am currently working in learning support, feeling the waters and seeing how teachers and learners are best supported, I am a listener and a leader, an inquirer and a follower. I'm loving the ride!
This entry was posted in Teams, Thinking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Learning with Silvia Tolisano

  1. Your post reminded me of the magic and excitement that I felt when I first encountered twitter. I have to say the magic still remains.


  2. Pingback: Professional Development Model: Documenting4Learning | Langwitches Blog

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