How to Use Twitter to Grow Your PLN For many people, Twitter conjures up the worst of the internet: disjointed, meaningless phrases, unrecognizable abbreviations, and endless drivel about where someone's getting their double mocha today. So, Why Tweet?!?! For the inquisitive educator, there are some jewels herein that can lead to stimulating discussions, new resources, and an ongoing supportive network. You just have to know where to look. To that end, here is a list of educationally focused chats that we recommend (listed by day): Chat for educators teaching 4th grade #4thchat Mondays 8pm ET/5pm PT/7pm CT Chat for educators teaching social studies #sschat Mondays 7pm ET/4pm PT/6pm CT Chat for music educators #musedchat Mondays 8pm ET/5pm PT Chat for ELL educators #ellchat Mondays 9pm ET/6pm PT Kindergarten Chat #kinderchat Mondays 9pm ET/6pm PT General education chat #edchat Tuesdays 12 noon ET/ 9am PT 7pm ET/4pm PT Chat for science educators #scichat Tuesdays 9pm ET/6pm PT Chat for arts educators #artsed Thursdays 7pm ET/4pm PT
Resources for Growing Your Professional Learning Network Get ideas and tips for creating connections and developing a network. Where do you find time for brainstorming with colleagues? Whether collaboration takes place in well-organized professional learning communities or on the fly in hallway chats, chances are it doesn't happen often enough during the regular school year. Yet research shows that networking with fellow teachers is time well spent. A personal network doesn't eliminate the need for high-quality professional development, but it does offer a powerful antidote for classroom isolation. Neil Stephenson, who blogs at Thinking In Mind, offers this quick illustration to show the power of networks: "One day, I see kids in our school doing a really cool looking art project. By taking advantage of opportunities to connect with colleagues, both face-to-face and virtually, you can grow and nourish your personal learning network. Online tools allow you to build a far-flung network. Edutopia Groups offer another place to expand your network.
The Connected Science Teacher It's summertime: time to relax, refresh and get connected. Joining an online community of science teachers is a great way to find resources, inspiration and like-minded colleagues to collaborate with as you re-tool your courses for the next school year. The list below is a good starting point to find a community or two that meets your needs. However, the list is not exhaustive. Use the comment section to share any online groups or communities that you find valuable! Edutopia's STEM Group This group has over 2000 members engaged in discussion and sharing ideas. Scitable Scitable is a social network created by Nature Publishing Group. My Moon My Moon is an irreverent co-moon-ity from the Lunar Planetary Institute that is focused on connecting those "under 35" to resources, experts and other information about lunar exploration. Edmodo's Science Community This community connects thousands of Edmodo-using science teachers to each other. The NSTA Learning Center The Synapse National Lab Network
Five Tips for New Teachers to Become Connected Educators Editor's Note: Connected Educator Month (CEM) was launched by the Department of Education in August 2012, and this year, it's being held in October. This post from Lisa Dabbs is a great primer for becoming a connected educator, and it's a must-read for CEM. (Updated 10/2013) This month, the U.S. Department of Education kicked off Connected Educator Month, with engaging keynotes, panel discussions, book chats, and more. During this month, educators in the U.S. and globally will have opportunities to connect themselves and their communities, online and in-person, to support their professional practice. While the idea of being or becoming a connected educator is important, as a new teacher, this may seem completely overwhelming. Having said that, I'd like to chunk this Connected Educator Learning Month opportunity into five educator "Be-Attitudes" that might be easier for a new or pre-service teacher to embrace. Be sure to read each one and give us some feedback. What is Web 2.0?
MACE Activity Guide Teachers Guide to The 21st Century Learning Model : Connected Learning In the last Digital and Learning Conference that took place in San Francisco, researchers and scholars cited an ever-widening gap between what they considered in-school learning and out-of-school learning. The abyss between the two types of learning is growing wider and wider as more and more students are having free unlimited access to all kinds of information online. For them school curricula are boring as they teach things that are not immediately related to their everyday lives. This is why disengagement, short attention span, and lack of motivation are among the most alarmingly challenging issues confronting every teacher today. Researchers in Digital Media and Learning Conference stressed upon the fact that for learning to be effective, it definitely needs to be " interest-driven and reinforced in the different contexts of kids lives by parents, educators, and knowledgeable peers." The Essence of Connected Learning from DML Research Hub on Vimeo. Features of Connected Learning
Connected Educator Month For Educators, the Importance of Making Meaningful Connections Culture By Matt Levinson It’s connected educator month. As schools gear up and prepare for a new school year with technology increasingly ubiquitous, now’s the time to consider how schools can create a positive impact with technology. Professor Alec Couros captures the essential element for schools to keep in mind as they move forward with technology initiatives. Though schools possess tremendous resources in teachers, the challenge can be how to connect teachers with each other, to ward off isolation and leverage the power of the “room” and the collective intelligence. Stanford University’s d.School has started offering a course called d.Compress – Designing Calm, to have students tackle and address the issue of digital balance and mindfulness. He advocates for intention and purpose to create social good: “[Technology] becomes a tool to break down barriers and create a better world. So what can schools do? Be strategic with the “fast horse” technology adopters.
Parents, Teachers, Schools Communicating Online Uncategorized Crocker In just about 15 minutes, I’ll join the parents of Crocker Highlands Elementary School, where my daughter will begin second grade, in finding out her classroom assignment. As is the tradition every year, parents and students are standing around the entrance of the school right now, where the students’ names will be listed under their new teachers. I can’t join them in person this year since I’m still at work, but if everything goes according to plan, we’ll find out at the same time. The school is sending our Yahoo email group the password to the page on the website that lists the classroom assignment. Even if school administrators were not able to provide this convenience for those who couldn’t be there, I would have texted friends to find out. Related Explore: Technology in Schools
Connectedness as the Standard I am extremely excited that August is Connected Educator month. In my opinion, being a connected learner, leader, and/or educator is no longer an option. My personal and professional journey in this area is well documented and something that I regularly present on. When I think back to my life as an educator prior to becoming connected, I can honestly say that I was isolated, naive, and definitely not as well rounded as I am today. Image by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano- www.langwitches.org/blog based on image (CC) by Alec Couros- /educationaltechnology.ca/couros/799 We become the epicenter of our learning and determine what, where, and when we want to learn. Your PLN will provide you with the seeds of change, but is up to you to plant, take care of, and cultivate them in order to witness their growth and development into transformative culture elements. What do you think are some of the benefits of becoming connected that I might not have touched on?
How 'Disruptive Innovation' Will Change the Way We Learn Published Online: June 3, 2008 Published in Print: June 4, 2008, as How 'Disruptive Innovation' Will Change The Way We Learn Commentary By Clayton M. All students learn differently. Academic research increasingly supports this notion. In addition, within each type of intelligence or aptitude, people have different learning styles. Just as it is intuitive to us that we learn differently from one another, it is also intuitive that because of this, each of us needs a different, customized learning approach to maximize his or her potential. Yet, there is far more standardization than customization in schools. Why is this? To see why, picture Microsoft Windows. If the goal is to educate every student to the highest potential, schools need to move away from this monolithic classroom model... Contrast this with a modular product or service architecture. Computer-based learning is emerging as a disruptive force and a promising opportunity to make this shift. Clayton M.