As a teacher, it is so important that we continue to learn and be willing to learn! Along with this is that we have to do what Ardis Cochrane suggested at the International Conference on eLearning Futures 2011 a couple of weeks ago. She suggested that:
teachers need to be respected as learners
This is so important for those who are involved in eLearning in some way – particularly promoting it with teachers in your school or organisation. Some teachers are nervous when it comes to using ICT and they need to be given time, space and support to learn how and when to use it appropriately.
Of course the experts also need to be continually learning, so I thought I would share a couple of the ways I try to continually learn.
- As you can see, I go to conferences. To be honest I’ve only been to one this year. It was good, but conferences can be quite expensive so might not always be possible to attend. Conferences of course are great for networking.
- Blogs – I read blogs, and quite a few of them. I follow blogs of academics, teachers and educational technologists. Using the RSS feeds and an RSS reader such as Google Reader it’s not too difficult to keep up with blogs. I also use an iPad app called Flipboard where I can read the blogs a bit like a magazine. It’s a good, enjoyable way to find out what’s going on in the educational world.
- Twitter – this is probably the key way I find out things that are going on. I don’t follow just anybody. Again, I pick teachers, principals, academics and so on that relate to the topics I am interested in (education, eLearning etc). Twitter, like conferences is great for networking. I’ve ‘met’ quite a few people on Twitter that I chat to and they give me advice/suggestions etc that are very valuable. (I wrote a blog about Twitter some time ago…)
I hope this is useful to someone. I’ve also been doing some extra-mural study and just completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Education. Next year I am hoping to complete my Master of Education (eLearning). The learning continues!
As much as possible don’t keep your learning to yourself! It needs to be shared with others!
As Steve Wheeler said at the conference:
Knowledge is like love. You can give it away and still get to keep it.
This article in the NZ Herald talks about a school in Britain who has 11 year old boys engaged in writing blogs. Some of them are writing 5000 word stories in their blogs. It all started during a period of heavy snowfall where the school was continually closed. The principal decided that students would still get taught during this time – online. And it’s exploded from there. Read the article for the full story.
I think this is a fantastic story about the possibilities of technology. Not only did the students continue to be taught, but their writing scores were increasing also. Many have clearly become engaged, and passionate about writing.
As a secondary science teacher, I’m certainly not an expert in writing stats and facts but I believe that here in New Zealand many boys are not engaged in writing and really have no interest in it. Perhaps they need something like this to get them started. Start them off with a small activity they can do (the British school got the students to blog about the amount of snow outside their house) and try to build it from there. What if you can increase engagement and achievement from this simple idea?
I might actually get my own children to start blogging, and see what happens. They love using the computer, and this might build an interest/passion in writing.
Well I better get back into this after the July holidays… so here are my favourite posts from the past week.
Stand Up if You are Average…Anyone? This is a great post about labelling our students Gives you something to think about and makes good sense. From Blogging through the Fourth Dimension.
Looking for some different search engines? Top 10 Search Engines from Technology Tidbits: Thoughts of a Cyber Hero.
Who are the millenials? This a an interesting post about those people who are young adults as we entered the 21st century. (This would make me a millenial.) Make sure you click on the graphic that’s included and have a look at the data given. From Derek’s Blog.
Great Video – Study Like a Scholar, Scholar This is a clever, funny video about studying – in the library. From Free Technology for Teachers.
My favourite blog posts from the past week…
1. What TCol doesn’t teach … – A YouTube video linked from Greg’s Blog – principal (le?) learning.
2. Digital Citizenship – Cellphones – This is an interesting blog post about cellphones in schools. Students have cellphones at school. What should we be doing about this? From Educational Origami.
3. Top 100 technology blogs for teachers – The link in this post are probably what you are after more – From The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness.
4. MeeGenius – Online books for kids to read and personalize. From iLearn Technology.
Well I was thinking of heading to Google Docs for this post, and I will, but I’m not going to post much as a good blog post was recently made. It outlines new sharing and editing options in it.
So next time I’ll start to go into detail about Google Docs, but for now – have a look at this post from Free Technology for Teachers to see if you want to explore it further.
I will say this now – Google Docs has great potential for education, collaboration etc.
I thought I’d try something new today. I notice a lot of bloggers have a regular feature on some days of the week, so today I’m starting “Monday Mentions” which is where I will mention and link to a few blog posts (and other posts) that I think are particularly useful or interesting in the world of education.
So here goes…
1. Tools for the 21st Century Teacher – This is a post by Michael Zimmer on his blog The Pursuit of Technology. It includes a link to Zimmer’s free eBook, Tools for the 21st Century Teacher. This is a great resource with a number of web 2.0 tools for teachers to use in their education and professional development.
2. Sooooo …?? – A Youtube clip and a few simple questions to ask yourself at the end. What does social media mean for you in education? Check it out. From Greg’s Blog – principal (le?) learning.
3. Beware when you blog A reminder to us about blogging and blogging in our classrooms. We need to monitor what is going on and be professional. From *** ICT U Can!
That will do it for this week. Now the trick is to remember to do it again next week!