Back in May, our team at Knapp Elementary was busy planning our annual summer reading program. Some of us had just participated in a parent-teacher chat via Twitter on maximizing opportunities to keep the learning going over the summer. We talked about ways to keep students engaged between when the school doors were closed and when they reopened in September.
"Digital citizenship" is an umbrella term that covers a whole host of important issues. Broadly, it's the guidelines for responsible, appropriate behavior when one is using technology. But specifically, it can cover anything from "netiquette" to cyberbullying; technology access and the digital divide; online safety and privacy; copyright, plagiarism, and digital law, and more. In fact, some programs that teach digital citizenship have outlined no less than nine elements that intersect to inform a well-equipped digital citizen. It's an overwhelming array of skills to be taught and topics to explore.
Every Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT, 8 p.m. ET, I host New Teacher Chat (#ntchat) on Twitter. It's a time for new and pre-service teachers, as well as supportive administrators and experienced teachers, to gather online and have discussions about topics that are practitioner focused and supportive for the soon-to-be teacher.
What does it mean to rethink teaching and learning in the age of the Internet? That timely question will be examined from all angles this week by educators from around the globe. Appropriately, conversations will take place online in a free event called Learning 2.0.
Educators who appreciate the value of professional networks have a keen understanding of the old adage, "The wisdom is in the room." For this growing community, "room" means any space -- virtual or physical -- where colleagues connect, exchange insights, and push each other's thinking.
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!