All posts by drewfrank

Father, Husband, Learner, Teacher, and Child at heart.

A compilation of the Why, How to Get Started, and How to Get Connected with Twitter

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It seems as the number of resources available to twitter followers on why to use twitter, how to get started with twitter, and how to get connected may be as overwhelming as the twitter-sphere itself.

Why Tweet?

As I prepare to start a new year with my team, we are looking to harness all the myriad of benefits that twitter affords:

  1. Increased communication and documentation of student learning
  2. Connecting our students with original sources (authors, organizations, experts…etc)
  3. Connecting our students with other classrooms and students in the global community
  4. Building a more robust connected faculty web of individually meaningful PLNs
  5. Modeling and sharing the digital literacy skills that are important tools for our students future

(Why Tweet from my twitter feed in the past week)

“…social media pervades all aspects of modern society, and it has become an imperative for us as educators — and parents — to model appropriate digital citizenship to even our youngest learners. Do I really believe that toddlers should have Twitter handles? Not really. But we do need to introduce children to the virtual, social world around them in appropriate and meaningful ways? Definitely (from Beth Holland http://www.edutopia.org/user/49983http://www.edutopia.org/user/49983).”

“The big picture in being a connected educator is the idea that you as the educator are first connected to the general flow of information, and then secondly, focused on specific connections to drill down to the detailed needs specific to you, or your students’ needs. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all applications that may be used to connect educators. Like it or not however, Twitter is the backbone of a majority of Personal/Professional Learning Networks for educators. Educators have taken Twitter beyond its intended use, making it a professional tool for collaboration. Approving or disapproving of the application is like approving or disapproving of a hammer or screwdriver. You can hate them all you want, but try building a house without them. Being on Twitter and following 200 sharing educators is a general connection that will meet general needs, and promote great reflection on education. Your Twitter timeline will flow with education sources and information 24/7. Information and sources are simply there for the taking. Using that timeline to focus on educators in your area of expertise will render ideas and lessons beyond general education philosophy to meet specifics in your area of study. If you teach English focus on English teachers. If you teach second grade focus on second grade teachers. There are thousands of connected educators in your specific area of expertise willing to share with you. Your task is to find them and connect (from Tom Whitby http://tomwhitby.wordpress.com/).”

How to get started?

Beginning on twitter may feel like jumping into a pool in which you cannot see the bottom though you are aware that the water is scuba-diving deep. The seemingly infinite number of tweets, the new vocabulary of handles and hashtags, and the concern about fitting another tool into and already full day and personal reality can leave many standing on the edge scared to dive in. With this as in any endeavor, it is best to start small with connections and content that would be most relevant and interesting to your personal situation.

(How to get started from my twitter feed in the past week)

Twitter 101 for Teachers: Steps for Getting Started on Twitter from Mrs. T’s Middle Grades Blog

Getting Started with Twitter in the Classroom from Carrie Kamm’s Blog

Twitter for Educators: A Beginner’s Guide By Amber Coggin via Jerry Blumengarten’s http://cybraryman.com/

How to get connected

Ok, so you are in the pool, now what.  It seems as if there is a world of swimming, sharks and minnows, and water polo seamlessly and simultaneously going on all around you.  How do you move from in the pool to “in” the pool?

Start with personally relevant people and hashtags.

“There are several hundred education Chats taking place on Twitter each and every day. Participation in these chats enables educators the ability to exchange, consider, reflect, modify and adopt ideas from educators around the world. These chats are a great place to find, and connect with other educators based on the acceptance of their ideas as opposed to their title. Follow the chat hashtags (from Tom Whitby http://tomwhitby.wordpress.com/).”

Below are list of hashtags and educationally relevant chats.  These lists are by no means complete, rather they are an attempt to offer some starting points to immerse yourself in the twitter-sphere and allow you to start to build your own PLN with the most meaningful and relevant connections.

Educational Hashtags

Grade Level

Subject/Division Based

#kinderchat

#arted

#1stchat

#elemchat

#2ndchat

#grammar

#3rdchat

#jed21

#4thchat

#jedchat

#5thchat

#langchat

#6thchat

#mathchat

#mschat

Beginning Twitter

#scichat

#bastt

#sschat

#battt

Project Based Learning

Technology Integration

#pblchat

#4ITS

#pblworld

#digcit

#edapp

Global Learning

#edtech

#globalclassroom

#ipadchat

#qrcodes

Best of Blogs

#smartee

#blogmust

#tichat

 

Educationally relevant chats and schedule.

SUNDAY

#sunchat Sunday Ed Chat

9:00 AM

#1stchat First Grade Teachers Chat

9:00 AM

#titletalk Promote reading and literacy

9:00 AM

#21stedchat 21st Century Education Chat

9:00 AM

MONDAYS

#mathchat Math Teachers Chat

3:00 PM

#engchat English Teachers Chat

7:00 PM

#sschat Social Studies Teachers Chat

7:00 PM

#pechat Physical Education Chat

7:00 PM

#4thchat Fourth Grade Teachers Chat

8:00 PM

#musedchat Music Teachers Chat

8:00 PM

#edtechchat Educational Technology Chat

8:00 PM

#21stadmin 21st Century Administrator Chat

9:00 PM

#kinderchat Kindergarten and Early Childhood Chat

9:00 PM

#smartee SMART technology (board, software, etc.) Chat

9:30 PM

TUESDAYS

#edchat Education Chat

12:00 PM

#pblchat Project Based Learning Chat

8:00 PM

#edteach Ed Teach Chat

8:00 PM

#5thchat 5th grade Teachers Chat

8:00 PM

#patue Pedagogy and Technology

8:00 PM

#6thchat 6th Grade Chat

9:00 PM

#smartee SMART (software, boards, etc.) Chat

9:00 PM

#scichat Science Teachers Chat

9:00 PM

WEDNESDAYS

#ipadchat Ipads in education Chat

1:00 PM

#web20tools Web 2.0 Tools in teaching

6:00 PM

#3rdchat 3rd Grade Chat

7:00 PM

#edmusic Music Education

7:00 PM

#2ndchat Second Grade Teachers Chat

8:00 PM

#libchat Librarian’s Chat

8:00 PM

#jedchat Jewish Ed Chat

9:00 PM

#psycchat School Psychologist Chat

9:00 PM

THURSDAYS

#characteredchat Character Ed Chat

4:00 PM

#mathchat Math Teachers Chat

7:00 PM

#artsed Arts in Education Chat

7:30 PM

#langchat Foreign Language Chats

8:00 PM

#6thchat 6th grade teachers Chat

8:00 PM

#gaed Georgia Ed Chat

8:00 PM

#mschat Middle School Chat

8:00 PM

#escchat Elementary Counselors Chat

8:00 PM

#isedchat Independent School Educators Chat

9:00 PM

Going Forward

Finally, to all new and experienced teachers and collaborators in the pool, I thank you.  Thank you for the sharing that you have offered me as I have newly explored the potential of this tool, and thank you for the sharing that you will offer to me and all of my team in the coming weeks, months, and years.

Excitement in the Air

Capture

As July turns to August, we all prepare to say a sad goodbye to another summer and an eager hello to another school year.  The 8 weeks allow time for the building to “rest and recover” and be prepared anew.  The floors are waxed, the walls have new paint, and the grass on the fields and playground is lush and green.  The 8 weeks allow time for our students and family to spend time occupied with swimming, camp, and embracing childhood.  The 8 weeks allow faculty to unwind, reflect, and charge up again for another year.

8 weeks of quiet (or relatively so).  8 weeks of no students in the halls.  8 weeks of no carpool lines. 8 weeks of no faculty meetings.  While peaceful and rejuvenating, it is 8 weeks of a building instead of a school.

Now, that is all about to change, and I welcome it.  Though I certainly feel like the 8 weeks passed in 8 days, and I wonder how summer (which in my childhood memories lasted a beautiful eternity) became only 8 weeks. I am excited.  I look forward to the reconnection of our incredible faculty community.  Sharing in the joyous occasions that occurred while we were apart, hearing about the exciting adventures that we partook in, and laughing in the newest anecdotes of children, friends, and family that make up our community story. Soon the halls and rooms will be filled with passionate teachers eager to set up their classrooms, plan with colleagues, and prepare for the year ahead.

What will make 2013-14 even better than the years that proceeded it?  How can I and my team grow each day to make the growing of the students visible and meaningful? How do we build on our strengths, identify and plan for areas of growth, and find new ways to make The Davis experience transformational for all members of our community?

These are the challenges and opportunities ahead of us, and I cannot wait to dive in.

 

 

2013-14 PD Slate at The Davis Academy (@davis_academy)

I am looking forward to another amazing year of faculty lead PD.  Thank you to all our facilitators for the coming year.

Project-Based Learning Facilitated by Kendrick (@khqp)and Rich O’Dell

PBL

Reading Comprehension Facilitated by Julie (@julieweiser) and Sharron (@ssims_s)

Reading

Character Development Facilitated by Martha (@marthachat) and Andra Lefkovits

HCS

Writing Instruction Facilitated by Rebecca (@rebfaye) and Jill Kossman

Writing

Advanced Technology Cohort    Facilitated by Missi (@missyballa) and Stacy (@21ststacy)

Weekly cross divisional and interdivisional meetings will focus on learning new instructional tools, implementing these in your classrooms, and reflecting on progress.  Participants will get the opportunity to learn new techniques as well as direct the content of sessions toward techniques they are currently using and seeing great student impact with.

Story Telling Cohort Facilitated by Missy Stein (@SteinatDavis) and Marilyn Price.

What do we remember most? Stories. Family stories, Torah parashot, fables and fairy tales are all examples of knowledge each of us has gained and remembered long-term (nearly fifty years for me!). Neuroscientists have recently found that humans gain greater understanding of complex material through storytelling. Stories give us a framework of understanding for information that may be new or incomprehensible.  The more you can incorporate storytelling in its many forms into your curriculum delivery, the wider net of understanding your students will have to grab onto. Bring us a particularly troubling unit, and we will help you re-design it around storytelling.

 

Reflections on the Building Learning Communities Conference (#BLC13)

“If you want to benchmark the future you first have to invent it.” Dr.  Yong Zhao

I just returned from 4 incredible days of learning from some of the leading practitioners and thinkers in the field of education.  Their passion for analyzing, reflecting, and impacting their students as well as the field of education radiated through their sessions and the interactions between fellow colleagues.  The challenge that we all face is how to educate a current population of students so as to prepare them best for a future that will not only differ from the future we were prepared for in our schooling, but also be significantly different than the current world they are living, learning and growing in.   The keystones to the education we grew up with, knowledge and the production of articles to display this knowledge, are still important today, but the access and rapidity at which all of us can access this knowledge combined with the abundance of content that is searchable and accessible instantaneously have introduced new equally important keystones.  Learning how to search for and evaluate “quality” content, being a contributor to this ever-growing knowledge base, and finding and building on your own passions are equally relevant and important.  I look forward to processing the incredible learning I experienced over the past 4 days and sharing this learning with my community.