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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Beginning of the School Year Message

 CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)  by Gerd Altmann

CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) by Gerd Altmann

As the new school year is starting, I have so many things that I want to share with teachers. Here is my (for now) consolidated list.

1. Don’t be afraid to take risks in your classroom. We don’t learn and become better educators, or better people for that matter, unless we take a chance. There will be times that we will fail; it is in those times that we learn the most, though. Pick yourself up, be reflective, be transparent, and move on.

2. Build great relationships. Relationships are the first step to having a well-run classroom. Without trust from students and parents, it is difficult later to engage students in learning and discipline students when necessary. You don’t want me as the administrator to have to save the day often because that weakens what you have established in your own class. Also, build relationships between your co-workers. We spend so much time together and rely on one another. Collaboration and teamwork is imperative. You are one another’s most amazing resource.

3. Become connected. This term has a whole new meaning today! With Twitter it is so easy to collaborate with people across the country and the world. I have made friendships that I never before imagined due to social media. I have learned so much from connecting through Twitter; from read my feed and from participating in weekly chats. Find some that apply to you and it’s personalized learning at its best! Start small and follow a few people and lurk if you are unsure. Join in a content or grade level chat. You will be amazed at how much you will learn. Now I have discovered Voxer and Voxer chats which have opened up a new world of voice collaboration.

4. Find one new idea that you will try with fidelity and use well all year long. Maybe it’s Edmoto, Remind, Evernote, Padlet. Whatever it is, commit and use it well all the time –not just every now and then.

What do you think is the message we need to give teachers? What is most important as we open the new academic year?

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