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.

 

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Twitter Connects and Educates – even from space

I have been meaning to write this post for some time now, however as with many of us the Christmas season was hectic and then a blur, and before I knew it I was back to work. Trying to get back into the swing of things, organizing, preparing and well everything else. However, yesterday I was helping a new colleague get started on her digital portfolio and it reminded me that it has been some time since I last posted.

Although it has been some time since the occurrance, the significance is still quite impressive and pertanant.

sws_hadfield01

I do not remember what morning specifically it was, but I was making the long drive from the City (Edmonton) to my school (Seba Beach School) listening to the radio, when I heard about Commander Hadfield. Hadfield is a Canadian Astronaut, who is currently living in space aboard ISS as Flight Engineer on Expedition 34. He is also expected  to be the Commander of Expedition 35. The commander is also Orbiting Earth on ISS. O.k. so this is not an amazing News Flash, however the broadcast mentioned that the commander was tweeting.

He was tweeting what he was doing, he was tweeting what he was seeing and he was posting pictures of what he was seeing. This now impressed me, especially as an educator. The Commander was providing the world with a chronological account of what he was seeing and when. Talk about an educators dream come true. Real life, real time pictures from space. This however was not the limit of what Hadfeild was doing. It was commented that Hadfield was responding to tweets by students and educators and answering questions about his life, adventures and experiences in space.

As an educator in the 21st century this was and is profound to be able to learn about geography, current events, social studies, current events, space and astronomy in the moment. Not reading a text, not seeing pictures that have been processed and in a paper or text, but to learn from an individual that is experiencing it first hand and in the moment. What I would have done to have this when I was a student and upon reflection I can truly say that my motivation for learning some of the curriculum in school would have be so much more if learning had been like this.

I have heard many arguments about the use of Twitter in education. These conversations are both for and against. I would not say that Twitter is going create a fundamental change in a students learning, but I will say that it will make a change in how students learn, what is available to students and teachers as well depending on the resource the quality of the resource being used. What I am saying is that using Twitter in the classroom would be a valuable tool for teachers, students and administrators.

I encourage teachers to check out and follow Commander Hadfield, and that if it applies to your class and what they are covering to connect with him and ask him questions, you never know the door and conversations that it could open up.

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.