BlogWalker

Muddling through the blogosphere

October 11, 2013
by blogwalker
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Connected Educator’s Month – Off to a great start!

October 21–25, 2013

A huge shoutout to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Education Technology for once again (2nd year) sponsoring October’s  Connected Educator Month (CEM) and to Mike Ribble, Jason Ohler, Common Sense Media, and Cable in the Classroom for their combined efforts to declare the week of October 19 -26 as National Digital Citizenship Week. So many great opportunities to promote digital/global citizenship skills!

Students speak out through #UnfollowBullying

And if last week is any indication, CEM will be memorable from start to finish.  On October 1, I had the privilege of co-facilitating a booth for my district at the state capitol for the anti-bullying rally  Stand Up! Speak Out! What a privilege to have the opportunity to boast about the #UnfollowBullying student-created, student-led campaign, which, like CEM, is heading into its second year with students leading the charge.

On Saturday, I headed to UC Davis to join in the California Writing Project’s 40th year celebration. The collective energy, creativity, and passion for sharing past practices in promoting students as (digital, multimedia) writers and showcasing their achievements was infectious. I left with wonderful ideas for powering up the CCSS through primary source documents (e.g., tons of digitized documents from the Library of Congress collections) , great tools for engaging and supporting ELs (e.g., Tellegami with primary students, and even Voki), and great questions to take back to my district regarding the upcoming SBAC tests (California’s choice for CCSS testing). Peter’s Kittle’s Storify account will provide you with some insights into the day’s events – which started with a pitch to participants to tweet the event via Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s #Hashtag video.

Week one of Connected Educator’s Month was a blast. Hmm…I’m thinking every month should be about connecting educators and their students.

May 26, 2012
by blogwalker
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Connected Learning – A huge Web 2.0 benefit

Last week I worked with two groups of 8th grade students: one group at a middle school in my district; the other, at a small parochial school “across the tracks.” The project was to help students at both school sites take poetry they had created as part of the I’m American Too project and to catapult their voices beyond the walls of their classrooms and onto the Digital ID wiki, a collaborative project that strives to connect core curriculum with issues of (digital) citizenship.

Right off the bat, the common thread was two outstanding teachers, both teaching at sites that provide rich, nurturing learning environments. But since the two had never met, nor even heard of each other’s schools, I assumed there would be no student connections. I was wrong. While at Pinkerton (my district), when I mentioned I would also be working with 8th graders at St. Patrick’s Succeed Academy, several students immediately called out that they had friends there. And when, two days later, I walked into an 8th grade classroom St. Pat’s, a student enthusiastically waved his hand, wanting to know if I had worked with his friends over at Pinkerton and when could he see their work.

And once again, another common thread became very visible: when students know their projects will be seen by a real audience, including friends at other schools, they are eager to get to work! Pinkerton’s “found poetry” is now posted on the Stepping Up page of the Digital ID wiki. St. Pat’s “poetry in two voices” is there too, although not quite finished – an online work in progress.

It has been my experience that students thrive from connected learning opportunities. Fortunately, making meaningful connections just gets easier as new – and free – technologies become available.  I think the A Day in the Life of a Connected Educator: Using Social Media in 21st Century Classrooms infographic below, which came through my Twitter feed this morning, sums it up . The infographic is from Powerful Learning Practice, an online community focused on “turning educators into 21st Century educators.”

 

Infographic from http://plpnetwork.com/

Thank you, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, for the the great infographic – and a reminder in the next school year to spend more of the school day supporting teachers in creating connected learning environments.

 

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