My Journey To Connectivity

Telephone

It sometimes can be overwhelming trying to utilize all the technology tools out there. About a year ago I began using Twitter on a regular basis to connect with professional educators all over the world. That has led me to this world of connected educators that I would never have known was out there.

Because of Twitter, I have increased my blog reading and writing. I have learned to become more transparent in my practice and write about it in my blog. I set goals and try to write more (although I often don’t meet those blogging goals as you can see by the sparseness of my blog postings). I do have so much to say, but finding the time to write, revise, edit, and perfect (this perfectionist cannot stand to post without the last step) is difficult.

I’ve learned so much by participating in Twitter chats. It still amazes me that a year ago I didn’t know that such a things existed! I’ve modeled these for the teachers in my building hoping that they will see the personalized professional learning they can gain from the chats. For me a weekend doesn’t start off on the right foot without my SATCHAT….I mean, I was in Puerto Rico, waiting for a ferry to Culebra with limited cell service and managed my SATCHAT…it’s that important! Other weekly highlights for me as an administrator are edtechchat, teach like a pirate (TLAP), teacher/parent chat, 1 to 1 i pad chat, BYOT Chat, Georgia Educator, Iowa Educator (yes, I live in Georgia, but Iowa has some good topics!), and whatisschool. There are countless others; these just happen to work for my schedule and be some of my favorites! In many cases I have developed friendships and professional relationships online first that then became face-to-face friendships at conferences like ISTE and FETC. It’s amazing what technology has become!

Through my growth and learning on Twitter which has lead me to individual educators’ blogs, I then began to curate through Flipboard and organize blogs through Feedly. This has led me to even more educators and blogs thus more connectivity.

My latest is Voxer. I participate in a number of Voxer groups. What’s nice about this is the more personalized nature of it because I can hear people’s voices. With Twitter and Blogs we only read words; with Voxer I can hear which gives an additional layer of personalization to the app. I just think there is something convenient about talking rather than typing.

What is your story? How have you or will you get connected? Does it make us better educators?

 

 

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Themes from ISTE2014

Moby

Post-ISTE my brain has been spinning–so many amazing ideas to make my way through. But that wasn’t before a long-needed vacation in Puerto Rico. There’s nothing like some time on the beach to sort through my notes and figure out my next steps.

Isla Verde, Puerto Rico

The one theme that held true for me at ISTE2014 is something I’ve always believed in: that it is about the children, our students. The content and the technology are the way that we engage them, but the teaching and the relationships are the most important thing in our field! Without relationships with the students in our classrooms we have nothing. Without relationships with the teachers around us we have nothing. Without relationships with our PLN we are less than we were before.

I believe so strongly that passion is the first thing we have to have as educators –whether we are teachers or administrators. The content-knowledge and the technology-knowledge help us deliver the information and reach our students but without that love for our students and that passion for what we do….it won’t matter a bit what we know.

So with these thoughts, I will continue to sort through all my session notes.

 

 

 

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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