Cliches: Time flies. Have been so busy the last month. No time to reflect or to blog.
Such a shame really, isn’t it? It’s boring to be busy. Everyone is busy. We only have 24 hours a day at our disposal. The priorities you have, the choices you make about what you do with your precious time, that is what makes us who we are. It makes us the teachers we are.
So with a mere 24 hours at my disposal, I choose to spend some of that time online, on Twitter. What is it that attracts me to it? It’s the social element, and the excitement of discovering interesting links and new ideas. To me the internet is like an amazing jungle of ideas and information, and I feel like Stanley and Livingstone, especially when I stumble upon a new concept or a new way of doing things. So I love it…. but what about other teachers? So many of the people around me do not see the point of it at all. Am I such a nerd?
It comes back to being busy. When you’re busy, you stick to what you know, because it’s quick.
I imagine the many teachers walking along the wide, well-travelled roads that criss cross the Internet jungle, missing interesting little paths that lead to new and better destinations and ideas. It’s understandable, because wide well travelled roads are quick, comfortable and save time. But those people miss out; there is so much beyond the obvious and the well known.
So, I hope that people will channel Stanley and Livingstone, and try some new ways to explore the online jungle. And as for you, busy reader…. well done on finishing this post and getting to the end. Now, off to the jungle…
Just wanted to link my blog here to the page I made about blogging on my PD site:
It contains info on how to set up a blog and how to use blogs to develop a PLN.
Below are my highlights from a research paper about Twitter in educational use. The full report can be found here: JOLT – Journal of Online Learning and Teaching.
This research again makes a case for the professional benefits that teachers obtain from a PLN (Personal Learning Network).
I have compiled this post using the Diigo highlighting tool in the Diigo Toolbar. It’s a fantastic tool.
Abstract of the research:
This research study provides new insight into how teachers use social networking sites, such as Twitter, as professional learning networks. The researchers surveyed and analyzed the public Twitter feeds of classroom teachers to determine the specific purposes for which teachers use Twitter. The K-12 educators in this study engaged in true dialogue, where evidence of actual conversation occurred in Twitter over 61% of the time. Continue reading
This report by “Innovative Teaching and Learning” was sponsored by Microsoft Partners in Learning. It contains very interesting and pertinent points about creating a culture of innovative teaching in schools.
2011 ITL Research Findings and Implications
Full report here
This report provides the findings from the 2011 analysis across 7 participating countries.
Key Findings from ITL Research in 2011
- Innovative teaching supports students’ development of the skills that will help them thrive in future life and work.
- However, students’ opportunities to develop these skills are typically scarce and uneven, both within and across the sample of schools in the study.
- While ICT use in teaching is becoming more common, ICT use by students in their learning is still an exception.
- Innovative teaching practices are more likely to flourish when particular supportive conditions are in place:
- Teacher collaboration that focuses on peer support and the sharing of pedagogical approaches
- Professional development that involves the active engagement of teachers, particularly in practicing and researching new teaching methods
- A school culture that offers a common vision of innovation and consistently encourages new types of teaching
- Researchers observed examples of innovative teaching at the classroom level. However, coherent and integrated support for the adoption of innovative teaching was lacking in most of the schools and all of the systems in this study.
- Students: efforts to provide ubiquitous ICT access to students must continue to ensure that all students have equal opportunities inside and outside school to develop the skills they will need for life and work.
- Teachers: they need professional development opportunities that leverage the most innovative teachers in each school to drive peer collaboration focused on teachers themselves designing, practicing and researching the innovative teaching approaches that develop students’ future skills.
- Schools: critically, school leaders need to cultivate holistic and shared visions of innovation that integrate advanced pedagogies with technology.
- Systems: innovative teachers and schools need the kinds of assessment and performance accountability measures that help more innovative teaching and learning to flourish.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
I have just completed my first year on Twitter. I signed up two years ago, but ‘lurked’ for a year because I just didn’t see the point. I thought it was for people tweeting about what they had for lunch. How wrong I was…. Through Twitter I have built up a fantasic PLN (Personal Learning Network). I have learnt more than I ever thought I would, found more interesting links, got new ideas for my teaching and met interesting people. This is certainly one of the best forms of Professional Development for me.
An archive of my live tweets is here: http://thinkedu.net/blog/twitter/
I co-wrote an article on the use of Twitter for History teachers.
I have been on Twitter since April 2010. Before that time, I was like many other people: “Twitter, another outlet for vain people to let the world know they’ve bought a pair of shoes on sale…”
But now, after following many educators and tweeting about 5 or 6 messages a month, I have joined the other camp and now I can say: “Twitter has provided me with the best professional development ever” and “Twitter is the most important part of my #PLN (Personal Learning Network)” Continue reading