Thinking 1st Tweets, PD, & Blogs
In my series at Connect Learning Today, I explore a few things that I have seen or heard. These are things that are pushing my thinking, getting me to see something in a different way, or just something I want to share. This week I’m sharing 3 things that make me go “hum” or “ah.”
First-Tweet: This week Twitter celebrated its 8th birthday. Hard to believe its only 8 years since 140 characters changed the way we communicate, get breaking news and share what we are learning. I’ve been a member of the Twitter community for over 5 years now and it has been an incredible ride. Recently Twitter gave every user the ability to download their entire archive to see what they’ve tweeted. It has been interesting for me see how my tweets have changed over time, and to see what my very first tweet was. Well, as part of the birthday celebrations you can visit First-Tweets.com, type in any users name and see what their first one was. For the record, mine was asking for blog post topics. Some things never change. It was fascinating to type in all different types of users to see what they were thinking with that first tweet. You can do it to. No Twitter account necessary.
Rethinking Professional Development: I recently returned from a trip to Los Angeles, where I attended the annual ASCD conference. This is one of my favorite conferences of the year because of the diversity of the sessions offered. Everything from Edtech to Teacher Leadership, I usually come away with a lot of ideas for going forward or things to think about. And this conference was no different. I had two big take-always that will keep me thinking for a while.
My first ASCD take-away was on the type of sessions offered. There was a lot of great content. Again, the conference does a wonderful job of picking sessions. What I mean is the method of delivery. The presentations are more of a participatory style, rather than the usual sit and get lectured type. I experienced this first hand in one session I delivered that was very hands on. We were moving around, talking, and exploring. Some attendees were not comfortable, which makes me more certain that we have to think differently about content delivery for students—and teachers as well.
My second take away is that conferences need better room layout design. Many of the rooms are set up for the convenience of the convention space. They are lecture style, easy to set up and take down. Conferences need to push back and offer spaces that are more flexible, and allow for movement. If we want to encourage more participatory type sessions, we need more flexible spaces that allow for this.
Blogging as Publishing: I lurked on a great conversation about how much the world of publishing has changed, just over the course of the last few years. The power isn’t exclusively in the hands of publishing houses any more. Rather, we all have the ability to send our stories and ideas to the masses with the click of a publish button on our blogs. These spaces used to be seen as the location of the ramblings of someone with a keyboard and a possible idea.
However, now, blogs are serious business and have grown up a lot. They do give everyone a voice. And think about what it can do for students. I enjoy following #Comments4Kids to see blog posts from kids from all over. Kids can have their own spaces to openly share and reflect, too. You can see more resources for learning about classroom blogging here.) So, go out, create a space and publish something for the world!
Steven Anderson is @Web20Classroom on Twitter. Steven is a teacher, an instructional technology integrator, speaker/presenter, and education leader. He will be a regular at Connect Learning Today.