Saturday, February 16, 2013

21st Century Connections

When I first started teaching I used a notebook to write down my daily thoughts. It allowed me to reflect on where I was and where I was going. I unfortunately did not keep up with that notebook.
I took a course on teaching and learning in the spring of 2011. One of the focuses of that course was how both students and teachers can reflect on their learning. So as a requirement, I started posting to my blog.Then at the end of the year, I started using Twitter, a few months later I started following #pypchat, found other teachers online, and my PLN was born.

When I started, I thought of social media as traditional media where the content was delivered from the top down with most people not having an input. Then I started linking my different sites so when I would post something, it would show up in multiple places. I am still not the member of my PLN that I want to be, but that may come in time.

It also might not.

It depends on what I put into it.

So far, I owe much to my PLN. It is an idea factory that has helped my teaching. Seeing what the power of community could do for me, I wanted to tap the power of the collective in my classroom. My hope is that my students will take something away from what we are learning at school, and apply it, or learn more about it at home. I am hoping to ignite a passion for learning. We are using Blogger which has an "email to post" feature that I am hoping will make it easier for the students to blog from home. I am starting out by just having them blog journal entries, and I am encouraging them to upload pictures related to our current unit from home.

The next stage is to have them start commenting on each other's work. I am hoping I can build them up to learning from each other through what they post.

But what should I do about the ones who are not participating?

So far, there have only been three students who have uploaded pictures to [messed around with] the blog, but I am hoping that showcasing their work to encourage others to do the same. They love talking about themselves.

So, how are my thoughts changing? I am much more interested in getting my students "out there" than I ever have been.

Image Credit - "telecom" by netalloy, taken from on February 11, 2013.

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