Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to take on the beast that is known as teaching. One of the most challenging yet rewarding careers that a person can have. With nearly 15 years of teaching experience between Laura and myself we would like to take some time to share what we’ve learned in our time in the classroom. The first few years will certainly present challenges but also bring many rewards as well. Just remain patient and keep these tips in mind.
Even if you yourself are not directly connected through the various social media tools (facebook, twitter, periscope, ect.) we all know that social media is impacting our daily lives whether we want it to or not. Just as with everything, there are both positive and negative sides to the integration and usage of social media tools. When considering using the various tools in your own classroom it is important to remember to be a role model for your students, teaching them about digital literacy and the importance of making good choices. I hope that you find the resources I’ve created and shared within this post helpful as you search for the right tools for your classroom.
Overview of Social Media tools- Classroom Integration and Building your PLN!
Twitter: Making Global Connections with Ss and Tchrs in 120 Characters!
Periscope: Go “Live!” with your mobile device, anytime, anywhere!
Snapchat:Snap Authentic Learning in Real Time
Graphic Design Tools: Allow your students the opportunity to express themselves!
Instagram: Why does your classroom need Instagram?
Voxer: Connect in real time with this easy to use walkie talkie app!
Pinterest: Search from thousands of free resources available through Pinterest.
Please feel free to reach out if you need anything at all or have questions with regards to social media integration for professional purposes or into your educational setting.
Watch on #Periscope: The power of #socialmedia and #connectivity #ecg2016 @edcampglobal #buildyourpln https://t.co/qVSTSVcZuu
— Cassie Reeder (@reeder_cassie) July 30, 2016
As an educator and now an Instructional Consultant, my passion revolves around enlightening others on the ease and effectiveness, and impact that proper technology integration can have in the classroom. Regardless of the grade level, content or the students that you’re teaching effective tech integration can be life changing not only to you as an educator but your students as well.
I have always considered myself to be somewhat technologically saavy, not an expert by any means but I am willing to give anything a try at least once. I grew up as a “digital native” which essentially means that I was surrounded by technology which meant for me at least that basic tech skills were somewhat second nature. This has a lot to do with the exposure to technology throughout my years in school and at home which proved beneficial as I’ve gotten older. I first became interested in educational technology as a college student in my Intro to Educational Technology course. His last name now escapes my mind, but I will forever remember the impact that Jeff had on me. In his class we learned the basics of blogging, and were able to create many fun projects to such as “about me videos” using Animoto, stop motion animation projects and the real challenge was to create an activity using Scratch. I loved all that we did in his class and was inspired to continue on that track to get a specialization in Educational Technology as I received my Masters in Elem. Ed at the University of Florida.
As a teacher I started out as many do, just integrating technology in whenever I had the opportunity to do so.. and I learned a lot through my own experiences. As stated in the article linked within this post I made many common mistakes during my own learning process, the “worst” being technology to fill time. I can admit it now, but it has taken me a while to be able to come to the realization that what I was doing wasn’t really helping my students but instead just providing them with “busy work” in a fun format.
It took me many years and lots of conferences and self research to figure out the most effective ways to integrate technology not only to aid my face to face teaching, but to benefit my students and really use the tech as a learning tool rather than “a toy” or to “fill time”.
Now that I know what I do, I strive to share with others all that I know and that I continue to learn daily from my PLN (personal learning network) on social media to allow them to not make the same mistakes that I did just a few years ago.
I do believe that there is a time and place to “fill time” but in most of the classroom instruction there needs to be a true value and a purpose for technology integration. The integration needs to ensure that the students learning experience will be enhanced and improved with the technology, otherwise (in my opinion) there is no point in bringing in the extra components. I am all about technology integration, but I do believe that some lessons I’ve seen could have been just as effective, or even more effective without all of the extra components that teachers sometimes try to bring in just to check certain things off of their lists. When lesson planning, be sure to stop and think about each part of your lesson… and ask WHY and HOW will these additions help to deepen and enhance the students learning experiences ? If you aren’t able to answer that question.. there probably isn’t a need for it.. no matter how hard that is to realize from time to time.
Though I myself have found a hard time effectively integrating this model into my own lessons, I think of the SAMR model. This is a great resource to look into as your looking to integrate different technologies into your classroom instruction-
Alright. So here’s the truth. I’m a terrible writer, but a passionate educator, teacher leader, and go getter. I find that I am more and more intrigued by the fact that I can share my thoughts, and inspire and motivate other people to start doing things that they’re passionate about. I love seeing people work on themselves both personally and professionally, and it brightens my day when I see others taking chances and pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. All of this being said to share my mission with this blog which I’m starting up. Once again, my writing skills are horrible! So if you’ve even made it this far let me first say that you’re a trooper, and I appreciate you taking a few seconds out of your busy day to read my personal thoughts.
Why start blogging now? Because I want to document all of the crazy adventures that take place in the edtech / education aspect of my life. Over the past year I have grown so much because of the relationships and the connections that social media has brought to me. I feel that it’s a shame to not shout out some of the things that I’m learning daily which inspire and motivate me. It is my hope that within my rambles that you’ll learn about great people to follow on social media, find helpful resources, and most importantly feel supported, motivated and inspired to push yourself to be the educational leader that you’ve always (even if in secret) strived to be!
I leave you with a blog post by the always incredible (for lack of a better word) Sarah Thomas. She says the things that I hope to convey in a much better context, but it speaks to my heart, and I hope that you all enjoy it as well!
She’s the first person I highly recommend that you follow!