TwitterLand

 Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Hannah Rosen


Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Hannah Rosen

 

As I reflect, I’m not even sure how I’ve gotten to this point. It has happened so subtly…. Several years ago I opened my Twitter account, followed a few people, and that was about it. This past summer that all changed. I don’t remember the catalyst for the change. I started following more educators and education organizations. I started reading feeds regularly. Then I discovered THE TWITTER CHAT. Oh my! How has it been possible that I didn’t know these existed? This simple one-hour-of-learning has revolutionized my week –okay, truth be told, most weeks, it’s much more than one hour. It’s #edtechchat on Mondays, #edchat (if there’s not tennis) on Tuesdays, then I have to choose #PTchat, #ATPLC, #SBL or #STEMgenius, then there’s #GAED, #BYOT,   #1to1ipad, and finally one my favorites….can’t seem to start the weekend off without it and my coffee #satchat. To think that a year ago I didn’t know these existed, and now I have built relationships WITH HUMAN BEINGS on Twitter. This is such a difficult thing to explain to people; I’ve spent months trying to explain the power of learning that can happen when I get to choose my own learning. I have done mini-chats with my own faculty, so they could experience one and feel confident enough to try it on their own. I pretty much scream it from the rooftops: TWITTER CHATS ARE POWERFUL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES…….. to anyone who will listen.

I know for me, I need to implement what I learn immediately. When I was in graduate school. my lesson plans often changed the next day to put something into practice. When I saw Jeff Anderson –one of my writing idols–speak one morning, my lesson plans changed for my afternoon classes. With the articles I read and discuss in these Twitter chats, I implement what I learn as I’m learning it. As an administrator, I get an idea and give it a try the next day. Sometimes I can directly utilize it; other times, it’s something for me to pass on to my teachers; other times still, it’s a way of thinking about something or a way of leading that will take me into the future.

I am looking forward to ISTE14 because there I will have the opportunity to put faces to many of the handles I have come to recognize. I value the relationships and the learning that has taken place in TwitterLand. I look forward to the daily and weekly inspiration that I cannot get any other place except there.

 

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Writing

IF

Writing is the one subject I taught throughout my career. I started as a second grade teacher and made my way through the grades up to eighth grade. I adored teaching it because I learned so much about my students through their writing and felt like I got to know them so well! Early on in my career I felt ill-equipped to teach literacy, so I found myself getting a degree in Language and Literacy. This was one of the best career decisions I made. In my early years I tried hard to model my classroom after gurus such as Nancie Atwell and Lucy Calkins. As with many of us, grammar was the ongoing struggle — until I attended a training by a teacher by the name of Jeff Anderson. If you haven’t read his books or attended one of his trainings, his simple ideas for integrating grammar instruction into the context of writing workshop are amazing. My students didn’t even realize they were learning grammar. It’s inductive, integrated, and appropriate — everything that constructivist, integrated instruction should be.

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