Signing up for twitter was the easy part; deciding who/what to follow was a bit more challenging. One thing is for sure, I am definitely more of a “consumer” of information that a “producer”.
I’ve had my twitter account for just over a year. And while I’ve tweeted about 5 times since then, it is a great way to stay up-to-date with things that I care about. Mostly, I follow friends and family members, especially ones that live in another state. I also follow comedians and other entertainers for a quick laugh.
For more educational purposes, I follow news stations and other political figures. It’s good to get a mix of local and national news. I also follow a few educators that focus on using technology in the classroom. However, I quickly realized that I should take caution when deciding who I follow. Some feeds are updated TOO often and just flood your feed with information that is not important or relevant. This is a major turn off for me as a “consumer” of info.
I’ve also attempted to set up a twitter account for the tract team. This would make it easier to get the word out about practice times, workouts, and meet results. Both athletes and parents can follow the Track twitter feed. Unfortunately, it has not been effective (yet!) because I didn’t update it regularly (again, I’m a more of a consumer). This year I plan on doing more with twitter and facebook to share information with the team. I’m hoping to get over my lazy consumer ways and start producing more information through social media.
Students. Content. Knowledge. Skills. Learning.
The main goal of the teachers is to connect students with the knowledge and skills that will help them learn and grow. And they achieve this through creating meaningful and thoughtful lessons that are applicable to the student’s lives.
In order for teachers to create meaningful lessons in the 21st century, they have to connect to 21st century kids. This involves using the technology that is available and prominent within that generation of learners.
However, a true 21st century teacher needs to go beyond simply using the tools that are already available to them. Teachers need to be constantly updating and learning the new methods of the next generation. Now, this may seem overwhelming, but “staying up to date” could be as simple as following a blog or a twitter feed, where the information is sent directly to you.
While some teachers still fear technology, one thing is for sure, and that is technology is not going away. In order to be effective teachers today, we need to continually create new ways to “fill the gaps” between the student and knowledge in a meaningful way. Using technology is one way in which teachers can continue to educate students in a way that engages them and applied directly to their life.
The blog Principles of Change provides us with some great examples of the importance of blogging to education. First, and most notably it allows for the sharing of ideas and techniques. By following other teacher’s blogs, a new teacher (or even old teachers for that matter) can learn new methods of classroom management or content delivery. Second, blogging provides the teachers with a means of reflection. The teacher can assess the effectiveness of a lesson or a unit and then put it in writing (ok.. typing). Not only that, but because blogs are archived a teacher can look back at a lesson from last year and implement the suggested changes in the new year. (No more sticky notes stuck to random pages in the lesson planner). Finally, blogging can serve as a means of connecting with students. George (the blogger) gave a good example of how a teacher quoted a student in her blog. This indicates the connections being made in the classroom that eventually lead to respectful-mentor relationships.
While I acknowledge the importance of teacher blogs, I just wish (like many others) that I had more time to do it. At the end of the the day, my reflection consists of scribbling notes in the margin of my planner. I hope my ability to reflect in the moment improves as I become a more experienced teacher, but for now most of my evaluating is completed in the summer.
I would like to say that I do enjoy this assignment, and I see its benefit. I just know I wouldn’t do it if it was not a requirement.