A few weeks ago I learned that my new friend from Memphis, Tennessee, Kim Trefz, tagged me as a fellow tweeple. What an honor; I didn’t know what to think, and I have so many to thank for my growth as a teacher/learner, including her willingness to work collaboratively with our students.
I’m just a little person in the universe who discovered a new tool, Twitter, that allows me to follow and share with the people I have admired as leaders in the fields of education and educational technology. Actually, I started with Twitter as a way to connect with teenage granddaughters, but then I quickly realized that some of my favorite bloggers also “tweeted:” David Warlick, Vicki Davis, and Steve Dembo (Star Discovery Educator Network) who brought me to Twitterers Lee Kolbert, Terry Freedman, and Ewan McIntosh.
In fact, it was a tweet from Edublogger (different from edublog.org) about a new blogger who was Kim Trefz. Within less than twenty-four hours we had Skyped, tweeted, and established a project for our fifth grade students to collaborate. All because of Twitter.
It’s not easy being a Web 2.0 teacher: old computers, slow connections, school restrictions, hesitant colleagues and technology heads all hinder the implementation of 21st Century technologically connected classroom by an energized and progressive teacher. But we know the future is more than we can imagine, and we move forward in any way we can to bring our students to the future of positive, transparent, and open collaboration and exploration of learning.
Through Twitter, I have been exposed to and encouraged to use Web 2.0 tools with examples from Twitter links and ideas from Wesley Fryer, Ben Wilkoff, Dean Shareski, Alec Couros, Paula White, Tom Barrett. I found EdTechTalk (and Paul Allison, and Susan Ettenheim) and Steve Hargadon‘s Classroom 2.0, The Future of Education, and Learn Central. I have met the future of teaching through Erika Folnovic and Krystal Teale. I have been encouraged at every step to be part of the transformation of education for the future of our children — the world’s children.
What have my students and I gained from the Tweets on Twitter? VoiceThread, Youth Voices, Animoto, PageFlakes, Creative Commons (Wiki Media Commons, Flickr Commons, and Compflight), Diigo, Mapskip. I have dared to blog with students through Youth Voices and wikis, and jumped into Google Apps with eighth grade students. It’s now an expectation from my students that links and lessons are online, that they can work with students elsewhere in the world, and that the world comes to us in our rural little corner of this small world.
I’d like to again thank Kim Trefz for the “tag” and this “meme” thank you to a few special people, who are also now “tagged:”
Karen Montgomery, whose Twitter bio reads: “I’m leaving now to go find myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.” I don’t think anyone has caught her “returned” since she has offered so many ideas and even started a Flickr group for Creative Commons Voice Thread photos so kids can find the photos needed for their projects. See her fantastic wiki “The Thinking Machine” for wonderful ideas. Thanks, Karen, for moving us all forward.
Jackie Gerstein, with a Twitter bio reading, “I don’t do teaching for a living, I live teaching as my doing, and technology has AMPLIFIED the passion.” She consistently tweets ideas and research for everyone and has a wonderful WeeWebWonders wiki about technology for and by kids. Stop by or visit her Pageflakes. Thank you, Jackie, for bringing the research and action up front for all.
Neil Stephenson at ThinkingInMind whose history passion through inquiry with the Cigar Box Project and Historical timelines with Glogster demonstrate the power of inquiry learning. Thanks, Neil, for bringing history and inquiry together for a powerful model.
Ann Oro developed collaborative student projects to develop reading and writing skills. For more information and ideas, see her main page. Thanks, Ann, for providing us with more than basics for teaching kids.
Angela Cunningham ‘s bio says, “working to change the way we teach in my part of the world.” Her blog is filled with ideas from which to learn the ins and outs of Web 2.0.– and visit her class Ning. Thanks, Angela, for being the example I needed to jump in.
Liz Becker is a wonderer and wanderer. She encourages and shares in her blog which begins with a quote by J.R.R. Tolkien, “Not all who wander are lost.” As we wander through our transformation of education, we are not lost, we are the explorers of which all learning is! Her latest entry shares how to Write a Book in an Hour. Thanks, Liz, for your words of wisdom.
And finally, and already tagged by Kim, thanks goes to
Kelly Hines whose blog, Keeping Kids First, includes this subtitle: “The aim of education should be teaching us how to think, rather than what to think. James Beatti” Kelly knows she doesn’t need technology to teach, but she knows how technology will change the world her students will enter. Fellow tweeples gathered a feast of treats when she tweeted her reorganization of Diigo bookmarks. And I challenge all of you to write your own Five Brave Things. Thanks, Kelly, for your continued inspiration.
Thank you to all for helping me improve my strategies for helping my students learn.
On a final note, Arne Duncan and Chancellor Michelle Rhee have ideas about changing education. On Twitter, thousands of voices can be heard and should be heard in this professional network to improve teaching/learning/education. These are thousands of voices improving their strategies and sharing so the future for our children will be better. Are they listening? Are we loud enough yet?
As others have said before me, don’t feel obligated to continue tagging. This serves as a “Thank You” for those who have made a difference by their example, encouragement, and sharing so that I could grow into better teaching. Thank you.
See Rules below Mosaic.
Here are the rules:
1. Go to http://sxoop.com/twitter/ to create your mosaic (you can choose friends or followers).
2. Copy the code and paste it into a blog entry.
3. Reflect and comment on your mosaic.
4. Tag some “tweeples.”
5. Link back to this post or the post where you were first tagged.