Estimated reading time: 7 minutes, 5 seconds

Twitter Scavenger Hunt for Nov 4th – Update

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes, 5 seconds

This is a blogpost to update everyone who volunteered to help me out with my students’ Twitter Scavenger Hunt on Nov 4th, as a way to introduce students to twitter before our Twitter game (hacking #tvsz planned Nov 14-16). I’m writing this to keep track as well, and solicit ideas 🙂 The current post is already inspired by a lot of people’s comments on previous posts about Twitter (e.g. Alan Levine’s suggestion to invite people from my network to respond – the main thing that I think will take this to the next level).


Sharing Alan Levine’s Twitter life cycle (below), Jesse Stommel’s handout on Twitter, and opening up discussion of whether or not to use their real name, real photo, location, etc. (thanks to Andrea & Alan for reminding me to do this, and to #ccourses Unit on Trust as well). I *might* use parts of this article by Howard Rheingold (omigosh isn’t it AWESOME that every single resource I’m mentioning here is made by someone I know and have met synchronously???)

Twitter life cycle
Twitter Life Cycle by Alan Levine CC-BY-SA, from here 



a. Use the class hashtag #GamesEg on EVERYTHING – otherwise, I won’t be able to see it, their colleagues won’t be able to see it

b. Encourage people who respond to them from online to use the hashtag; if they don’t, retweet their tweet (quote tweet) and add the class hashtag

c. If they choose to work in pairs, tag/mention their partner in activity tweets

d. Some of the activities can be done during class time; others will involve tweeting to people who are not on our same timezone. This means some tweets won’t receive responses until the next day or even later – so students need to keep checking their twitter for notifications into the next day at least.

SCAVENGER HUNT ACTIVITIES (modified from original list – done in pairs; tweets should tag their partners)

1. Create an account, thinking about whether they will use their real name or a pseudonym (some already have accounts but want to use new ones for the course), whether to include full location, what profile photo to use – they could do something in between, like have a fun username but their real name. In all cases – they need to follow or tweet to me @bali_maha immediately within the first few minutes of class, adding the class hashtag, which I think I will make #GamesEg i.e.  GamesEgypt) so that I know their account and can follow it for that day and during the game itself later in the month.

2. Start following some people. Now twitter asks you to do that anyway; I may ask them to follow certain people, have part of the “hunt” be to find certain people. I think they should at least follow some classmates? And probably some of the people I recommend them to contact and ask questions about games (list coming up later in the post).

3. Take a photo of something on campus (once a close-up, once a shadow), and tweet it with the class hashtag (most students have tablets or smartphones, so we should be OK) – as well as maybe to one of the other classes’ hashtags and ask people to “guess what this is a photo of”

4. Respond to another person in class, guessing what their photo is of, or where it was taken or something?

5. send me a private message on twitter if they have questions about the assignment (this requires that they follow me and I them, but they don’t know that yet)

6. Check out the games-related hashtags (below) and retweet a useful link to the class hashtag. That way they’ll get used to doing “quote tweet” when retweeting.

7. Look at other class hashtags and respond to something/someone – possibly just introducing themselves

8. Send 2-3 questions on educational games to some of the experts who have agreed to answer questions. I don’t want to suggest too many questions, because it would be cool for students to think up their own questions, but some questions might be asking for resources on designing good educational games, asking for links to examples of educational games, asking about why professors use educational games, some of the benefits of educational gaming, etc.

9. (I also want them to explore tweetdeck or hootsuite or such but not sure how to approach this)

10. Keep checking the class hashtag (either using tweetdeck/hootsuite or searching it on the twitter app on their phone or tablet) as I will be asking some spontaneous questions throughout the class time that they can respond to.

 People who have offered to respond to my students’ questions (but not all will be awake at the time we’re working; also there are so many so I am thinking of assigning each pair 3 people to tweet to; not sure yet how to split them up? Randomly? By timezone? there are very few people on my timezone, though, and we’re doing this at 10am so no one’s gonna be awake from the others, except maybe night owls on Pacific time):

  1. Students will have to tweet to one of these people & their class hashtags, asking questions about them and/or their class, such as: @allistelling (what kind of ed game design are  you doing?) @writingasjoe (who is #nifkin – find out more info) @profrehn (what can we ask them about?) + their students (I think Lizzie is going to be out of town but I hope we can ask her students?; I don’t remember if Christina replied?). IDEA: maybe THEIR students can post questions for MY students from the night before, so populate OUR #GamesEG hashtag in advance?
  2. People I know personally on my timezone (@digisim @laura_ritchie and her class @catherinecronin @amcunningham) – I am thinking of definitely assigning them because of the possibility of a quick response. Will have to let them know about this
  3. People I know: @jessifer @anasalter @dogtrax @onewheeljoe @eatcherveggies @dinamoati @ak_leeg
  4. People I don’t know very well: @MariaReadsALot @mkurachige @lorifredenberg @verenanz


Class hashtags my students will look up & respond to (must remember to use both their own hashtag #GamesEg and the ones below):

a. People doing #tvsz:

#nifkin (Janine’s class – I plan to have them explore who Nifkin is, whether Nifkin is male or female, what s/he does, etc.)

#wsp101 (Andrea’s class)

#gamedomain (Pete’s class)

# ??? (Lizzie ‘s class, can’t find it for some reason!)

(wonder if Christina’s students are willing to participate in this, even if not in #tvsz)

b. Classes NOT necessarily doing #tvsz (but I hope they might?)

#MUS604 (Laura Ritchie’s class)

#edgamify (Lee Graham)

#gamifi-ed (found at some point while talking to Lee Graham)

#GBL (Recommended by Ana Salter, and again by Kevin – it looks different in all CAPS eh? haha)

#ineeddiversegames (recommended by Andrea Rehn)


Ok, that’s it for now – gotta go – more ideas welcome… This is a graded activity so I’ll need to figure out the weight of doing each part (not all of equal weight). Also: I need to Storify everything for later 🙂

P.S. (added later: I was inspired by Kevin Hodgson’s game developed for K-12 online conference to make this scavenger hunt more gamey, so will maybe offer points for different things people do – thanks to Verena Roberts for tweeting me link to Kevin’s game – don’t know how I missed it, given I knew he was giving a talk on edu games from beforehand

I have also been exploring Martin Hawksey’s TAGs Explorer – finally got the courage to try it out – I managed the TAGS part on a choppy internet connection and my hubby’s 6-year old Mac with an old version of Safari that doesn’t like google docs – so that’s good; the Explorer part is taking too long but I’m sure I’ll get there eventually!)

P.P.S. Added EVEN LATER: i will soo ask students to try to figure out what #tvsz is and tweet around what they find. With a caveat they cannot re-post same link another person had posted.. That’d be cool, yeah?)

I also thought students could ask ppl w interesting twitter handles, what those handles mean – i often do it myself, not sure how common it is; just realized now a couple ppl i did NOT ask, and now i am dying to know!)

P.P.S. Kevin Hodgson cartoon for my class:


32 thoughts on “Twitter Scavenger Hunt for Nov 4th – Update

  1. Count me in to help, if that helps you. I can be a follower/commenter/retweeter as needed.
    I think #gbl is another hashtag — game-based learning.
    Will you have some sort of tally sheet/leaderboard? Or is that not important? I struggle with how to create one in online spaces for these activities. So, if you find a solution .. share!
    (Loved Alan’s drawing …)

    1. Hey Kevin! Yes, of course you too! I think you responded on twitter and i forgot to put it in!
      And yes, #gbl of course! Adding it in now…

      Hmm might ask Hawksey to help w leaderboard if possible?

  2. Hi Maha — sounds like a great activity! Thanks for sharing your plans and the thinking behind it. I’d be happy to tune into the hashtag during the day, and will reply/comment when I can. Using Twitter with students has been a wonderful part of my teaching and learning also, and the interaction of other interested people from our networks is what made those activities sing 🙂 I still remember the excitement of one of my students a couple of years ago, tweeting as he walked out the door of our classroom because Bonnie Stewart (from PEI, where’s that?! he shouted) engaged in conversation with him. Magic 🙂

    Here’s a quick link to one of our past activities — a Twitter chat with academic staff at our university who were also studying Twitter as a learning/teaching tool. This was a wonderful opportunity to discuss, and practice, democratic practices and changing power relationships.

    1. Thanks Catherine! For agreeing to respond and also for the link, will check it out. Maybe students can ask about twitter not just games 🙂

  3. What if my students participated by taking photos here in upstate New York and posting them? I think it would be fun for my students to see photos of a campus in Egypt and for your students to see stuff from a campus in NY.

    1. Yes! Awesome! Can we make the photo-sharing gamey, though, like of something mysterious and have students guess what it might be a photo of?

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