What is up with teacher development and the fear of social media? So many educators are soaring into the next advent of learning, while others continue to lecture and talk with the kids, avoiding the digital tools that are so readily available. Yesterday, in a passing conversation discussing sharing of great resources, I asked a colleague if they knew what a PLN is? "Huh?" she said. "A P L what?" And I wasn't in the least bit surprised. I was just asked if I could get a group of teachers together that would be interested in trying out new apps in their classrooms and giving feedback to a company and its developers. My immediate response, "Oh, I have so many teacher/educator friends that I network with on Twitter and Facebook, I'm sure finding volunteers would be no problem. And I do!
My world has become immersed in Twitter; I find it to be one of the single most important tools in my own daily professional development. Every day, the people I follow on Twitter send me off to learn about another great project, the success that a particular school is having with digital media, new research that validates trends, and lots of snippets of words of wisdom. The most valuable benefit from Twitter is the recurring mentality that the OPEN sharing of knowledge and experiences are paramount, and the excitement of camaraderie that develops over time is priceless. As for Facebook, TWA started EducationalAppTalk; every Thursday we have an Open Table discussion on our Facebook group page at 9:00 pm EST. Again, I have connected with a myriad of great people in the education business. My Facebook page is used solely for professional purposes and my personal life does not have a presence.
I'd like to mention some of my educationally revered friends and give them a little plug since they have helped me grow. Subsequently, TWA is on an upward steady course, as every day, I am given the gift of inspiration to help it continue to take flight. Much of which I attribute to the value of Twitter, and the profound words these short 140 character posts provide, are the links that take me to a wide variety of inspiring educational resources.
Now, don't get me wrong... my friends on Twitter are more like colleagues. Never the less, I like to consider that everyone I've connected with and stay connected with on Twitter shares the same mission as me. That mission would be staying current with the impact of the wide depth and scope that digital devices are playing in the world today. Here is some food for thought that will give you a leg up on Twitter:
8 Ideas, 10 Guides, And 17 Tools For A Better Professional Learning Network from TeachThought - Personal learning networks are a great way for educators to get connected with learning opportunities, access professional development resources, and to build camaraderie with other education professionals. Although PLNs have been around for years, in recent years social media has made it possible for these networks to grow exponentially. Now, it’s possible to expand and connect your network around the world anytime, anywhere. But how exactly do you go about doing that? Check out our guide to growing your personal learning network with social media, full of more than 30 different tips, ideas, useful resources, and social media tools that can make it all possible. Terry Heick has been the point person here at TeachThought Read More We have mentioned Terry Heick before in prior blogs in TWA and he has been the mastermind at TeachThought.
Some people say ‘kids will be kids’… Some adults have never forgotten what it felt like to be a victim.What happens when adults are not present? Sometimes kids do things they shouldn’t do. Sometimes kids make choices based on what their friends do rather than on what they know is the right thing to do.Sometimes the bully wins: It happens on playgrounds, in cafeterias, and friend’s basements, at parties & school dances, and yes, it happens online too. Parents supervise their kids on playgrounds, and teachers supervise students in our schools…Who supervises these kids online? Whose responsibility is it?Whether it is a responsibility to be present online or not, what right do we as educators have to be online? Should our role change what we do on sites like Facebook? On a more personal note: Who are my online ‘friends’? Should I be ‘friends’ with my students online?
Here’s what I think:
When facing the issue of Facebook,
our students are there,
and we should be there too!
The more I use Twitter, and Facebook the more I understand the power that comes from connecting. Connecting with friends, connecting with colleagues, connecting with leaders and connecting with valuable sources. It all builds into what has become one of my most trusted sources for professional development; not only is it generating new and creative ideas - I've made some connections with wonderful people from all over the world. If you're not already, get connected now....