Sunday, September 29, 2013

All of the Cool Teachers are Doing It...

My introduction to Twitter came by simple peer-pressure; I admit I joined for social reasons. I was an avid Facebook user, so at first I didn't feel that I needed this new social networking platform. "Why should I create an account" I thought, "This Twitter thing is just going to die out like MySpace did" (bows head in a moment of silence for my "Top Friends"). But after hearing about how fun and easy it was to use, I entered my email address, created a password, and typed my first tweet. After all, my friends were doing it, so why shouldn't I?

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Well, 30,428 tweets later, I feel safe in saying that I got the hang of things. I used twitter to connect with friends, meet new people, let off some steam, share bits and pieces of my life, explore my interests, and laugh until my stomach hurt. My social network had grown some, but that was it.

August of this year, the concept of using Twitter to extend my Personal Learning Network was introduced to me. I was used to actively participating in PLNs in my school and district; I had memberships in several teacher associations and went to conferences. I networked and shared ideas with other educators over deli sandwiches and Arnold Palmers. I'm amazed that the thought of using Twitter to connect with other educators hadn't even been on my professional radar before. So I created another account @TechnoEduc8Tau and began adding my two cents to the world of "Educational Twitter."

I've been following so many accounts of educators with FANTASTIC ideas! Clever use of hashtags like #Unietd, #EdChat, #EdTech and #techteachers connect me to professionals and organizations in the field, and educational technology gurus. It's so easy to share valuable information that moves down my timeline by retweeting it so that my followers can see it. When I find a twitter account that I like, I look to see who that person is following and follow those people too. After I build up an arsenal of follow-worthy recommendations, I'll create another post about great accounts you can follow.
If you don't already have an account, I encourage you to create one today.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

FlapJack Resources

      Recently, I began reading a blog by Tabitha Carro, Flapjack Educational Resources. Let me tell you, I absolutely LOVE her blog! After reading Tabitha's bio, I knew this blog was going to be great for me! Why? She spent time teaching in a Title 1 school in Georgia, so she knows how hard it can be to reach some of the students in one's classroom... and she said, "I believe the key to learning is fun - play with a purpose."  Anyone who isn't afraid to let children have productive play is good with me. This UCDMC Article offers information about what skills are developed when children play and some developmentally appropriate toys for different age levels.
     This blog is great for fellow educators to follow because Tabitha has so many great ideas and she has makes some useful freebie activities available to readers. Just seeing how much work she put into creating Classroom packs and activities makes me appreciate how much time I used to spend doing the same things. What sticks out to me the MOST is how useful her activities will be for teachers who have Spanish-speaking English Language Learners (ELL). She also makes use of different technological resources like Smart Boards and QR Codes.