Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reflect and resolve -- Twitter's impact

How addicted to Twitter are you?
Created by Oatmeal

This morning I sent out a Happy New Year message to my teachers with a link to How to Survive 2010-Digitally explaining how I had learned more and been able to support them better in the last year than ever before because of my new found connections via Twitter, RSS feeds and blogs. I encouraged them to explore Ozge Karaoglu's suggestions for new year's resolutions. Ozge's resolutions are approachable, not only because they are few in number and reasonably achievable, but also because she has shared several links to helpful, user-friendly resources.

How did I come across Ozge's wonderful post? Through Twitter (via @AuntyTech,) of course! As you can see by my "Twitter addiction score" I am not yet entirely consumed. I use Twitter primarily for professional connections, though I am beginning to find it useful for some personal and civic interests as well. But I must agree with Ozge's assertion that "Twitter has been undoubtedly the best tool I started using in 2009..." My 280+ Twitter connections to delightful, smart, engaging and generous individuals and groups have become invaluable to my professional and personal growth. Without them I would have had a hard time finding the all wonderful blogs that feed my Google reader and I certainly would not have had access to as many resources to share with my staff.

My goals for 2010 are:
  • to improve and strengthen my PLN connections
  • to look for new ways to support my teachers at their individual comfort levels using technology in their classrooms
  • to nudge each of my teachers to a higher level of engagement with the content they're teaching using technology

so that teachers and their students will benefit from more opportunities for collaboration with each other and engagement with the world.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Facebook Effect

There were a number of presentations at TIES this year that I was not able to attend. The Facebook Effect was one of them. A huge thank you goes out to Lisa Sjogren for sharing her slide presentation! When Facebook changed it's privacy policies a few weeks ago I read them and made what I thought were the necessary changes. Then I heard from Twitter friend @cathycrea about the fan pages being entirely public as in everyone in the world can see you on them. I removed myself from a list or two, but left myself on Farmville because for me Facebook is a place for recreation and I like playing Farmville. Sure enough, last night I had a friend request from someone I do not know who found me on the Farmville fan page. That's fine, but it brings me closer to the point of this post, which is, be sure you know who can see what on your Facebook pages.

I spent a fair amount of time this afternoon going through this presentation slide by slide, following Lisa's step by step instructions and found quite a few holes I had not known existed.

So even if you think you know it all already, I highly recommend you check out this slideshare.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Managing the Digital Classroom

I LOVE this Voicethread conversation posted by Jeff Utecht! The 33 participants are teachers at International School Bangkok completing their fourth COETAIL (Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy) course. These teachers are doing a terrific job of exploring ways to use the technology they have available to offer life-relevant learning experiences for their students and sharing what they have found, whether successful or frustrating, using a free tool collaboration tool that just about any teacher with Internet access can use in his or her classroom.

This is a fantastic example of using a tool you're trying to master to share with others what you know. Did I say that right? What I want to convey is that we need to use the tools we have at hand for every professional development exercise. I am no expert but I believe teaching someone how to use an application or gadget just so they know how to use it will not be as effective as using an application or gadget to teach a life or professional skill.

Anyway, watch, read, listen to this conversation* about how to manage technology gadgets in your classroom. I can assure you. You will come away with more information and understanding than you have now. Thank you, Jeff for sharing!

*If you are using a Windows PC and wish to make the screen bigger, type Ctrl/Shift/+ until the screen is large enough. If you have an Apple computer substitute the Apple Command key for Ctrl.