Why do you flip?

The last few weeks I have been sharpening my proverbial “technology” sword. Before I started my new role as an Instructional Technology Coach I had a long list of technology “try its.”

One thing about my style of teaching is that it is throrough, purposeful, targeted and intentional. That was also true about the way I approach technology integration. In every situation my filter for a quality learning experience considers the “eyes” of the student and the “ears” of the parent who hears about the learning either that day or in the passing days when the assessed learning makes its journey home… sometimes to the trash can and other times to the refrigerator door. And much like the work that is affixed to the refrigerator door, I want the learning to stick.

The big item on my list of “try its” were to begin flipping my classroom as an intentional, purposeful and regular part of the instruction and learning in my classroom. While my job has shifted that goal, I still think about the “anchor” lessons in the continuity of learning that students will come back to time and time again, and the parents and/or student support network that desires to support that learning. To that end I started thinking about those universal “anchor” lessons that a student would revisit time and time again and a parent would reference. After all, the concept of flipping by founder Salman Khan of the Khan Academy, began when he started remotely tutoring his cousin, Nadia, by sending short clips to help her with “unit conversion.”

So in this entry I am contribuiting a brief but essential lesson on how to select a “just right” book. The audience is intended for students grades 2-4 and parents who are helping any child select a book for their independent reading pleasure.

Picking a Just Right Book

I am not sure what my next anchor “flip” lesson will be, but I do know I will be looking through the lens of universal “anchor” points of learning, teacher need, student success and parent involvement.

Please comment below and if you have suggestions for other “anchor” lessons, please suggest!

On another note… I plan to revisit the discussion of “Content, Curation and Collaboration.” My head is FULL of ideas so stay tuned!

Content, Collaboration and Curation…

Social media has moved from truly a “social venue” to a way that educators, parents and professionals learn, collaborate, share and ultimately gather (curate) information.  Those who have made that “mindshift” from “social” to “learning” know that with a 140 character tweet, post or search for a “pin” on their topic they are a little closer to a personal level of expertise than before they engaged in social media.

So the next question, once you have the information you searched for or just came across in your “lurking,” is what do you do with this information once you have it so you can come back to it, share it, or even add to it?

That is where curation comes into play.  I have my favorites and a few tips. Here are the ones I am most familiar:
Pinterest logo

Pinterest is probably the best reflection of who I am in all areas of my life. I curate specifically for other purposes with other venues that I will mention below, but Pinterest is where I collect for all areas of my life. Pinterest is also a great place for a single image idea or curation by specific topic. Sharing with this is as open or closed as you choose. You can have secret boards (a friend of mine had one when she was planning her wedding) that you only invite a few people to share, or it can be open. The other great thing about Pinterest is that, like me, many people curate their life. While I may love a fellow curators boards on organization, I may not share their interest with water sports. I can choose to only follow certain boards to keep my follows focused to what interest me.
I am still learning how to share out with others and Pinterest has really updated this in the last few months, but I don’t like to post every Pin to Twitter or Facebook… that tends to annoy my Twitter followers and Facebook friends. I have noticed that a good “housecleaning” or “reorganizing” of your boards or reposting is a unobtrusive way to share/collaborate. I recently did this and the reposting of my posts I had reorganized/reposted was epic.

Scoopit Logo
Scoop.it was introduced to me through a PLN chat #nisdNOV8 moderated by our District’s Instructional Technology team. It was my answer on how to keep track of all the great information I was collecting/learning on Twitter but was struggling to absorb the vast amount of information I was coming into contact with and wanting to be able to digest with more depth. Not to mention, once I determined the information as beneficial to my learning, I needed a way to turn around and share. Scoop.it was that answer. I will warn you it is addictive and you can have up to 5 Scoop.it boards for free, but then you must pay for more. My need to be micro-organized could not be accomplished in 5, so I pay $6.99 a month for an education account to be able to have up to 20 boards. Currently I am utilizing it for scoops that are related to educational technology and the sub-topics that relate to the vastly growing and necessary componenet of technology in education. I have found that the ability to share the entire board, a single scoop and the suggestions for scoops it provides me helps enhance the content I am already curating from my PLNs on Twitter. I also like this method of curation as it has the opportunity for people to follow each individual board, make suggestions and respond to each individual scoop.

Flipboard logo

Flipboard is my most recent curation exploration. I am truly using this application for more lengthy text/online magazines and for educational topics such as leadership development, collaboration, curriculum design and classroom approaches from a practice and philosophy essential for effectiveness. I still struggle with “flipping” content I find outside of what Flipboard “hosts” but am finding ways to import.

Of course there are a ton of other options when curating. My former principal successfully utilizes
paperli logo

I have dabbled in the utilization of
Youtube pic

No matter the medium used, there are a few things I suggest you ask yourself:
1) Will your curation make sense to others with whom you share?
2) What is the purpose of your curation?
3) How will you orgainize it for ease of curation and those that will be hopefully benefitting from your curation?
4) How will you determine an item appropriate for curation? Will you read it all the way through? Do you consider the reliability of the original source?
5) How will your curations reflect you as a person and professional?

Above all, share your learning… Tweet it, email it, Pin it or Facebook it. You benefitted in some way enough you felt it worthy to curate. Of course, honor the author or the origin of the curation, but then “Pass it on!”

Please feel free to comment on this blog other ways to curate as well as comment if any of the ways mentioned are beneficial to you as well. Look for additional blog posts about other methods for curation in the future… guest bloggers are welcome!!!!

Genius Hour… a process

In early May I jumped in with both feet and tried the “Twitter-trending” concept of “Genius Hour.” It was a learning process throughout the “pilot.” My students loved it and I can’t wait to share with others the concept of “Genius Hour.”

There are a couple of things I learned in this process:
1. Surprising to me, students struggle already at the age of 8 and 9 to really be able to “brainstorm” things they are passionate about
2. Even with limitless parameters students tend to stay inside the box when presenting learning and more needs to be done to get them to present in unique ways… too much Prezi or Power Point and not enough original creation. Coaching skills are a must!
3. Even though there is plenty of room for growth, students were passionate about the learning that they did and they went deeper with their learning and were deeply connected to the learning that they developed
4. Students recognized the need to be passionate about something, the impact that passion can have on their future and learning is and can be fun
5. Reflection was essential throughout this process and at the end of the initial session “next steps” are essential so that they see this as not a terminal project but an ongoing continuum of learning
6. Next time I will put more emphasis on students determining how their learning and “creation” can be shared to IMPROVE their community, state, country, and/or world

Since completing the school year and dismissal for summer break, I have started a Summer Session Genius Hour that I shared out through email and my neighborhood Facebook page. I have less participants than I had hoped for but the four I have, including my own two children made strides tonight at our initial session for the summer. I did have one student who returned for the summer session and she shared out her presentation from our end of year Symposium. The others were able to see a product and one astutely recognized that even though that was the presentation of learning on that topic at that time, it was an ongoing process and the initial product could continue to evolve and change over time. It was a great session and we plan to meet back together as a group to share, discuss and critique each other in a couple of weeks. I have made myself available in the meantime for coaching sessions and helping to facilitate their pursuit of their learning about their passion.

The students left eager to keep going with their ideas and I can hardly wait until we come together again to share our passions!

“From Creeping to Curating”

As I write this, I think about the list of items I have waiting in the wings to blog about. However, I am compelled to write about Twitter and an educator’s role to be connected in this 21st century world. I realize I have already written about Twitter ad nauseam, but a recurring concern pulls at my heart and keeps my mind in a state of unrest.

It has been brewing in the depths of my reasoning for sometime, but was brought to the forefront with a recent discussion on one of my Twitter chats where the question was posed “Do we have an obligation as connected educators to bring along those that haven’t connected?” and “What is the impact if those educators don’t connect?” Along with that chat are the multitude of conversations that I have recently had where Educators express their sincere anxiety about Twitter and “speaking out in a public forum.”

So I have decided to write about my own journey. I don’t know how to tell you personally how to move from “creeping” (that is when you just read all the Twitter feed of people you follow) to curating (where you collect content into some sort of organized online collection) information shared with you from the multitude of Twitter chats you regularly participate and contribute to. My hope is that by sharing my story it will give those the courage to move past the anxiety and experience the world of possibility as a connected educator reaping the benefits of being connected with other passionate, committed. student-centered educators.

Before I get started, I want to add a disclaimer. This is meant for the genuinely passionate learner at heart. Those that seek to become fully engrossed in the Twitter Ed world but hesitate because of the intimidating frontier of the unknown. Those of you that easily Facebook, Tweet social statuses, and occasionally show up in a chat or tweet an occasional educational link… this blog is not meant for you. You have the tools, you have just not caught the bug to fully engage in Twitter as a tool for learning, collaboration and professional development. I could do an entirely different blog on this.

So here is my story:
August of 2012 I attended a leadership academy held by our district. We were encouraged to all start Twitter accounts if we didn’t already have one, and get started. We were encouraged to Tweet during the entire conference, but for so many newbies in one room it was clunky, disorganized and sometimes very distracting, not the way back channeling is meant to be (we will get back to the term of back channeling later in the post). On the positive side, it forced us all to at least try Twitter. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a real purpose or guidance via face to face or through online links on how this Twitter thing really worked to our benefit. At that time it was just another Facebook, but limited me to 140 characters. Anyone that knows me, being limited in the amount I could say was difficult at best… I was sticking to Facebook.

I think I checked my Twitter account once every week, usually on the weekends for updates on College Football from ESPN and my favorite follow @RazorbackFB. I had no idea there was a whole world of educators connecting, collaborating and curating.

Then in early January I had a brief but life altering conversation with our campus Instructional Technology Support Teacher. She had witnessed my passion for technology integration in my classroom, my love to inspire my students, and my willingness to try new things. Casually she asked me, “Have you tried Twitter from a professional development perspective.” I laughed and said “No, not at all.” She then said, “I think you would enjoy it, why don’t you try lurking on the district’s chat this week?” I remarked, “Sure, what do I have to lose?” All the while thinking, “I have been on Twitter and I don’t think it’s all that special.”

By the way, for those of you that aren’t sure of the difference between creeping and lurking. Creeping is where you jump around on Twitter following random Twitter feeds without a particular focus. Lurking, on the other hand, is where you purposefully follow a specific chat (noted with a hash tag #) and intently read or lurk on that chat with intentional focus to gain something.

So early January I lurked on a chat. I didn’t make it through the 30 minute chat before I was “Tweeting.” I will admit, my Tweets were a bit awkward. I didn’t fully understand when to re-tweet, favorite or quote and denote a MT (modified tweet). The amazing thing is how gracious everyone was. They seem to assess my level of ability and praise my step of courage to “Tweet” while being gracious and understanding where my level of proficiency was with Twitter. That was the foundation that paved the way for more exploration.

Somehow I started following @thomascmurray and @bcurrie5, Godfathers in the Twitter World. By late January I was asked by @thomascmurray through Twitter to post a testimonial about how Twitter had impacted me as an educator. At that point I had only been actively participating in chats for three weeks. (See my first blog post.) In that time I felt compelled to start the blog you are currently reading. After spending time watching and learning from the best on Twitter, it seemed to be the next step.

Shortly after that I read a blog post by @bcurrie5 titled “Connect Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself” http://www.bradcurrie.net/2/post/2013/02/connect-yourself-before-you-wreck-yourself.html that provided a step by step process to fully engage me into the world of Twitter as a Professional Development tool.

At the same time I saw another follow, I had somehow acquired, repeatedly Tweet about a book titled “Teach Like a Pirate” by Dave Burgess. This contact @iamkesler was going to be conducting an online book study. Of course I was game. I ordered the book, signed up for the book club and got ready to participate in my chat with #tlap.

At this point I was actively participating in my district’s general chat and district’s technology focused chat. My rate of consumption of knowledge had grown exponentially and strange things were happening to me. The instruction in my classroom had changed. I was becoming more engaging and the level of student engagement had increased. My willingness to try new things with technology and flexibility with implementation had changed drastically for the better. On top of that, I was seized with Twitter-itis and sharing to anyone that would listen. When a conversation couldn’t take place, I resorted to sharing the links from Twitter via email. I was consumed with the fact that Twitter was a treasure that needed to be unearthed.

In late March, after successfully hooking my Principal, I shared out with our Technology leadership team the praises of Twitter. (see my blog “Learning “Twitter-ese”:Spreading the Twitter Message”)

At this point the amount of learning I was ingesting was at such a high rate I knew I was forgetting far more than I was able to consume and hold on to, and it was worth holding on to! Then in early April when I was participating in my district’s technology chat I learned about curation. This was a Tuesday. I had a conversation on Wednesday with my principal about it and by Friday I had done my first curation in Scoop.it for a class ecosystem activity. I have since added so many curations on Scoop.it I have purchased an educators account to have more than the initial five that are free. (Feel free to follow or scoop me at http://www.scoop.it/u/kwilson01)

Then that same chat PLN invited my principal and I to co-moderate a chat about “Designing the Learning Experience.” in late April. I was a proud mother hen that night as many of my colleagues jumped in and participated. A few even gained the courage to start participating in other chats. The message was spreading.

But it doesn’t stop there. I just launched a pilot #geniushour in my classroom. All because of the contacts, collaboration and encouragement of fellow educators on Twitter.

So this is my story. It was a slow smoldering burn for a long time, and then began burning with an intensity that continues to burn without any signs of diminishing.

If you are still with me and are still reading, you may be thinking, “Okay, nice story, but where do I start?”

1. Get your feet wet. Participate in a chat where you know another Twitterer or in a small district chat where the feed doesn’t move fast or overwhelm you.

2. Try Retweeting items you feel are worthy being repeated or you were thinking the same thing. Favorite quotes you like or resonate with you, or just to show your support of a fellow Tweeter.

3. Google questions you have about Twitter, read blogs that offer tips, check out my Scoop.it about Twitter for PD http://www.scoop.it/t/utilizing-twitter-for-pd-purposes and put in your calendar the chats you want to remember to participate in with a reminder 15 minutes before they start.

4. Don’t stress out with all the “rules” to follow on Twitter. Some have rules about keeping your follower-ship tidy, suggest tools to do so, and say that you should still use proper grammar and spelling in 140 characters. Honestly, most people just want you to be nice, transparent, honest, real, collaborative and encouraging. If you are nice, most are nice to you. Do thank those that follow you. Do let those that encourage you, re-tweet your tweets and take a personal interest in your professional journey know how much you appreciate them. I refer to my inaugural Tweeters that helped me become fully engaged in Twitter as part of my Twitter family tree.

5. Begin curating ideas, links and infographics you want to come back to from your Twitter chats. There are lots of different curation applications out there including PearlTree, PaperLi, Flipboard, Pinterest and my personal favorite, Scoop.it.

6. Set some goals for action based on what you have learned in your chats/Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) and Tweet your experiences/successes.

7. Try back channelling. What is back channelling? That can be several things. In a live conference or professional development it is the side conversation happening on Social Media about that particular topic/learning among participants. It can be formally set up through a hash tag on Twitter, or on Edmodo or Today’s Meet. On a Twitter chat it is side conversations that happen with people in the chat regarding the topic but are a thread not showing in the main stream of Tweets because it is more a conversation between those few people and not necessarily meant for the entire chat group. (Don’t misunderstand the Tweets can still be seen, they are just not going to pop up in the main feed… hence back channelling.)

8. Spread the message, mentor a new Tweeter, and reflect from time to time on your growth.

9. Start a Twitter account for your class.

Twitter allows us to truly model for our kids “learning anywhere, anytime.” This video comes from one of my Twitter “mentors” and original members of my Twitter “family tree.” It provides a compelling and convincing argument for the need for all educators to be passionately connected.

Making sense of it all…

This week the devastating acts in Boston and the horrific fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas have hit me hard. Combined with the sad loss of a local family’s father who took his own life I have been extremely heartbroken.

My Husband is from the Boston area and I have walked through the locations where the bombs detonated. I recently took up running and ran my first half marathon in February. I have recently said half-joking, half-serious that when I’m 60 I will be able to have a qualifying time good enough that I can run in the Boston Marathon. Ties run deep and it shook me to the core.

But I kept going. I have 22 students and two children of my own who look to me for reassurance, provide a sense of safety and “all is right with the world.”

Then the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas happened. Every time I and/or my family travel along that part of I-35 we stop at the “Little Czech Bakery” for kolaches and Czech baked goodies. In early 2000 I worked as an administrator for a nearby town and athletic rival. I worked Football games on the very field that served as the triage location. I attended academic and athletic events as the administrator on duty in the Middle School that burned down. My husband in a previous job called on that very fertilizer plant. Ties run deep and this rocked my world.

Once again students and my kids looked to me for comfort and reassurance. Honestly I wavered. I tried to talk about it and my voice cracked, my eyes teared up, and I couldn’t keep talking.

I have been putting off my next blog entry as I have so much “professional content” I want to blog about. I honestly don’t know where to start. But then I read a blog I subscribe to http://topicalteaching.com/2013/04/21/6-messages-for-children-after-a-tragedy/ which talks about lots of ways to help kids deal with tragedies like this week. But the point that stuck with me was #6. Our simple and every day acts of kindness will make a difference.

After reading this I was looking at my fellow Facebook posts and right there was a picture of my very own students living out that very thing.
Amazing how your own students can do for others the very thing you try to do for them. Even more amazing is how they inspire you when you feel you’ve momentarily lost your ability to inspire others.

So today I changed my mindset. I am looking for ways to note random acts of kindness and do random acts of kindness. Below is another picture circulating on Facebook that shows how even the midst of a “job to do” human nature takes over and drives us to care for one another.

I am reminded how all of us have a responsibility to one another. As Bill Wilson states, “To the world you are one person, but to one person you may be the world.” So today I blog about what is all on our minds and the ache we have to heal our hearts. Matters of the mind can wait.

Finally, I leave you with the following picture. There were many unsung heroes this week, and they were all super heroes to me, the students that I teach and mold into great citizens, and my own children who continually remind me of the good in the world. Thank you for being what we all hope prevails. Let us be and remember the good, may it overcome the tragic.


Learning “Twitter-ese”: Spreading the Twitter Message

Twitter 101
August 2012 I created my Twitter “handle” at a leadership academy for our district. I didn’t look at it for months other than to check up on my sports news (I am a closet sports fanatic… no one would know it with my blingy jewelry and fake nails and pedicure :)). Beyond that I really didn’t see a purpose until January of this year. I am not sure what it was, but I was sitting in a Starbucks waiting for my own child to get out of practice and I started lurking on Twitter. Somehow I came across some pretty amazing Twtter-ers like Brad Currie @bcurrie5 and Tom Murray @thomascmurray. Next thing I know I am actively participating in 5 to 7 PLNs a week and am part of a book club for the book “Teach LIke a Pirate” by Dave Burgess @burgessdave moderated by Chris Kessler @iamkesler.
I may need an intervention, but Twitter changed my professional life. I love teaching. Twitter was the fuel that reignited my passion…not that I wasn’t intense, but reminded me how to love everything I do despite the things I dislike.
Like any great thing I find… I had to share it. So I did with my Principal, and anyone else who would listen. I hooked my principal. She was so excited that within weeks she asked me to facilitate a “How to” on Twitter. I think this is humorous, as I would NOT call anyone who actively started Tweeting in January an expert, but I am beginning to learn that an expert is just someone who is accessing the information at a faster rate than anyone else in that current environment. Thus, I am now dubbed the “Twitter Queen” (I have the crown to prove it:)). Above is a VERY basic quick powerpoint I threw together in about 15 minutes to help my fellow colleagues on my campus get started. It has some suggestions who to follow and PLNs to either lurk/creep or participate.

Challenge: If you Tweet and love it, spread the message (you are free to use the powerpoint if you like).
If you don’t Tweet and consider yourself a learner, follow my powerpoint and get connected… you won’t regret it.

I am still learning. I truly am not all-knowing when it comes to Twitter, but I am glad I didn’t delay any longer. Speaking “Twitter-ese” has transformed my world, raised the depth of collaboration with my campus colleagues, connected me professionally with amazing educators all over the world and made my students environment richer and more exciting. What are you waiting for?

Follow me on Twitter @teachkiwi

Students Creating their own Fable through Toontastic

>Slide describing Writing Fable
If you followed my last post you know that my students have been studying theme through a variety of genres. The most explicit example of theme occurs in our traditional literature examples and especially in the area of fables as one specific example of traditional literature genre.
After utilizing Scholastic’s January 2013 publication of “Storyworks” biography “Bethany Hamilton is not Afraid of Sharks” and then discussing the similar themes between it and the intentionally paired fable “The Donkey and the Farmer” we identified the big idea… Challenges. Then after talking about the about Ben Affleck’s quote from his Oscar acceptance speech “When life knocks you down, which it will, get back up.” We determined as a class that would be a good theme to create our own fables.

Through class discussion and the guidance of a slide show I found on Pinterest on how to write a fable we broke down the different elements that comprise a fable.

How to Write a Fable pic

Click here: http://pinterest.com/pin/183732859770067392/

To help them plan I created a plan map for crafting their fables. It looks much like a plot map but this was not to break apart a story, but to create one which I could not locate. This is my creation, so please be an #ideabandit, but credit my originality… it doesn’t come around often! 🙂

Fable Writing Plan</a

After conferencing with each student over the course of two days as they completed their plans or mid-plan as needed, students drafted and met with response partners to get feedback and make revisions.

Finally it was time for publishing. We utilized the free version of the app “Toontastic.”
toontastic app pic

Students created their fables placing the elements of their fable in the appropriate places on the story arc provided with the app as well as selecting music appropriate to the mood of the story (available through the app).
Toontastic story arc example pic

I am also including a rubric that was used for this activity. This was our first experience using Toontastic and writing fables so the rubric is somewhat forgiving and may need “tweaking” for repeated lessons with this experience or grades beyond third grade. Students seemed to have the most challenges with integrating the moral/theme with the story. Their fables were well crafted but often the lesson they intended to teach was missing in the fable they crafted. Something that is not altogether surprising considering their age and ability to connect abstract ideas through a concrete representation.
toontastic fable rubric

It was a great experience for everyone. Students were so excited with their creation that when it was part of our Open House it was all the students and parents could talk about, I even had visitors from other classrooms to check out the excitement. It also created an atmosphere for sharing and learning about how technology is enhancing the learning of students in my classroom with my parents that was unprecedented. For the first time in my educational career parents were grabbing scrap paper from their wallets and purses. or taking notes on their own smart phone devices to record all the ways they could continue to support the technology that was impacting their own child’s learning in the classroom at home. Connected learning was on fire. The kids were experts, the parents were invested and hooked by the relevance, and this teacher was overjoyed to be along for the ride.

Message in a Bottle- Learning about Theme

Message in a Bottle Amazing Grace

letter for Amazing Grade MIB

Letter Journey to a New Land MIB

Journey to a New Land Message in a Bottle

I want to share a very engaging lesson our 3rd grade team did on theme. The idea came to me through my teaching team partner Kristin Carlile @kjcarlile. She does an excellent job crafting reading lessons for our team and this one was not one that we needed to keep to ourselves. She is an incredibly resourceful teacher and used an idea similar to the lesson I am blogging about from Scholastic @scholasticteach. We had already been doing read alouds with the kids and identifying the genre, summary, big idea of the book and the theme. After about 5 days of this being modeled with read alouds and various independent acitvities i.e. readers response journals, tickets out, and small group instruction through readers workshop we presented a new and creative acitivity. Kids were partnered up and given the following task and rubric.

Message in a Bottle

At the beginning of the post are some student products after working on it during Readers Workshop for a day. Would like to have given more time to this activity. Definitely will revisit as the learning was profound and the engagement unprecedented.

To finish this post I will leave you with a short list of books that are great for this activity. There are many more and I encourage you to find titles across the genres so that students can see how theme occurs in many genres.

Book list:
“The Honest-to-Goodness Truth” by Patricia McKissack
“The Mitten Tree” by Candace Christiansen
“My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother” by Patricia Polacco
“Thank You, Mr. Falker” by Patricia Polacco
“Too Many Tamales” by Gary Soto
“Charlie the Caterpillar” by Dom Deluise

Good luck with your Message in a Bottle activities… may your students discover a lesson of a lifetime!

Learning from our youth

Youtube pic

As I get deeper and deeper into my depth and breadth of technology knowledge I am finding I am less inhibited to ask anyone for help.  My favorite resources are my own students, children and my colleagues kids.  Recently I was asked to do a YouTube video.  That may be no big deal to many but for some reason I had trouble with every attempt.  I was sharing my frustrations with my principal who quickly offered the amazing YouTube skills of her son Zachary.  Of course, I took her up on it.  He came this morning to my classroom before he reported to his campus for class.  In SECONDS he had me in YouTube and uploading my video.  Crazy isn’t it?  I had tried multiplie times and had no success and in he comes, like Superman and saves my “technological life.”  Now the story doesn’t end there… I asked him if he tweeted, and he didn’t.  So in a matter of minutes I was sharing with him the amazing world of Twitter.  He was intrigued.  When he found out he could upload or get more followers to his YouTube account where he posts tutorials for various video games I got his attention :).  We all like more followers.  So another exchange of ideas occurred and the coolest thing was it was about the exchange of ideas and how to get our ideas out to others.  Mine was to share my passion for children, education and technology (in this case Twitter).  His was getting the word out about the tutorials he does on YouTube. I also challenged him to bring the world of Twitter to his classroom.  Conduct book clubs via Twitter.  Have study groups via Twitter.  Best of all bring amazing things and ideas to the attention of his teachers via Twitter.  If they don’t Tweet, email the link.  🙂    At one point I was so excited about his YouTube tutorials that I told him I would have my first grade son check them out as I think he would enjoy the games he offers the tutorials for (follow him on his YouTube Channel: Cheesyman59).  I also told him that my son loves Minecraft but I have had to forbid him from tutorials on it because the people that do the tutorials cuss the entire time.  He jumped right in and said he would start making tutorials for that too!!!! I think I converted him to Twitter and we are now forever linked through a kindred love for sharing ideas. When we parted today we both excitedly said we would keep in touch and offered to help the other with each of our areas of expertise.  Collaboration, it happens at any time with any age if we are open to the idea that we can learn from anyone!  Who will be your next technology expert? They may be lurking behind a skateboard and a back pack on their way to Mrs. Duffy’s first period class.

Sharing my new-found passion for Twitter

twitter pic

Sharing my new-found passion for Twitter

Through one of my fellow tweeters I was asked to share how Twitter has changed me as an educator.  Here is a video link I made for sharing with Quakerstown for a PD piece regarding developing a PLN.


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