Kristen Swanson @kristenswanson announces that Edcamp has moved to Twitter for the 12 days of edcamp. Just follow and share your best “gifts” to other educators at the #edcampgift hashtag.
If you need to get started on Twitter Jo-Ann Fox @AppEducationFox has a great post on Huffington about making Twitter your Teacher Superpower (don't be scared, just try it, you might like it.) In the classroom this week: Laura Fleming @NMHS_lms the Librarian from New Milford (Eric Sheninger's school) is using Makerspaces in cool ways, Alfonso Gonzalez @educatoral is kicking off the use of Minecraft in his science classroom, and Amal Abouldhosn @hellohomeroom shows a strategy for launching discussions of social media issues.
Meanwhile, there are some excellent resources for building your PLN including the Teach100 blog ranking system (submit your blog), a cool Pinterest board from @edutopia with inspirational thoughts, and Teach Thought lists 197 YouTube Channels for Learning as you build your YouTube subscription list and watch from your set top box.
Some very practical posts including 4 apps to use in a 1 ipad classroom from @edudemic, 9 strategies to motivate students in Math from Edutopia, and another one from Edutopia on 3 Strategies to promote independent thinking. Then, Elliott Bristow @ellbristow has written an excellent post on using Minecraft in schools at The Edublogger.
The fourth episode of Taboo went live this week. Taboo is a new show Rae Pica bodymindchild has kicked off on BAM Radio @bamradionetwork to deal with the topics that no one wants to talk about. I find myself nervous and worried before every taping. This week the show is about teaching when you're heartbroken. In 12 years I have been truly heartbroken to the point of quitting at least twice but I wanted to be part of the panel. Teachers need to know that this is a real thing that happens to every teacher I know and you can push through it. There's also a brave anonymous teacher who is hurting who shares his heartbreak as we talk.
In one of the most epic posts I've read in a long time, Chris Bailey's @AYOProductivity 5 minute read has received almost 20,000 shares because he summarizes 100 ted Talks into just over 100 sentences with links to each talk. Students could do this! What a powerful way to write and share. Awesome.
In World News, global citizenship is being discussed in Thailand this week with UNESCO and Terry Freedman @terryfreedman from the UK ponders the qualifications of Computer Science teachers as the UK moves towards educating every child age 5 and up on how to code. There's a new mayor in New York which means new union negotiations – an op ed in the New York Times kicks off the conversations that will be swirling this winter in that city. Finally, the Edublog Award finalists will be announced this week and I predict the usual conversations to happen, but Joyce Seitzinger @catspyjamasnz points out some great reasons why these awards mean so much to many of us educators.
Meanwhile, in my own classroom, my ninth and tenth graders and I are preparing to teach every student in my whole elementary school “An Hour of Code” next week.
We got back in the swing of things yesterday at school although every fiber of my being wanted to be cooking, eating, and hanging out with family. Most teachers (and students) I know felt the same way. I love to ask kids what their favorite foods over break were and love their answers. Parents don't realize how linked kids are to good food and how it anchors positive emotions to time with family. One kid glowed at me “My Mom made this awesome macaroni thing that was like — WOW!”
And that is how I feel about all of the amazing stuff educators are sharing — My friends are writing about this teaching thing in ways that are like — WOW!
Be an Epic Educator today! Learn something new every day!
BEST PRACTICES: Apps, strategies, makerspaces and mindmaps
HOT ON TWITTER: Edcamp moves to Twitter in December #edcampgift
- Teachers as Technology Trailblazers: Join the 12 Days of Edcamp!
The 12 Days of Edcamp — there's a virtual edcamp going on via Twitter – share what you love with others by using the #edcampgift hashtag. Here's how. This is a great way for connected educators to keep sharing?
- Twitter Is My Teacher Superpower: 6 Steps to Make it Yours | Jo-Ann Fox
Jo-Ann Fox writes a lovely post on Huffington Post about how to get started with Twitter.
COOL TEACHERS: From Practicing Teachers in the Classroom
- Worlds of Learning | Worlds of Making @ NMHS
Laura Fleming is using Makerspace in her classroom. She's at New Milford HIgh School — a place led by one of the best principals in the business, Eric Sheninger (his new book is awesome – out in January). Laura is using Mozilla's Web Literacy Standard and her Makerspace which includes robotics, stop motion animation and “Molecular gastronomy” and more. Wow. I'm fascinated. Take a look.
“Setting up a Makerspace has been a priority of mine from the moment I started here at New Milford High School, and it’s already well on its way to being achieved. Having a school principal who provides the perfect mix of encouragement and autonomy has, of course, been a great help, but it has also been very much a team effort: the school’s tech team and custodians have been very supportive and cooperative, along with a diverse variety of students interested in ‘making’ experiences.
At the heart of the vision for my Makerspace is to develop the space and to provide resources and opportunities that will aid in promoting web literacy. These components encompass Mozilla's Web Literacy Standard. The standard is make up of three key elements: exploring, building and connecting and focuses on reading, writing and participating on the web. ”
- Day 1 WoW in Science #gbl | Mr. Gonzalez's Classroom
TEacher Alfonso Gonzalez @educatoral is Using World of Warcraft in eight grade science. He's transparently sharing what they are doing and how they're doing it. I'm following what he's doing and many others are as well. I'm fascinated to see how he'll doing but if he's following Peggy Sheehy – she is the one who really knows how to use WOW with almost any subject.
- Hello Homeroom: Digital Media Concept Map
Interesting Digital Concept map from Amal Abouldhosn and her class as they discuss media. She says “my students were born in 1998, so they've never really lived on a planet without cell phones or internet.” This is a great way to brainstorm and discuss such topics- especially ones where the students have a lot of personal knowledge.
PLN BUILDING: Find Inspiration and Build your PLN
- Education Blogs: Teach100 | Teach.com
The Teach 100 is a ranking of top blogs in education. Many great blogs on this list – many are group blogs but there are also some single blogs (like me). Excited to be on the list, especially with recently moving my blog – many lists like this I had to start completely over. Lots of great sites here.
- Be Inspired.
A pinterest board to inspire educators of the best of quotes and inspiration. We become what we think so fill your mind with great thoughts. This is a wonderful board to follow from Edutopia.
- Teaching With YouTube: 197 Digital Channels For Learning
Really 197 channels for learning? Well, there are many, but if you're like me, you're building a subscription list for your content areas and starting to curate (and perhaps create) some channels. Building a good YouTube stream is becoming part of curation and PLN building – so here's a great place to start.
IMPROVE YOUR CLASSROOM: Practical Advice and Strategies for the Classroom
- The 4 Apps Needed To Run A One iPad Classroom – Edudemic – Edudemic
If you have one ipad, what can you do to powerfully link your students and teach — here are four great apps and a way to get started.
- 9 Strategies for Motivating Students in Mathematics | Edutopia
How can you improve motivation in Math? Here are some great ideas to share with the math teachers who just say kids “aren't interested” and “don't want to learn.” Change something, do something.
- 3 Strategies to Promote Independent Thinking in Classrooms | Edutopia
Nice post by Margaret Regan on Edutopia's blog with 3 Strategies to promote independent thinking. With some practical examples and use of a word I haven't heard — “autotelic” or those happiest when absorbed in complex activities. That would describe many of us coder types. Great post.
- Gaming in Education – Minecraft in Schools? | The Edublogger
Great article by Elliott Bristow on the Edublogger about Minecraft in schools and how it is being used. This is a great reference for those of us working to integrate this into our classroom.
MOTIVATION: How to Keep Teaching when you're heartbroken
The Taboo show talks about things that are hard to discuss. The most recent show talks about how to teach with a broken heart. I know I've been broken hearted enough to quit at least twice in my short 12 year career and most teachers I know have been there. This is an important topic with lots of great discussion from one teacher who is there and some who've been there. If this is you, take a listen and I hope this helps.
“Even the best teachers feel disillusioned about teaching at times. However, some are brokenhearted and dispirited about what teaching has become, yet continue teaching because they have limited alternatives. Is there a solution?
LEARN: Cool Stuff about the World (and yourself) and read an epic post
- You Can Easily Learn 100 TED Talks Lessons In 5 Minutes Which Most People Need 70 Hours For
If you want to learn some very cool things here is a synopsis of watching more than 70 hours of TED talks with links. I love these types of summary posts (any wonder?)
21st CENTURY EDUCATION: a Topic Around the World
WORLD NEWS: Global Citizenship Education is the Topic in Thailand this week
TEACHING: How should Computer Science be taught? Ponderings from the UK: a Country that will educate every child in the subject
- – 5 reasons schools need computing teachers with expertise in the subject
Terry Freedman from the UK makes some great points about expertise in Computing. This is particularly relevant in the UK where every student age 5 and up is expected to be taught programming in school. (Wake up world.)
“Some Principals and Headteachers think that a good way around the problem of teaching computing is to not worry about whether teachers have subject knowledge at all. “All we need are facilitators”, they say, “while the kids can teach themselves and each other.” This is, as any teacher knows (or should know), easy to say, less easy to do, and not altogether the most desirable thing to do even if you can do it. However, just in case your school happens to be “led” by one of the aforementioned Headteachers, here are some arguments you may want to use. I think that any one of them should suffice, and all of them together make for a cast-iron case.”
Read more… this is a topic that will be increasingly discussed in other countries.
POLITICS: A new mayor in New York means new Union Negotiations
EDUBLOGGING: Edublog Finalists Will be announced this week: Some reflections on why they are important
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