I had the honor of attending and presenting at the #140edu conference put on this week by Jeff Pulver and Chris Lehmann. It was the perfect kick-off to what the U.S. Department of Education has deemed Connected Educator Month. The conference schedule read like a who's who of educators who use technology and social media to spread ideas and engage and empower young people. We were also blessed with a generous amount of student voices through both panels and individual speakers. Rather than go into detail about the conference itself, I decided to look through my own tweets and pull out gems from both days. Below are some quotes, ideas and nuggets.
It's easy to be jaded when there's buzz about a new social network. Who has time to keep up with them all? And how many will explode on the scene with a bang, the hottest new thing, and then fizzle like Friendster? But I have to say that the eye-candy on the visual social bookmarking site Pinterest has caught my attention.
It all begins with relationship. We hear educators say this over and over, but do we really believe it? Do our actions support our words? After an unbelievable, engaging conversation I had with others at ISTE12 SocialedCon, I know that there are many passionate educators ready to go forth and make the changes we so desperately need in education.
As many school administrators are enjoying their summer break, we all tend to think of ways that we can make our school better in the upcoming year. Often, I point school principals and district leaders to a powerful post by Will Richardson that helps us point the finger right at ourselves when we are looking to push our school ahead. Richardson states:
"Meaningful change ain't gonna happen for our kids if we're not willing to invest in it for ourselves first. At the heart, it's not about schools . . . it's about us."
It's summertime: time to relax, refresh and get connected. Joining an online community of science teachers is a great way to find resources, inspiration and like-minded colleagues to collaborate with as you re-tool your courses for the next school year. The list below is a good starting point to find a community or two that meets your needs. However, the list is not exhaustive. Use the comment section to share any online groups or communities that you find valuable!
Greetings from sunny San Diego. I'm here for the annual ISTE conference and its innovative kick-off gathering, SocialEdCon -- the one-day unconference formerly known as EduBloggerCon. (Organizer Steve Hargadon changed the name to reflect the change in emphasis from blogging to the larger social media universe that brings educators together.)
Topics this year ranged from how to expedite technology adoption to the impact of technology on social and emotional learning; blended learning; and tools and ideas for making media in the classroom. (See the entire SocialEdCon schedule) Over the next week or so, we'll hear from some of these participants as guest bloggers here on Edutopia.
As we approach the summer months, many educators lament the "summer slide." The months between June and September can vary between enriching camp or other learning experiences to days upon days spent playing video games or watching TV on the couch. Students often return to school having lost a reading level or a variety of math concepts.
Earlier in the year, I had our middle school Parent/Teacher conferences, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that 99 percent of my students (most of whom are Title I) have a computer in the home. However, there was absolutely no oversight of what was going on with the computer, because the only person who even knew how to turn the computer on, many parents claimed through their translators, was their student. The parents knew nothing of the box in the kid's bedroom.
An online colleague of mine, Patrick Ledesma, recently reminded me of the "door to door" law that states it is the school's responsibility to keep students safe the minute they leave their front door until they return home at the end of the day. However, this law now seems to extend to cyber safety and netiquette, making our responsibility to monitor children greater than ever because their world is now ever wider.
"Your clicks have consequences," says Clay Johnson, author of The Information Diet. Johnson writes about the impact of consuming a poor information diet, "unhealthful information deep-fried in our own preconceptions."
Entering the digital world exposes us daily to new programs, software and systems. As both consumers and educators, we consistently sort through these technologies to find the ones that meet our immediate needs. With so many technologies available, there are times we overlook, misjudge or reject something that potentially has value for us.