Challenging Myself to Enter the Tweet World
One area I have struggled with is in becoming a more active participant in social networks. I have had a Facebook account but have been very reluctant to use it because it felt kind of trivial. I have joined organizations but have not gotten involved enough to really network with people. I set up a twitter account recently and gave it a try, however found twitter overwhelming. My first time participating in a tweet chat was a disaster. The questions were going so fast that I couldn’t even find them, and my computer was too slow. I think I managed to send out only one tweet near the end of the hour about a question that was posted much earlier in the hour.
However over the course of the last class in connected learning and this one, each time I try to do something with online networking I have gotten a little more bold, and brave and felt a little more comfortable.
Last night was a very exciting milestone for me in connected learning!! I successfully participated in my second tweet chat last night. #CLMOOC
I felt I had significant things to contribute and people were retweeting me and responding. Also, I see that it is OK to just listen in and learn without having to tweet. I plan to continue to reach out to the people I met and check out the hashtag groups that were mentioned that seem aligned with my interests. Also I have been following up on some of the conversations and thinking about the inquiry questions that were raised. Here are two that I thought were excellent:
Thinking About The line between Making an Inquiry and Off Topic:
Margaret Simon’s Question: @MargaretGSimon “How can I create an environment for student writing that encourages individual expression while covering necessary benchmarks?”
Her question gets at a dilemma that many teachers face, one that makes our jobs so complex. In order to navigate this line between doing what we feel is right for our students and helping them attain the objectives placed on them by mandates I believe we need to understand our own agency as teachers to make decisions and have the courage to do so based on our more personal understanding of students’ realities and interests. In science there is writing but also students have real interests and concerns about nature and their own health and the health of their loved ones. These need to be addressed and included in the curriculum, rather than viewing them as “off topic”.
Margaret was inspired to create her inquiry questions from Michael Weller’s blog, Make and Inquiry
Mike Weller’s Question; “How can we create spaces for learning where students are empowered to direct their own learning?”
This question is an even bigger challenge for me as an educator that is absolutely essential for the competencies students need in science. Being able to use the Scientific Method and the Engineering Design Process is based on students being able to conduct their own inquiry. The answer to this is to permit and encourage students to think about the world critically and with curiosity and then help them go through a process of finding out the answers to the questions they want to answer and problems they need to solve. In order to do this I think it is important for me to set the tone at the beginning of the year that inquiry will be an important part of our class. I think I need to start off with smaller more structured inquiries and then hand over more power to them as they are ready.
Jumping in and Jumping off
What do I look forward to doing next:
1. Loads of curriculum writing. (A sample is in the next blog post that I have almost completed!) However a new twist on this is that instead of always working on my own, I hope I will be able do this with others through networks!
2. Developing more mentors who already are doing what I want to do. I have tried so hard in the last two weeks to connect and have not heard back from anyone. I called, emailed, searched Facebook and sent out tweets and so far have not gotten the kind of response I am looking for. I will keep trying and have some patience since I am just starting out. Here was my last query- the tweet I sent into some twitter groups I discovered through the twitter chat:
Kathleen Walsh @stem4allKWalsh I wonder: If anyone is or knows of someone incorporating social justice in their biology class. Can anyone share? #Scichat #scied #teachers
Maybe I will start my own communit or twitter group in the topics I am interested. This idea has been starting to develop in the back of my mind. I was checking out how to start a google + community.
There are a lot of different ways to create a twitter group. This step by step tutorial seemed simple workable for a beginner.
I want to add my own inquiry question to this: How can we create positive classroom environments that empower students to choose to do the hard work of learning?
This tweet chat was one of the events scheduled as part of CLMCOOC 2015 which I had joined last week. This is a giant free online course which runs from June 18-August 2nd that is sponsored by and run by staff and networked colleagues from the I am really excited about the networking I will be doing by participating in their weekly events and makes cycles. My goal in participating is to find people with similar interests and be able to expand my connections and possibly find a focus group I can be involved in. I will also keep track of resources and tools that people recommend that I could use in my classroom.
Before I could participate, I had to find out more about what a MOOC is all about and how to participate. One resource I found really helpful were two short videos by Dave Cormier.
What is a MOOC?
Success in a MOOC.
For our first make of the CLMOOC we are challenged to Unmake an Introduction . I have never created a word cloud so I decided this would be a good way to represent some of the multiple identities I have. It’s amazing how many different ideas and resources you can tap into just from getting involved in a network like a CLMOOC! I enjoyed looking at different word clouds people had made and decided to go with a quick and easy one I could see myself using with my students. Worditout.com
And Finally for my F5F for this first week I want to give a shout out to the following people who all helped me in some way: Either they included me, encouraged me, welcomed me or inspired me in my first steps into this connected learning community. Thank you!
Sheri Edwards @grammasheri
Karen Fasimpaur @kfasimpaur
Michael S Weller @MWeller77
Chris Rogers @justmaybechris
Katrina Kennett @katrinakennett
Chrstina Cantrill @Seecantrill
Margaret Simon @MargaretGSimon
This Class is ending Before I am Ready, So I will continute to pursue what I have started through the CLMOOC and more. Now that my decision is made and I feel more comfortable in the connected world of educators I finally created my Avatar that represents that me.
I really enjoyed readig everyone;s blogs and getting to know people. I hope we can continue to reach out to each other for learning and support.
Signing off for now.