This week I re-engaged with Twitter. It felt good. Life has been crazy and my family has been transitioning across an ocean and I have been out of the classroom for the first time in 12 years. However, my kids are back in school, our life is settled into Oregon, and I can now spend some time reconnecting with "Jake The Educator". I opened up Tweetdeck, which in real life would have needed a good dusting off at this point, and I started to set up columns for Twitter chats and hashtags that I hope will continue my inspiration reboot!
I chose to follow the following hashtags:
I really love and connect with early childhood teachers and #kinderchat has some of the best in the nation.
In following #kinderchat this week, I learned that it was International Dot Day, recently! I love The Dot by Peter Reynolds. What was so cool about following International Dot Day on #kinderchat was seeing the variety of ways teachers engaged kids in Dot Day. Some drew dots. Some painted dots. Some created digital dots. I even found Augmented reality dots referenced. Twitter was a vehicle for teachers to share ideas about a common experience that educators were having across the world. My favorite part in The Dot is when it says "make your mark and see where it takes you.". Twitter certainly helps teachers and students "make their mark."
In following #1stchat, I learned and saw that my core belief that "it is not about what the technology can do but rather what you can do with the technology that matters" was on full display. I saw so many cool ideas as teacher were introducing beginning of the year routines and concepts. The core learning of reading, writing, and math were all present and technology was present to capture and document the process. Kids were creating actual face cutout "thought bubbles" and were taking picture of their peers and their wonders. Teachers referenced their kids sharing out their beginning of year goals and thoughts on SeeSaw! Seeing as I taught first grade for 10 years, #1stchat was like saying "hello" to an old friend again.
#2nd Chat & #3rd Chat
I had many of the same findings as I followed #2ndchat and #3rdchat! Teachers are starting their school years off with important classroom and thinking routines and Twitter is right there helping teachers share how things are going. #3rd chat was having a Twitter chat that focused on the book "Shift This: How gradual change can make big change in your classroom"! I found the book online and loved it! I cannot wait to read it and I would have never known about it without this Twitter chat.
I am so interested and excited by the Maker Education Movement. At my previous school in Hawaii, the MakerEd movement was such a focus as our school was building a learning commons with a maker space as the focal point of the space. This hashtag was totally chalk full of ideas for how teachers are starting the year and I found cool links to teachers doing their "tiny house" projects. I also found a reference to the "Kid's Make" channel on YouTube, which was awesome. I plan on doing one of the projects (the Plinko Game) with my boys at home very soon. Maker Education is such an awesomely integrated tool for learning. You can tell while browsing teacher's tweets just how many different learning skills and subject areas are present as student's work themselves through projects. I am very excited to follow the hashtag this semester.
I will always follow #ADEchat because many of the people on that chat are like family. ADE is the Apple Distinguished Educator Program's chat that they run monthly. Becoming an ADE in 2015 expanded my PLN greatly to include some of the most innovative teachers in the country and world. I have learned so much from them. While the chat, naturally, focuses on teachers in Apple technology environments, the topics focus on a wide range of ideas that will inspire all teachers. I have learned through catching up on #ADEchat tweets that the new Clips app is all the rage and that teachers are using it in a variety of amazing way to showcase student learning and understanding. I personally love the new app and am excited to see the innovative things teachers and students do with this super easy app!
Twitter is the best way to keep up on whats happening! The simplicity of sharing ideas right "in the moment" is what makes Twitter so powerful! Hashtags also make it super easy to catch up on your inspiration at your own time. I also feel that Twitter is where you can find the most teachers gathering to share ideas, questions, wonders, and struggles. Its an app and a website so it is very easy to access which is perfect for educators. Educators are planning, prepping, attending staff meetings, and going to professional development so Twitter makes it for teachers to "check in" with their PLN for a more individualized and interest based professional development experience right in the moments between all these activities. Twitter is the perfect place for teachers to grow professionally and I encourage teachers
Check out these amazing teaching and learning blogs
Michael Fricano's Blog
2 Guys and Some iPads
Kristin Ziemke's Page
Don Goble's Blog
Mrs. Wideen's Blog