Creating #KidEdchat for Sharing, Comparing and Collaborating

Like many Twiducators, I have participated in many #Edchats and have found the topics,images (3) conversations and discussions engaging and very insightful, not to mention the ideas and resources that are shared.

However, I have found that there are times when, as an educator I am seeking, not only information but ideas or suggestions. Ideas relating to a specific grade level or grade focus area, such as:

How to integrate technology

Current Pedagogy

Professional Development

Classroom Ideas

Literacy ideas and innovations

. . . to bulletin board examples

For this reason and thanks to the help of amazing mentors and colleagues @shellterrel @shannonmmiller @courosa and @gcouros I have arrived at the hashtag #KidEdchat

It is my hope that #KidEdchat will facilitate all the areas that I have mentioned as well as conversations specifically directed to teachers from grades 3-6, which will occur every Thursday at 8 pm Easter and 5 pm on the West coast.

By no means is this a new concept or idea, thanks to @shellterrell (Shelly Terrell ), @web20classroom (Steven Anderson) and @tomwhitby (Tom Whitby), the creators of #Edchat, educators around the globe have been given a forum to discuss and focus on topics that are affecting educators. Topics such as current teaching trends, transforming teaching practice, as well as education policy and education reform.

#KidEdchat is not something to replace #Edchat, that is not the intent, nor would it be possible. It is simply a sharing, collaborating and learning location for teachers that work with students from grades 3-6. For the first #KidEdchat, on July 12th There will not be a specific topic.  I will leave it as an open format Meet and Tweet where educators can connect and share some ideas. Following #KidEdchats will be determine by polling all that have participated and shown interested.

Please pass this on to all the educators that you know would be interested and that could benefit from the connecting. It would be greatly appreciated.

I look forward to connecting with numerous educators. Remember to share with #KidEdchat and we shall tweet with you on Thursday evening.

 

Waiting in Anticipation

Roughly a year ago I started using twitter to increase my PLN and make connections not only withing my school division, but also around the world. It has been a wonderful experience interacting and getting to know some great colleagues such as:

@shannonmmiller a Teacher Librarian & Technology Specialist from Van Meter Iowa

@greta ESL teacher from Buenos Aires, Argentina

wapellayouth.files.wordpress.com

@bethstill founder of the ISTE newbie project

@MrMacnology a Teacher and Tech-coach from Southern Oregon

@L_Hiltan Elementary Principal from Pennsylvania

@Mollybmom an Instructional Consultant from Saskatoon

@Kylepace a K-12 Instructional Technology Specialist from Kansas City

@davidWees an Educational Technology Consultant from Vancouver

@Saskateach an Instructional Consultant from Saskatoon

and many, many more, more than can be mentioned (sorry to those I haven’t mentioned). However I mention these colleagues and friends, because of an up and coming conference at the end of June. While learning the ropes, ins and outs of the twitter verse, I kept hearing about ISTE2010 which was held in Denver last year. From the comments, blogs and articles that were shared during the month of July, it appeared that ISTE was not only a great learning opportunity and experience, but was also a great place for connecting and meeting the members of ones PLN.

Upon returning to school in September, I began to request and question my Principal about attending. My attendance was approved in November and I quickly registered and waited patiently for the program list. Last weekend I spent time going through all the sessions and planned out my calendar. Now I anxiously await, not the end of the school year, but my ISTE2011 adventures in Philadelphia.

I must say that I am very excited about all of the sessions that I have chosen to attend, but I am really excited about seeing, face to face some of the great educators that I have connected with through twitter. So with that 66 days and counting.

The Key to Differentiated Learning

Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with, discussing and dissecting the ideas and process behind Differentiated Learning with many of my colleagues at our schools professional development day. As colleagues, experts and learners we talked about many of the themes and issues that surround differentiated learning.

The four major areas and concepts that we looked at were:

Planning for Differentiation

Academic Differentiation

Differentiating for Social Readiness

Assistive Technology

Without going into specific details and describing the outcomes of our conversations. I will tell you that there was one resounding theme and concept. This concept, it is not new and most successful educators and administrators already practice it. The best part is that it doesn’t take extra planning, special programming, expensive technology, changes in curriculum or extensive meetings or reports. So what is this amazing idea and concept:

KNOW YOUR STUDENTS!

There are warehouses, servers and shelves upon shelves of information and research I could share with you or direct you to, but I will have to agree and completely stand behind this  idea. Knowing your students is the most effective way to provide the best learning environment and learning experience for the students that we teach.

What do you do to really get to know your students?