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How Twitter is Reinventing Collaboration Among Educators

How Twitter is Reinventing Collaboration Among Educators
In the three years that I’ve been building up Edutopia’s presence on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, I’ve noticed a significant shift in how our audience of education changemakers interact and collaborate. In particular, I’ve seen Twitter reinvent the way educators collaborate to create change in education. Twitter Transforms Educators Before the advent of Twitter, most educators I know had limited opportunities to collaborate with colleagues outside their building. Some subscribed to listservs or participated in online forums, but these outlets lacked critical mass; teachers also networked at in-person conferences and training sessions, but these isolated events didn’t provide ongoing support. Enter Twitter. Here are some of the specific ways educators are using Twitter to collaborate: Edcamps: Edcamps are “unconferences” for educators that are mostly promoted through Twitter and organized by people who’ve met on Twitter. Hashtags: Educators use a lot of hashtags. Related:  Collaborative / Cooperative Learning

Global Collaboration Projects for Your Classroom - Global Learning Are you ready to integrate technology into your classroom for the first time, just not sure where to begin? Or are you already using technology with your students, and you're ready to go deeper? Either way, the recommendation from Honor Moorman, Associate Director, Professional Development and Curriciulum, Asia Society, is the same. Use technology to engage students in a global collaboration project. by Honor Moorman As thought leaders like Chris Lehmann and Will Richardson often remind us, we need to do more than simply use technology to do what we've always done digitally. Global collaboration projects bring students together from different countries to work on a joint project. Why should you and your students take on the challenge of a global collaboration project? Still not sure? Global collaboration projects employ technology tools in ways that enrich student learning.

The Internet map The map of the Internet Like any other map, The Internet map is a scheme displaying objects’ relative position; but unlike real maps (e.g. the map of the Earth) or virtual maps (e.g. the map of Mordor), the objects shown on it are not aligned on a surface. Mathematically speaking, The Internet map is a bi-dimensional presentation of links between websites on the Internet. Every site is a circle on the map, and its size is determined by website traffic, the larger the amount of traffic, the bigger the circle. Charges and springs To draw an analogy from classical physics, one may say that websites are electrically charged bodies, while links between them are springs. Also, an analogy can be drawn from quantum physics. Anyway, the real algorithm of plotting The Internet map is quite far from the analogies given above. Semantic web The map of the Internet is a photo shot of the global network as of end of 2011 (however, baloons show actual statistics from Alexa). The Internet Phenomenon

Twitter in Education – Barriers and possible solutions? After a wry commentary on the ‘10 Stages of Twitter‘ many educators have commented on the barriers that exist to twitter use. As a proposed channel of communication for iPad use in school, it is important to investigate these barriers and address them for staff. ACCESS – It is all very well popping onto twitter if you have a smartphone that allows you access with one tap of an icon. A number of solutions have been suggested to remove these barriers and are proving fruitful alongside our iPad trial: Allow time for twitter professional development with any presentation immediately followed up with individual trouble-shooting and supportCreate a ‘ring-fenced‘ twitter trial zone.

Going Global-Tips And Tricks For Global Collaborations I had a wonderful conversation recently on Twitter with a teacher from New Zealand that commented on a tweet about using Skype Classroom to go global. She mentioned how her students were going to Skype and talk to kids in Iowa. How awesome is that! I just love the fact that the world gets so much smaller when we use technology like that. There really are endless learning opportunities for students (and teachers as well). During the North African uprisings a high school teacher here in my district was struggling to get her students to understand the whys of those events. I took to Twitter and through some connections was put in touch with a teacher in southern Egypt. We knew it was important to connect the students to their content. You know it's important too. First, what tools will you need? That's a tough one to answer. You will also want a Skype account. So, with the software and hardware out of the way we can focus in on where to find people and projects. Hashtags-Yep, Twitter.

$1,000 for the Cheapest Surface? Consider this the second time that we have heard rumbles concerning the pricing of Microsoft’s Surface line of tablets. Also, consider this the second time that pricing news concerning the Surface has been bad. Today the world of Microsoft reporting is buzzing with the news from a Swedish website that listed prices for all four coming Surface models, covering both the RT and Pro editions. Now, to put those prices into dollars, the cheapest tablet is $1,001. Over on NeoWin, a good place to read comments to see what the Microsoft enthusiast community is thinking, has some choice commentary from its readers concerning the above pricing. If this pricing is true then I guess I won’t be getting one afterall. Dead on launch at that pricing [...] Way too expensive. Yikes. Microsoft has promised that its Surface machines will be roughly price competitive with two market points: other ARM tablets for the RT machine, and around ultrabook pricing for the Pro version. Top Image Credit: ImagineCup

140 Character Conference Open Your Classroom Door to 'Be Better' Published Online: May 14, 2013 By Jessica Cuthbertson It's May. And yet, it's been a great week in room 214. I wasn't flying solo—I had backup. On Tuesday, Joe Dillon, the instructional coordinator for educational technology in Aurora Public Schools, supported me in my classroom. On Thursday, Lori Nazareno, teacher-in-residence with the Center for Teaching Quality, visited my classroom. Neither visitor is my evaluator. The great poet Maya Angelou says, "Do the best you can until you know better. Becoming better teachers is easier than we sometimes think. How can we do this? • Start small. • Get bigger. • Leverage tools. Opening our doors, videotaping instruction, and sharing our practice can be scary. If you haven't done so already, consider going through the National Board-certification submission process, which includes videotaping and reflecting on your practice. Videotaping instruction and hosting visitors motivates me to reflect on why I do what I do, and how I can do it better.

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