Monday, June 16, 2014

Thrive Week 3: Join and Build Networks

As I was reading this chapter, I was thinking about all of the networking opportunities that Indiana educators have right here at home. Some that I know of are:
If you know of any other networking opportunities, please share them with the group.

How have you connected with a network of educators? Are you connecting with a local group or a national group or both? How are utilizing your networks?

I just found out about a couple of opportunities to connect with Meenoo Rami and others reading Thrive. The first is a Twitter chat this Wednesday at 7pm Eastern at #EdThrive. (Thank you to Liz Chatwell for sharing that on Twitter.) Also, the publisher of Thrive is hosting an online summer book club and will be reading four of their books, including Thrive. There will be a free webinar with the authors to kick off the book club this Friday at 4pm Eastern. Find more information on the website.

For next week, please read chapter 3. Also, if you have not introduced yourself, please jump back to the first week's post and introduce yourself to the group.

144 comments:

  1. Networking with teachers in my building has always been an important source of information and support in my teaching career. When I first started teaching, the teachers' lounge was the place to go before and after school to talk with other teachers. Now, four of us eat lunch together in one classroom, and this is a safe and inspirational place to exchange ideas. We do a great deal of laughing together, and I leave feeling energized. I have another network of teachers in my hallway. None of them teach the same subject that I do, but they are a valuable network of information and friendship. We remind each other of tasks, deadlines, and share computer tips, neat things we find on the Internet, and even this book club! I am friends with some teachers outside of school; when we get together we share and discuss all things school related, but our families are close friends as well, so we are like family to each other. I also network with teachers I know at Wabash High School and Northfield High School. Our schools recently collaborated at #wise 14 with great keynote speakers and breakout sessions for professional development learning new skills.

    Reading this chapter made me realize I do a wonderful job networking locally, but I could do more to network on a national level. I could start following people I admire on Twitter and visiting their websites for information. I attended the Indiana Teachers of Writing Conference a couple of times, and I would like to do that again. I am really interested in joining the National Writing Project and The English Companion Ning after reading about them in Chapter 2. Laptops and cell phones make networking on a national level possible, but I need to make the effort to find these networks so I can learn from them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is a link to the Hoosier Writing Project, which is the Indiana chapter of the National Writing Project: http://hoosierwritingproject.org/. I just wonder why the NWP isn't mentioned/used/attended more. Writing seems to have taken a backseat to reading in Indiana, which discourages me greatly. I could talk on and on about this but you all probably agree so I won't preach to the choir.

      Delete
    2. I'd like to network with those people in your hallway Michelle! I feel confident in my networking both locally and nationally, but I'd like our whole building to support each other in our own mini-edcamp...

      Delete
    3. Tara, that would be great! I think Mr. Drake would support this. I felt that most of our energy was spent focusing on our counterparts at NHS the past two years, so it would be nice to have that time to connect with other teachers in our building this year. My schedule didn't match yours very well, so I seldom get to spend time with you. i would like to. Your presentation at #wise14 was excellent !

      Delete
  2. Here is a link to 50 education twitter hashtags and their meeting times. Yes, and special ed! Yeah! Definitely something for everyone.

    http://goo.gl/X2yrIl

    We (Laura Bolinger and Kim Luke-Scherer - also posting here) were recently awarded a grant through the Dekko Foundation. Many folks here in Northeastern Indiana will be familiar with them. They have been terrific with assisting us in networking with other folks outside of our immediate field to help us envision how we can grow and expand what we are doing with our students. This has been particularly helpful in opening our eyes to new possibilities outside of our normal educational sphere. It has really helped us see that our dreams of what we could do for our students are not nearly as unattainable as we once thought.

    For me, having that hope, planning for the future, being optimistic, really helps me stay positive about my teaching. I know I have a lot more networking to do, so if anyone knows of a great special education network I would love to get in on that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suzette, thank you for the link. So relevant and helpful!

      Delete
    2. I appreciate this link. Using technology such as twitter is out of my comfort zone. I feel like younger teachers are very comfortable with networking in this way and can find and share very valuable, relevant information. I am excited to explore these possibilities for myself.

      Delete
  3. Here is a link to an article I wrote for Library Media Connections in 2009 about using Twitter as your PLC: http://web2integration.pbworks.com/f/Twitter+as+a+Professional+Learning+Community.pdf. Much of this is relevant today (I didn't see hashtags coming, though). Twitter is still my #1 PLC/PLN because of the inundation of resources I get every time I spend 5 minutes going through Tweets. Simply put, Twitter allows me to keep current in my profession. But wait...I still feel behind on Twitter because so many awesome educators are doing things I am not and often don't even know about. I first encountered the author, Meenoo Rami, through lots of Retweets of her Tweets those I was following were making, so of course I followed her.

    I've just moved into a new position at my school as an Instructional Coach and reading Chapter 2 got me thinking about how I can help teachers access, create, and share knowledge and build collaborative communities. The first step is simply to want to be a part of a sharing community. I've always had that mindset so how to be useful to those teachers who may not be of that mindset? Being positive and sharing useful resources and ideas is probably the place to start (and stay.... We can't leave what works behind when we find new strategies...that's been an error in education forever).

    Meenoo's list of why one might to turn to a network on page 22 will help me in my new role as coach. I can step in and help teachers reduce stress and learn more about their students, for example.

    This quote from page 41 is pretty forceful; "Our nation rightfully expects us to prepare the next generation of writers, thinkers, inventors, and leaders." She is right. It can seem like a daunting task but if we take this role seriously, we can impact individual students. We sure can't take on this responsibility alone. We'd freak out if we had to!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked what you said about not leaving behind what works when we find new strategies. There is so much online that is interesting and fun! We do need to think about what we are doing, how it fits into the standard goals/unit, how much time we are spending on it, and whether it is a best practice.

      Delete
    2. I find meaning in that point about not leaving behind what works as well. As we pass through different trends in instruction, building an arsenal of experiences, methods, approaches, and perspectives makes us more complete. C. Trinkle, I think you will be a great instructional coach!

      Delete
    3. John, thank you so much for your kind reply to my post! This made my day. Since I wrote this post, I met a tech coach in Sullivan, Indiana, at the Danville eLearning Conference (Great!) who said that her teachers have told her that they don't want to learn tools or strategies (Gasp! But read on); instead, they want to get better at what they've already been exposed to or learned about. They haven't had the time to practice, try, fail, try again, and practice some more in order to become skilled, and that's what they want to do. This affected me greatly. One of the best things I've heard.

      Delete
  4. As I read chapter 2, I was impacted with the sad conclusion that when confronted with a choice between "connect" or "isolate," our corporation choses isolate virtually every time. We do a good job within our departments networking, but interdepartmentally we fair miserably. We have tried interdepartmental groupings (especially when addressing literacy/reading comprehension standards), but they tend to die a swift death. I don't know if lack of trust, lack of time, or other excuses are used, but the interdepartmental groupings get pushed aside, postponed, and eventually eliminated entirely.

    Personally, I am usually overwhelmed by the many choices for national networking. There are so many I "visit" or "lurk" and never really commit to embracing one thoroughly. My summer and next academic year's goal if to choose one network and via calendar reminders schedule at least a once a week visit as I prepare my lesson plans for various units next-in-line. I am reminded of the advise for eating an elephant: "one bite at a time." I am hoping that by starting with this single small step, I can become more of a national networker.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Krisanne, how I understand!! It can be so overwhelming! But please don't give up! Are you on Twitter? Look for me @yellingwithlove. Feel free to look through who I'm following; nearly 90% are educators, both local and national. Look over this list http://goo.gl/X2yrIl that Suzette White shared. If twitter is overwhelming, try downloading TweetDeck. It's much easier to see conversations as they are unfolding. Don't try to keep up! LOL It's impossible!

      Delete
    2. I am not sure if you saw my reply during the first week... that you were my high school speech teacher at Eastern High School! :)
      Tonja (Feist) Clary

      Delete
    3. I agree with you about networking becoming so overwhelming. I think that's why I usually shut down. I like your idea about choosing one network and committing to checking it once a week. I think it makes it seem more manageable.

      Delete
    4. TONJA!!!!!!!
      It is so good to hear from you! I can't believe it! I think Eric used to work with my husband (Koetter-Smith). What a small world. I hope you are going well.

      Delete
  5. Connecting with colleagues is difficult during the busy school day unless it is scheduled. Connecting online works well because it can be done at a convenient time for the participants. It is natural for teachers that have grown up using technology. As a literacy coach and teacher for 25 years, I am noticing that teachers are often using Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers, and other educational sites. I have not heard many talk about Learning Connection or Twitter. I am wondering if teachers will use the Online Communities of Practice. I think the specific grade levels will be very helpful for elementary teachers. Previously, I have used the International Reading Association website and periodicals, professional development sessions, webinars, and colleagues to keep current on research and effective practice. This chapter has helped me realize other networking that is possible. I think it will help me suggest ways teachers might connect with others that have similar interests and questions. I think it starts with a teacher that is curious or passionate about a particular subject or one that wants to solve a particular problem. Planning effective instruction takes time and time seems to be the limiting factor for us all. Spending this time may help sustain us in the teaching profession – by growing as professionals. It is amazing to think of how technology has changed education!

    ReplyDelete
  6. As has been mentioned above, I know of, and utilize several networks. I brainstormed a list and want to share 4-5 with you.

    1. Linked-In. Many of us call this the "old-people" Facebook. You can connect with old friends, professional organizations, industrial leaders, etc. I find it to be very worthwhile in connecting with people who can help me in almost any situation and also those who hopefully I can help. It is also a safe forum as most, if not all, users are professionals. You can also decline an invitation if someone wants to add you to their network and you are uncomfortable doing so.

    2. In-building groups. We at Greencastle High School have many in-building groups, i.e. technology committee, school improvement committee, at-risk committee, etc. In my opinion, these groups are invaluable when a situation arises in which an individual may need assistance. I ask questions of these groups continuously and am also a member of some. They are always willing to help and the knowledge they possess is almost limitless. It is also a great way to network as many of the groups are "multi-building."

    3. We are also going 1-to-1 next academic year. As part of the transition we are utilizing My Big Campus. Even though most usage is within the building, there is still the ability to ask questions and make connections world-wide using this application.

    4. College Alumni Associations. How many of us continue to utilize connections we made in college? I know I don't. However many of our classmates are in positions where if we re-connected,I believe the networking possibilities would astound us all. Professors we had could also be of great benefit.

    5. Finally, Professional connections. In my position as an Alternative Education Instructor, I talk with several representatives of curriculum companies, people at the DOE, and others using an on-line curriculum. It is amazing the knowledge I gain from these people and the connections I have made.

    I didn't realize how many networks I have until writing this post.........I must admit that I am not using any of them to the fullest, but after writing this I plan on doing so.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you will like My Big Campus. We are a one to one school too…and we are all encouraged to use My Big Campus with our students.

      Delete
    2. I have already converted many of my documents to MBC. So far, so good. Many of my colleagues are reluctant, but I really believe when they get going, they will realize how good of a tool MBC is.

      Delete
  7. Some of my best "networking" comes from connecting with other teachers of my grade level via their blogs. I keep 2 blogs...one for parent access that details what we're doing in our classroom, as well as a professional blog that I use to communicate with teachers all over the world. We share ideas, offer support, and I get to see what goes on in other schools. My school is small, and like others have posted, we tend to be very isolated. By peeking into other classrooms via blogs, I am able to broaden my teaching skills, gain new insights and ideas, ultimately becoming a better teacher and learner! And after reading all of the excitement about Twitter, my next goal is to get connected their as well. So much information and support available in so many ways!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to see your blogs! Can you attach the links?

      Delete
    2. I just started a blog Teresa! Would love to see yours!

      Delete
  8. On page 22, Rami gives several reasons to consider turning to your school network. The first is so very important in every profession and, for that matter, life in general: seek to change negative / stressful energy by surrounding yourself with hopeful, positive people. Connecting with others and focusing on positive conversation as an approach to tasks or issues is how problems are solved. Things get done faster and in a more efficient manner. By connecting to other positive people, we help to create a healthier learning environment for ourselves and our students.
    My local network: After a decade of teaching the same grade, I am excited to have the opportunity to change grade levels. My new grade level team has already met to look at the changes in our new academic standards and plan curriculum for the upcoming year. By working together, this task was so much less of a challenge than it would have been if I had been on my own. I am grateful to have a strong network of grade-level teachers to help me adjust to my new grade group.
    After reading this chapter, I realize that my networking on a national and word-wide are lacking! I am inspired to give TweetDeck a fair try and explore other opportunities through EdCamp.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree! I saw a quote today that said "This is not my circus. These are not my monkeys". I don't eat in the Staff lounge... I need to enjoy my work without negative input.

      Delete
    2. Kimberly, is this a quote from Tod Whitaker? I like it!

      Delete
  9. How have you connected with a network of educators? Are you connecting with a local group or a national group or both? How are utilizing your networks?

    While reading Chapter 2, I realized that each department in the school I work at is very isolated from the other. Within each department, I feel that we do well to collaborate and connect. I know that the English teacher right next door to my classroom shares a grade level of English with me. We communicate on a daily basis to share ideas with each other, and it is a great way to think outside of what we have as our own norms. She has 45 years of experience, and I am entering my fourth year of teaching. While she is very set in some of the things that she does, and I would like to consider myself still fairly new and innovative, we both benefit from our discussions.

    While I feel that my own department does a fair job collaborating and communicating ideas and projects with each other, I feel that (at least in the high school level - we have 7-12 in my building) there is a strong lack of cross curricular communication. At the first school I was employed, it was a requirement put in place by the administration that new teachers at least observe the teaching practices of experienced teachers in the building a minimum of 2 times a month. We then were able to discuss with the teacher we observed their methods and ideas. I observed Social Studies, Math, and even Art classes while I was working there. In my current school, teacher observations are not even mentioned unless teachers are talking about the most recent observation they had from administration to contribute to their yearly evaluations. I could not tell you what most of the other teachers in the building are teaching, let alone how they go about doing so. I strongly feel that in chapter two, when Rami mentions networking to change the structure of the school, that this would be a great reason I would step up to the plate to begin networking. The structure of isolation needs to change.

    In the national realm, I am a member of NWP, NCTE, and the Hoosier Writing Project. At this point in time, I mostly just lurk and observe conversations, practices that are shared, etc. I do not feel strong enough in my own practices as of yet to contribute to any discussions about units, curriculum, or pedagogy. However, from my lurking, I have found great resources for many of the units I teach in all five of my preps.

    After reading chapter two, I immediately logged into my Twitter feed (which I very rarely ever use) to start following #engchat and #edthrive. I requested access to English Companion Ning, and I am going to start looking further into Edcamp. Rami has shared great ideas with all of us in this chapter for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  10. In our last discussion, I said that I have always been an "only" in my jobs. I was the only science teacher in my first school and now I'm the only librarian here at my high school, so I have always looked outside for support. As a science teacher, I found HASTI invaluable as I started my career. I attended all of the state conferences and always brought something back to use in class the next day. I got to know the other members and they became my informal mentors and network. As I became more experienced and comfortable in my position, I became a mentor and resource for other teachers. I started presenting at the state conference and sharing the ideas that I had developed. This was the era before email, Twitter and Facebook, so direct contact wasn't frequent, but I knew that my network was just a phone call away. At this same time, I was involved with the NSTA (Natl. Science Teachers Assn.) and found their journals and print resources to be very helpful. I even attended one National conference and connected with other teachers from all over the country. One of the hardest things about moving into my library position was leaving this network, but my move brought me to a new network of mentors, resources and friends.

    Even before I was hired at SWHS, I joined my national (ALA/AASL) and state library associations (then AIME, now AISLE). My national associations provided me with great journals, print and online resources that helped me learn my craft. I attended any national conferences or symposiums that were within driving distance and found them to be enlightening. I always walked away with new ideas and resources. I am a member of ALAN (The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents) which a national association affiliated with NCTE (Natl. Council of Teachers of English) that holds their annual workshop directly following the NCTE national conference. I have attended this workshop many times and always come home inspired and eager to read all the new books I get at the workshop. The ALAN Review journal provides many in depth, topic specific/colleague written articles quarterly.

    My membership in AIME/AISLE has been the cornerstone of my network since the first day of my library career. Through their listserv, I have a great network of mentors/colleagues at my fingertips. If I ever have a question or need help, all I have to do is post to the listserv and the answer comes in minutes. Just as I did with HASTI, I started as an observer, but then moved into a sharing position as I started presenting at the state conference, answering questions on the listserv and joining AISLE committees. I moved up through the association and have been on the AISLE Board for many years, and find that I depend on the network that I have established. Though I may soon be leaving my state association, I won't leave my network of friends and colleagues behind. A network is as strong as it's members, and my network is very strong and will remain so.

    I use Facebook for my personal connections, and use Twitter for my professional connections. I follow many people as they share technology, library and YA literature posts and I freely admit that I am more of a "lurker" than a "sharer". I learn something new every time I am on Twitter, but sometimes find it overwhelming in the time it takes to keep up with the feeds. I have attended several eLearning twitter chats and have learned many things from the group. I plan to attend many more of these chats as time allow in the future.

    These days, it isn't hard to establish a professional network, but it is hard to maintain that network. It takes time, energy and dedication to maintain your network and you must be willing to give as well as take. I work hard to keep my networks mutually beneficial, but sometimes find that life interferes. When that happens, I step back from my networks to focus on the day to day until time opens up and I return to my networks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angy, I didn't realize you started as a science teacher, too. I taught science for 23 years, and HASTI and NSTA were invaluable to me. I'll never forget when I saw a flyer for HASTI on the bulletin board my second year of teaching, asked my dept chair what it was, and she encouraged me to go. That totally changed my teaching life! I don't remember hearing that much about professional organizations during my college days, or if I did, I'd forgotten.

      Delete
    2. My education teachers focused mostly on resources and encouraged me to join my state association but when I was attending MLS classes, we were greatly encouraged to join associations and listserves. Both sets of advice were important in helping me set up my initial networks.

      Delete
  11. Chapter two made me think about the number of networks that I actual use. My personal networks include my husband, my friends and my son. I turn to my son to seek ideas how I can become a better teacher…he had to have me for three years of Spanish. He is able to look back and share his thoughts with me. I can also bounce ideas around with him about what technology to incorporate into my classroom since he has been out of school for five years.
    My school network consists of the teachers in my building and two high schools that are in the same county. Twice a month, three of us from the same district have collaboration time to work for an hour after school. We are talking a lot about digital curriculum.
    My local network is Indiana Foreign Language Teacher's Association(IFLTA). The annual conference is a way that I collaborate with Indiana teachers. Also, every so many years the Central States Conference on Teaching of Foreign Language is held in Indiana. I have never traveled outside of Indiana to attend this conference but when it comes to Indiana, I always go.
    Recently I attended #wise14 conference on technology held in Wabash, IN by my school district and two other districts. Twitter is the place to find excellent networks. Two that you might want to check out are George Couros @gcouros and Eric Sheninger@NMHS_Principal. These were our two keynote speakers. Follow them and learn a lot. Also, on twitter I follow Matt Miller and Top Spanish Teacher. Both of these have extensive resources. I am new to twitter but I also have found Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers and Edmodo Spanish Teacher share to be awesome areas to check out and reach out to others. A lot of these same people are on twitter and also have blogs to follow.
    I find all the different networking overwhelming at times with all the technology at our fingertips but as I learned at #wise14...The longer you wait to jump in, the harder it becomes. The divide keeps growing. #wise14@gcouros@INeLearn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you're in the twittersphere now Sandy!!

      Delete
    2. Sandy is one of the teachers who always shares the neat things she finds with me at school. Thank you for the Teachers Pay Teachers freebies, Sandy! We also joke about our computer skills for our age group, but honestly, we are doing pretty well, I think! We've learned so much in the past two years.

      Delete
  12. When I first began teaching, I found teaching to be very isolating. As I have matured as an educator, one of the things that has helped me to become better in the classroom, is developing a network. I have a strong network of teachers and administrators that I rely on in my building. They are invaluable for advice, talking over issues when I'm struggling, and offering new ideas. What I most appreciate about my local network is that I know they are always available to me, but they respect me enough to let me come to them.

    I also belong to the Indiana Council for the Social Studies. I attended the conference last year, had a wonderful time, and gained some great ideas. It was also really fun to be surrounded by other people who taught my subject exclusively. I follow other educators on Twitter. I really like the Twitter experience because it is easy and stress free. Finally, because we are a 1:1 corporation, I use Edmodo as a learning platform with all of my classes. One of the best features of Edmodo is that it offers users the opportunity to join open groups. I joined the social studies group. When I log in, I can see and participate in the ongoing discussions, questions, and ideas that other social studies teachers post. After the people I work with, Edmodo has become my most valuable network. I have gotten tons of suggestions and ideas simply from checking in and seeing what people are sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with the Edmodo platform! I have gotten several ideas about special education instruction as well as great technology ideas just by perusing other peoples posts on Edmodo!

      Delete
    2. Yes, I love Edmodo, Angie and Jody. I forgot to mention it on my response. There are fantastic ideas posted all the time. I have felt some pressure to learn My Big Campus for an online class I'll be teaching, and I just don't like it as well. I am honestly trying to keep an open mind about it, but Edmodo just came so much more easily. It is a good reminder to me that all learners aren't the same!

      Delete
  13. Networking with others who teach students with moderate & severe disabilities isn't easy. We have collaboration time assigned to us each Monday for 30 minutes in my district. I haven't found this to be valuable at all; I was originally very optimistic that this could be a great opportunity, but the demands for data has pushed real collaboration time aside. I follow many groups on Twitter, but as a mother of two children under two, I struggle to check it regularly. I get lots of ideas on Pinterest which is a way to gather ideas and find others with similar interests. I also have some friends on facebook who teach similar students; we encourage and help each other. Edmodo is a good source to connect with other teachers. I pursue other teachers in my district too. At a national level I don't network much, I definitely would like to do more of this. I'm lucky to belong to a trio at our HS that teach students who will graduate with a certificate of completion. We constantly share info. and trouble shoot. Working as a team has been the most valuable component of my career thus far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with your comment that the demands for data have pushed collaboration time aside. I used to be able to get teachers to sit down and talk to me about student concerns or ideas, but it seems we are all too busy counting our minutes and collecting our data to spend time brainstorming together. I have tried using media chats like TodaysMeet to get some dialogue going, with mixed results.

      Delete
    2. Lisa. Tell me about TodayMeet. I'm looking for an online "meeting" place for a larger group of people. Would this work?

      Delete
    3. Yes, I've never heard of this before and am interested!

      Delete
  14. While making my entrance into the teaching career, I joined NCTM and ICTM at the suggestion of my university professors. I would go there often during student teaching and during my first year looking for ideas. What I found were tons of ideas, but rarely the ideas I was searching for. I found myself using Google to see what I could find. During that time, I ended up creating a lot of my own materials. I knew I was probably reinventing the wheel. I also knew that I should post the things that I was making for others. However, in these first years, I never found the time to cultivate these networks. I hope as I get away from the sink or swim feelings of the beginning of my career that this is something I can work on.

    I do feel that I rely a lot on my school network of teachers. We have a large staff and it is nice to be able to have networks within the entire school network. Our principal realizes that our large staff us both a blessing and a challenge and has really been trying to get us outside our comfort zone of the same few people. This is definitely a necessary push for some of us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can relate to your first paragraph. Often, I would go to NCTM and ICTM and feel like there were great ideas out there from other math teachers, and then get home and have nearly no time to do anything about it. One thing I discovered last summer was the NCTM Interactive Institutes. They are so well organized and the whole 3 days are packed with workshops, keynote addresses and discussion groups developed around one theme. I highly recommend them to you.

      Last summer the theme of the one I attended was Math Practices and it was great. We got to see the practices modeled as we explored them and I came home feeling like I could make it work. My math dept. facilitator also went, and we presented what we learned to our small math department and decided that as a department we would make using the math practices a part of our professional goals for the year. I had lessons ready to go and used them right off the bat last year. Of course, I could do more, but it was nice to have something to use and to have another person in the building know exactly what I was talking about when I evaluated its outcome.

      Delete
  15. Hi. I thought I posted earlier but apparently it disappeared into cyberspace. I use Facebook and Websites to network and keep up with information. PATINS Project has a nice website and FB page. I am a member of my National Physical Therapy Association, my state chapter and local district, the Pediatric Section, and the School Therapy Special Interest Group. I think each of these has a FB page and website. It becomes a challenge to keep up! The APTA is getting more sophisticated in using webcasts, boards, and twitter chats to get members more involved. I have a twitter account but don't use it often. I know how to search and follow, but now how to send a message! I have a Pinterest account and know some teachers who get lots of ideas there, but I tend to get lost following bread crumbs. The IN DOE has a website called Learning Connections that has communities on it, including 2 physical therapy communities, but they are not very active. That site may be just for Special Education. The most active listserve that I am on is the Pediatric Section (APTA) listserve. The problem with my use of all of these sites is that I tend to be a "creeper" as my kids say. I watch and follow, but don't add much. I would like to develop some interactive sources!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I do talk to my coworkers, but because I am the only PT covering 3 School Corporation I don't get to spend quality time brainstorming or discussing in much detail. Most of my face-to-face interactions are brief; other interactions are mostly by e-mail.

    ReplyDelete
  17. As a first-year teacher, I appreciated Meenoo’s continuous references to the trials and tribulations associated with such an undertaking. It’s been a week and a half since school got out, and I still feel exhausted. I am highly motivated to plan, plan, plan this summer. As far as networking, I have connected with a few teachers at my school that really helped me through last year. I am working to implement a lot of new strategies and philosophies into my curriculum to improve it. In fact, I am meeting with one of my mentors on Wednesday to discuss some of my ideas.

    Regarding online communities, I have to admit that I am a bit skeptical. I get up early, I spend every minute of my day teaching and planning, I stay at school late planning some more, and I spend about half of my weekend planning/ grading. I can’t imagine fitting in something like networking. I don’t feel that I could find any time to fit that into my schedule. I imagine that I will feel differently soon. I certainly hope I will. I hope I will have time to fit something networking in, but how do teachers find the time to network? Teaching ,for me, is not the only hat I wear; I’m sure most of us can relate to that. Did anyone else have a similar reaction to Meenoo’s call to networking?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rochelle: Congratulations on completing your first year! I remember that my first year I couldn't get much done except planning and teaching, and I didn't get that much sleep. It probably will get easier to carve out some time for networking-- or it really doesn't involve carving out special time, it just becomes part of your day. I do a lot of my checking first thing in the morning before I go to school, Saturday morning. I now know when it's Thursday, there's the #INeLearn chat, which I often participated in during basketball games or the "Big Bang Theory". It's true, though, that it seems like more and more gets added to your plate, and very little is taken off!

      Delete
    2. Rochelle, I can definitely relate to what you're saying about trying to find the time to have meaningful networks and connections with other educators. I taught for two years, took two years off after having my daughter, and then went back to teaching. Like you, I spend my day planning, revamping, grading, etc, then to come home and spend time with my four year old and husband, and run my household. I will say now that I have four full years of teaching under my belt, this past year was the first time I felt comfortable in starting to think about bigger things and networking beyond the other teachers in my building. It does require time and effort, and you must put time aside to be involved in the larger social networking things like twitter chats, etc. I often refer to my first few years of teaching as flying by the seat of my pants. Once you get in a groove, you will find that it's easier to make time to do things like network. I guess what I'm trying to say is, it does get better! :)

      Delete
  18. I had seen the notice about the "free" webinar from Heinemann last week. When I attempted to sign up, I found that when you got to the end of the sign up process, you had to be a subscriber to the reference library to the tune of $39.95. I tweeted my concern to them, and was told it was going to be adjusted on the website, but it still looks the same. They offered me a free subscription for pointing that out.

    ReplyDelete
  19. As I read this chapter, I felt like I was totally out of the loop. I do a lot of networking with other teachers in my building, but not much outside of my school. I have always used the excuse that I didn't have time to read everything online. It has always been a little intimidating to me. Luckily, we have an instructional coach at our school that is excellent at finding ideas online. I have been able to e-mail her with a question and she will find ideas for me to modify and use.

    While reading this chapter, there were two ideas that I would like to investigate further. I had never heard about EdCamps. This really sounds like something I would enjoy. I am going to need to research this a little more and see if I can find one somewhere close to me to attend. I am also interested in joing the #mathchat on twitter. I have not used twitter too much. It has always scared me a little and hard to follow. I am going to try tweetdeck as has been suggested in some of these posts. Hopefully these two things will help me to start getting connected globally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad that someone feels as I do. Out of the loop. I collaborate with teachers in my building in particular one friend. We have team taught and we plan and work well together. It is a challenge for me to find time to connect online and outside my building. I do get email from a couple of blogs that I read and have implemented ideas.

      Delete
    2. Consider me out of the loop! I keep trying to get in the loop, but the loop keeps moving!

      Delete
  20. The most dependable digital network is that at the AP Central called the AP United States History Community. I've been a member for several years but this past year and into the future the role this support network is filling is even more essential. We are going through a complete overhaul of the curriculum and AP US teachers across the country are trying to put together a plan that will provide our students with the best opportunity to succeed on the national exam. Every unit, strategy, and approach is a separate topic on this communication board/thread. It's place where questions get answered by dozens of educators with concrete and thoughtful responses and resolutions based on their experiences. We, as AP teachers, have received considerable guidance from the College Board, but the implementation and tough decisions are being debated and discussed through collaboration on this board. I check it every day to see the responses to my questions and comments.

    Next, Edmodo is another important component to my overall teaching for so many reasons. Not only is it a digital learning space for my students, it is a great place for collaboration among educators. I follow the Project Based Learning group on Edmodo and each day I log on there are countless posts to people's inquiries about incorporating PBL in various ways. Even when I am not searching I get exposed to some great ideas that end up being usable and at the very least, though-provoking. There is also a big event called EDmodocon coming up in early August which will be a day-long webinar complete with testimonials and tutorials from teachers from all over the US displaying how Edmodo is used in their classrooms.

    I've also been following the #sschat on Twitter on Mondays.

    The inclusion of these networks have been the greatest change in my 18 years of teaching. I feel like I am providing my students with opportunities that are more inspiring, challenging, and consistent with their understanding of digital communication and interaction.

    ReplyDelete
  21. From the beginning of the school year in the fall, I instantly felt part of the English team. Out of the 4 of us, only one had been a returning teacher to the building, and the rest of us were all new to the English Department. During our meetings, it was very easy to open up with concerns, ask questions, and seek suggestions for future lesson plans. I had to make connections rather quickly considering I was teaching a 6th grade class, a 7th grade class, and four 8th grade classes. Due to my rather time consuming schedule, it was important to build my school and personal network to help reduce the amount of stress added to the first year of teaching. If I was faced with challenges with my students, I could utilize my resources in the building to learn more about the students’ learning styles. Even though at times the stress was overwhelming, I felt like I was able to contribute and grow as an educator by creating and collaborating with colleagues not only in the English Department, but throughout the building and community.

    Considering I had worked in the building the year before, I had an advantage of being acquainted with all of the returning teachers. I was able to connect and build my personal network. I have continued to keep close communication with colleagues across the state of Indiana. I had a Twitter account but have recently deactivated it. I am planning on recreating one solely for professional usage. I think this will help bring light to new ideas, as well as build my web-based network.

    I think my goals as far as networks and building my connections with fellow educators, I need to challenge myself to build my national networks. I think now that I have a year under my belt, I am eager and ready to try new things. I want to help my students find their voice as a writer. I would like to designate time to give new ideas a chance and not let my lack of patience get in the way. This chapter helped me understand the importance and advantages of networking with one another.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have begun to seek online professional networks and educators using twitter as a source of support. With education embracing technology, it is natural and logical to build networks in that direction. I have found several encouraging sources through twitter that post daily:
    edutopia, edudemic, and teachthought, to name a few.

    I have also appreciated communication via Indiana Elearning whether on twitter or by website with each grade level and subject area supporting its own area of expertise at
    http://www.doe.in.gov/elearning/online-communities-practice

    One article truly underscores my need to seek professional communities and the support they offer: "How Staying Uncomfortable is the Key to Success" (Edudemic, April 21, 2014) My state of feeling uncomfortable is the very reason that I often need a mentor, and I find that many posted articles are sympathetic to my ability level yet constantly push me forward. Another fascination that I have had with the new wave of technology leaders is that they seem to be very open with their knowledge and freely share most every new discovery or capability. As opposed to other businesses and educational eras that have kept information under wraps to have some personal or corporate gain, there is an environment of support and generosity conducive to mentoring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just read "How Staying Uncomfortable is the Key to Success" and I agree completely with your point, Tammy. No matter what venture I am in, comfort leads to complacency.

      Delete
  23. Within my building I network with two other GREAT sp. ed. teacher. I have found them both to be an asset for me. I don't really network with anyone other than these two. However, after reading this chapter I have realized that I need to start reaching beyond the walls of my school. I don't know if it would be considered networking, but I do also use pinterest A LOT.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Networking is such a huge part of our work as teachers. After reading this chapter, Join and Build Networks, I feel so very fortunate. Networking has been a part of my teaching from the very beginning. First by networking with with my grade level teaching partners, we met every week formally, and then on and off during the week to chat about how things were going and how the lessons we had discussed and planned played out. Chatting with and planning with my grade level team was part of my weekly routine. (Now that I am out of the classroom, in my role as literacy coordinator, I miss those weekly get togethers with my teaching peers to discuss our classroom practices. I miss the classroom community and day to day work with students. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do and I am part of a new kind of networking with teachers…but that community feeling of being a part of an instructional team and working with the same group of students day in and day out is what I miss.)

    With all that said…I had to find a way to connect, to network, with others who were out coaching teachers as well. I am so LUCKY to work for a district that is part of the All Write Consortium. This is a group in the Northeast corner of Indiana. Area literacy coaches and coordinators get together once a month to discuss our work, plan together, and share ideas for coaching. I am so LUCKY to have such an amazing group of coaches to connect with on a monthly basis.

    I am also part of our local area's reading council, the Pokagon Reading Council. This group gets together four times a year for dinner and conversation. There is always a speaker, usually someone local, sharing something amazing they are doing in their classrooms. It's a GREAT evening to catch up and talk about our teaching practices.

    I have friends outside of my teaching career (I am sure we all do) and I love the time I spend with them and the connections we have... but I need connections with people who do what I do. My friends who don't teach, just don't understand the amount of time I spend outside of the school day preparing for and planning for and spending my own money for the work I do as a teacher. I can't help it…being a teacher is who I am and it is on my mind all the time. I am always thinking about and planning in my head for things I want to do and try with teachers and with students. I need connections and relationships with people who do the same. I follow educational leaders on twitter, I have my favorite go to bloggers in education. I have to be connected.

    Thank you to everyone who is sharing all the resources out there for teachers…I am learning something new all the time. Thank you to Meenoo Rami for asking us all to think about our connections.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Pokagon Reading Council meetings sound like a great opportunity for sharing! It would be great to be able to get together with like-minded people to share ideas in a relaxed setting.

      Next year I would like to try to reach out to more resources in my community to give my students a more authentic learning experience. I know they would like to see someone besides me in front of them every now and then. Currently the only community out reach I do is in my English 12 classroom. My students created a resume, cover letter, and filled out a job application then were interviewed by business people from the community who actually do some hiring where they work. Each student was also evaluated by their interviewer and were given constructive feedback about how to successfully conduct themselves for an interview after high school. The students and the interviewers both benefited from this experience and I plan to do this project again.

      Delete
  25. As I was reading Chapter 2, I found myself inspired to reach out and build more connections with fellow educators. I had no idea how many networks and possibilities there are out there! As a young mother, it's hard for me to find time to network with others, besides the casual chats with colleagues in my building. I love sharing my best lesson plans with other teachers that teach the same classes as me. I also reach out to other educators on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as through Pinterest. A personal goal of mine for the upcoming school year is to become more involved in Twitter chats, like the #EdThrive chat that will be happening this week. I am also hoping that in the near future, I will be able to attend a NCTE conference and travel to other conferences as well.

    My cooperating teacher during student teaching once told me to never try to reinvent the wheel; always use great lessons created by others. As Rami points out in chapter 2, we need to share our knowledge with one another. Our school corporation has been trying some new Professional Development strategies the past year, and I believe it would be very meaningful to all involved if some of that PD time could be spent networking with other teachers. I loved what Rami wrote on page 17: “Networks build confidence for new teachers who are trying to gain a solid footing in their practice, and it gives experienced teachers a way to add new ideas and spirit to their practice.” This stood out to me because as a young teacher, I often need to hear that validation from someone that my ideas are great. Or even to hear how my ideas could be improved.

    ReplyDelete
  26. As I am reading the previous posts, I am learning that I am not alone. I am a special education teacher and cannot seem to find much of a support network available through technology. On a person to person level, I can network with colleagues in my building, other buildings, and other corporations. However, I do not have place to share ideas or brainstrom that focused on special education. There are many great resources for specific topics, such as Autism, but these have general information, not items that are specific to teachers. Can anyone help with ideas to research?

    As a school wide initiative, we have one to one computers. Therefore, Twitter, Facebook, Google docs, etc., are a part of everyday life. I enjoy using and following #phslearns. This gives me an opportunity to follow what is happening in my school building. This # lets me see many cool things that are happening in classrooms, where previously I would not have had any way to access information.

    Personally, this past year I started a blog (http://quinnselner.blogspot.com/) as a way to keep track of some of the special activities that occur in my classroom. Parents love the blog. Administrators access the blog as a part of my evaluation. Finally, I love it when peers comment on the things that my students are doing. This helps to keep me motivated! I plan to continue to the blog for the upcoming school year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quinn, very nice blog. I like the way you highlight what is going on in your room. I bet your parents love it. I would love to do something like this, but ugh! the time, the thought of putting more on my plate is daunting. Something else would have to go, what would that be? Your blog doesn't mention where you teach?

      Delete
  27. I saw that other people have mentioned being the "only" in their building and for statistics that's how I am. I like being able to network within my building but it is necessary for me to have a network of stats teachers as well. I joined the EDG on College Board for AP Stats. It is a great resource, but I rarely feel qualified to contribute when there are such wonderful sages, conference presenters, and textbook authors there to answer questions. Does anyone else feel that way? They also "re-modeled" it and I find it a lot harder to use now. I posted a few questions this year and never found them or answers to my questions. It is pretty frustrating that way, but I at least can learn from others who have their questions posted and answered.

    I used Twitter a lot last summer to follow different math folks, but found that I didn't make time for it once school started. I like Dan Meyer's blog and check in with him from time to time. He started assessing his students by objectives, rather than by chapter tests, and I have followed his lead on this. I'm still fine-tuning it, but students, parents, and administrators seem to appreciate it.

    I attended meetings of a local group last school year, "Meeting of the Math Minds," and it was great, but this year their meeting times conflicted with my evening schedule of tutoring and I wasn't able to go. This is a group of area high school math teachers that were trying to figure out how to get ready for Common Core and PARCC. It was great to hear what other schools were doing, both large corporations and small private and parochial schools. They also had people from the state education dept. come and answer questions. Indiana has decided not to do Common Core, but they still have their own standards that must be implemented, so the group continues to find a purpose and I hope to get back to them this coming school year.





    ReplyDelete
  28. My first teaching assignment was at a smaller school. I had three or four classes to prepare, and no one else in the building teaching those subjects. I quickly learned to reach out to those around me including my counterparts at other schools, Purdue University Outreach Programs, and other professional organizations. In my current assignment in a much larger corporation, we are working to become more purposeful with our efforts to be horizontally aligned and vertically connected. We also have two instructional coaches available. These "local" connections have been very beneficial not only for the teachers involved, but we have begun to have positive feedback from the students seeing the content in their classes connected in a more meaningful way.

    I do find it a balance between investing time in becoming better connected and getting tasks completed to be ready to teach each day. Within our science department meetings, we are hoping that the efforts that we are making to connect will help us be more effective in the future, but it can be a daunting task when getting started. This book and many of the posts here have been very encouraging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Purdue University has some fantastic outreach programs and can be a valuable resource for any educator in any subject area! Utilizing their services is a great opportunity for community outreach and can also help students to make some beneficial connections at a local university that may help them get their foot in the door post graduation.

      Delete
  29. In each of the schools that I have taught in I feel that I have only had a network at my building and/ or grade level. I have always had an awesome networking among my grade level teachers; which is wonderful. We have always talked or emailed on a daily basis with each other. After reading chapter 2, I realize that there is so much more networking that can be done beyond the building level. I had no idea how many people are networking beyond the building level. When I graduated and began teaching, we did not even use email, let alone any of the other many technologies that we have now. All of this seems to have taken off while I was at home raising our children. It was so different coming back into the teaching profession, so changed by technology. I feel it is a very positive thing. I just feel that I missed the years when so many people began to use these technologies. Reading the chapter and seeing all of these posts of all of the networks and sites that people are involved in makes me realize I need to step out of my comfort zone (grade level) and look for sites and networking beyond what I am involved in now!

    ReplyDelete
  30. WOW! Thanks for the shout out! Hope many of you will join us for the Twitter chat this Wednesday at 7pm Eastern at #EdThrive.

    How have you connected with a network of educators? Are you connecting with a local group or a national group or both? How are utilizing your networks?
    I am lucky enough to live right next door to my biggest mentor; ironically, she's also a former student (Angela Kneifel-Mendenhall!!). She pushes me to believe in myself; to try new (scary) technologies in my classroom. Because I teach at a small school, I have not had many mentors within my building. A former college professor was a close family friend (my son's godmother) and mentor, but she passed away.

    Within the last year I have reached out digitally. I am on twitter for many edchats. I receive most of my PD from #sunchat, #weirded, #satchat.

    I am also a participant in google+ communities and the Indiana eLearning communities. This summer I am attending #engagED nwi as one of the many eLearning conferences put on by the DOE. Had a great time today and am looking forward to Day 2 tomorrow. In July many of my peers and I will be travelling south to Ben Davis HS for the google edcamp. I am enjoying meeting fellow teachers and networking with them.

    After reading the blogs, I was reminded of the professional network available to AP teachers. I'll have to revisit that resource as well.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Fresh out of college I was a member of two professional organizations, but have let those memberships lapse. My previous school subscribed to both of the journals so I felt that I was getting the most out of those organizations without actually being a member, but like so many of the comments above, I mostly "lurk" and do not "input". Chapter 2 has me questioning what I can add to a network instead of just lurking about.

    I am not a big blog or tweet girl, but I am getting more and more comfortable exploring these networks. It seems such a benefit to get instantaneous feedback and up-to-date information.

    Locally my networks are very strong...I love a good "think tank" meeting, but also find myself really working to gently push the teachers who are resistant to change...I call it "catching fire" and I love when I am in a network that will "catch fire" with me and explore different ideas, strategies and curriculum components.

    One of the best ways I have connected with teachers outside of my building has been through professional development and being a part of the school accreditation process. Going on Quality Assurance Reviews around that state has allowed me to meet many professionals in education and these visits have engendered many professional relationships. The other national network I really access is the Ron Clark Academy. I attended a day long PD in Atlanta and it really inspired me as a teacher. I have since joined his professional network and have benefited greatly.

    Chapter 2 really got me thinking about expanding my networks and also reminded me of the networks I have let go...

    ReplyDelete
  32. After reading chapter 2 I realized that I have kind of been stuck in a routine for the past few years. I belong to HASTI, as well as building level committees, but I haven't done much with Twitter or other online networks as mentioned in the reading. Every so often when I want to add something different to a specific unit I search on Google for ideas or lessons/labs that I can modify for my own use. As a mother of a 4 year old and a 1 year old, my time to work on school work outside of school is extremely limited. I didn't realize that Twitter had so much to offer for teachers; therefore, it is definitely something I am going to get involved with over the summer while I have a bit more time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jill. I have found that the trick to managing time on Twitter is to make smart choices when you choose who to follow. I choose people or feeds that I hope will give me the most for the time I can allot. As I read their posts, I ask myself..."am I learning or are they wasting my time?" If I judge that they are wasting my time..I unfollow them. Some folks like to tweet out great education tidbits along with what they are eating, every airport they are visiting and the like. This is just a waste of my time, so I unfollow them without any guilt. As you learn more about the folks you are following, you can follow others, but always remember to choose wisely with the goal of learning from others in the time that you have available.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the insight Angy! I have also been concerned about the amount of time Twitter will take so your information is very helpful. I like that you stated to "unfollow them without the guilt" because really we need to be goal focused when we go into those types of networks.

      Delete
    3. Jill - You might also want to try a tool like TweetDeck or Hootsuite to focus your Twitter usage. They allow you to organize the hashtag chats, lists of people, etc.

      Delete
    4. I really like Twitter and have many interests. I use if for news, weather, sports, learning, keeping in contact and entertainment. Like many I am frustrated when I want to read posts by specific people. So last year I downloaded Flipboard.I can set up boards specific to what I want. I go directly to Flipboard to my Twitter and from there find who I am interested. Then I add them. It sets up a board for that handle. Then all I have to do is flip through my board to see what is most recently being posted. For instance, today I set one up on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Fallon cause he makes me laugh. Laughter is medicine for me! Now I can go right to his board and see everything that he has posted. I dont have to search. I also have added my Google+ and LinkedIn accounts. Now I have to figure out if I can add the chat to it. Im sure I can just have to do some research.

      Delete
    5. Thank you all for the extra insights!

      Delete
    6. Hi Jill! I also have two little ones at home. Two boys 7 and 4. My school day is SO VERY BUSY and then when I get home it is difficult to find time to do more school work. I have to stop carrying all the work back and forth because it often never gets out of the bag!! Your post and the responses have been helpful because I feel like I waste a lot of time searching radomly in the evenings for helpful resources. I will too will check into the suggestions Tara had for using Tweetdeck or Hootsuite or MaryRose's suggestion for Flipboard. I teach 7th grade science and one thing I have done is look around on Teachers Pay Teachers and find teachers that are creating materials that go with my curriculum and make them my favorites on my TPT account. Many of them have blogs so if I am looking for something to add to a lesson I can go to TPT (or their blogs) to see if they have anything I can purchase or something that gives me an idea to build upon for my lesson. With the growing demand of my family (now that the boys are starting to play sports) I have to come up with some type of plan! I hope you find one that works for you! :)

      Delete
  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm so grateful for this chapter. I have just gotten back into the teaching field and am learning as much as I can. The opportunities seem endless. I can't wait to check out some of the places listed in the chapter as well as sites and groups you all have listed. I have seen several for middle and high school, but not as many for elementary. I'll be keeping my eyes open to those. I know of teachers pay teachers and pintrest, but I know there are certainly more. The opportunity to know teachers from other schools and other perspectives is awesome. I'll be lurking for a while, but know it will be helpful.
    As a Title 1 teacher, I don't get to do much think tanking with other teachers, so I'm excited to reach out and try.

    ReplyDelete
  35. For those of us who teach middle school students, I would highly recommend becoming a member of IMLEA (Indiana Middle Level Education Association. We have a very inexpensive conference in September that will offer a wide variety of topics. The website is www.imlea.org and addresses topics that we middle school teachers face every day :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am going to look into this. I know that you have talked about ideas that you have seen from this conference before. Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
    2. I am going to look into this as well. Perhaps we could all attend together.

      Delete
  36. This chapter made me think about the networks I have built and am slightly dismayed with the lack of "networking" that is happening in my grade level. I want to be more excited about what I am teaching, how I am teaching and what is new to add to the old. I just joined the Online Communities for first grade! There are only 27 members so please join if you are interested. I think I may have place the first post too!
    The Edcamps sound like something I would like to pursue although there didn't seem to be anything in the northwest part of the state. If there is please let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I tend to use more online networking as the hours I can be available vary widely. It is difficult to meet up with people due to tutoring after school, family obligations etc. I have signed up for a newsletter NCTM Smartbrief. I have many interesting ideas and websites by reading the newsletter. Ex. Better Lessons. Teachers post ideas, lessons, samples, etc of what they do in their subjects. So much variety from state to state, I found a project for my geometry class to help review and construct all types of angles. After trying the project, I have found some areas to tweak for the next time I use it.

    I also keep in contact with some of my former teachers and some former colleagues from a former job. I find we can bounce ideas off of each other and really scrutinize whether it is worth the time to try or change. I like to know I am not changing simply to make a change. I like to keep best practices alive and add in the new ideas to either reach more students or to enhance what is already working.

    I also network with my students. I really listen to what works best for them. For instance, I have some students who have communicated with me "I like when you use the chalkboard". When questioned further, these students tend to focus more when they physically see me doing the writing. Those students also tend to ask more questions during the examples when I use the chalkboard. Other students prefer when I use the mobi system. They like it because they don't like the way the chalkboard looks after erasing several times or because I can be in different areas of the room more often. The way we teach as well as the subject matter affects our students. Students give us feedback all the time and this can be invaluable.

    Locally, I have found teachers in all departments to listen to ideas from projects, classroom management to simply letting me de-stress without judgment. Sometimes simply by letting me air it out loud, I can let it go and move on. While in general, I am a positive person sometimes I need to vent. These venting sessions can lead to positive changes just by having someone listen.

    I have attended conferences and workshops and always come out with new ideas. Time away from the classroom and the cost prevent me from utilizing these as much as I would like. I attended an Algebra Readiness workshop several years ago that was the best workshop in terms of "remember what it is like to be the student". I even have several ideas from this workshop that I use from time to time. I have also been able to keep in contact with the instructors, colleagues from several schools at several grade levels.

    I want to continue to build strong useful networks to challenge myself and my students.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have probably done more networking this past school year than I even have before. This year I was able to really collaborate with my department at my school. We meet almost on a weekly basis now. And we were able to create our curriculum for this next year. I have always felt that being in special education makes it especially hard to be able to create networks of support because it is very different than most other positions. Even the other special education teachers in my building teach different subjects making it difficult to share/ collaborate. Beyond my networking within my school building, I am also able to share with the special educations at our sister building across the district. I get to work during the summer with one of them and we are able to talk and share during the summer. However, there building's special education department is also very different from ours. But we do discuss and compare our roles. Currently, I am not really involved in any national networks. I do try to share ideas and give support when I can on edmodo. Sometimes I feel that I don't really have the time to spend Tweeting or reading other peoples tweets and blogs. It all is very time consuming, however, if I could improve my teaching and student achievement it will probably make things easier for me in the long run! So I better get tweeting!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. As a special education teacher in a small school the past seven years, I was often talking to the gen ed teachers about students we shared. Through that, I felt very comfortable networking with them, especially as I was able to see what they were doing in their classrooms and could ask them about it. I also worked with another special education teacher in the corporation and meet for lunch, email, and would frequently call two other special education teachers I studied with at college. I learn so much about technology from one colleague that I can't imagine ever losing her in my networking circle.

    I often Google for ideas and I have followed posts on the Learning Connection, but I after reading this chapter and the previous posts, I searched Twitter for people/organizations that I am going to to try to follow going forward.

    One thing I do like to do is to go to conferences by myself sometimes. This week I went to the Smekens Literacy Retreat. Since I was the only one from my school I had a lot of options for who to sit with, I could have easily just looked for people I know from schools surrounding me, but instead I "people watched" to find a person who I would guess would be someone like minded...I did find that person. I really enjoyed the discussions we had. She ended up being a more experienced teacher in the grade level I'm moving to. So, I look forward to continuing to network with her through the year. Sometimes, we let our fear to meet new people stand in our way of the opportunity to learn something great.

    I did the Google edCamp last year, and it was a positive experience. I really enjoyed the freedom that was discussed in the book. It was an open forum where there were lots of suggestions from the group of how they were using Google Docs and such in their classroom. I learned a ton and actually had time to "play" which seldom happens at conferences.

    Nationally, I have done a poor job of even attempting to follow, so that must be my goal as I go forward. Twitter will definitely be the platform I use as I begin to enter into first lurking, but then hopefully posting as well.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I have been a member of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) since I was a student in college. I attended the NCTE convention when it was in Indianapolis during my second year of teaching. It was a great opportunity to be able to meet authors Jim Burke, Rachel Simmons (Odd Girl Out) and others. I purchased several books and still use these resources today. I also created a girls book club using Odd Girl Out as the foundation book and was able to share personal recollections from the author.

    Most collaborating seems to take place during department meetings. Sharing ideas with others in my department has helped me to create a variety of lessons in my content area. I have also participated in PLC (Professional Learning Community) groups that include members from different departments. I enjoyed this type of collaboration because it allowed me to meet with history teachers I did not otherwise see and learn about how what I was teaching in my English classroom connected to what was being taught in history. We were then able to share resources and help the students to make real-life connections to what they were learning in both classes.

    Thanks so social media I have been able to remain in contact with several colleagues I no longer see on a daily basis. We are able to send messages and share links to ideas and projects we have come across very easily by posting to one another's walls. I have recently learned about teachers collaborating via Twitter and this is something I would like to try and become more familiar with.

    Using learning communities like the Learning Community available through the IDOE is also a possibility to explore to make connections and share with other educators.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Back when I first started teaching at the middle school, we used to do teaming for each grade level. That was awesome! We were able to collaborate with each other to do units and other cool activities. It is much more difficult to do that now-since we don't team anymore. Our principal has done a good job with making sure that most of the teachers for each department can eat lunch during the same lunch shift. That is when we tend to share ideas with each other and collaborate with each other for different projects.

    I also tend to use pinterest a lot to get ideas from other teachers. There are some very imaginative people out there! I have also used Facebook and Teachers pay Teachers to get ideas.

    I would love some more ideas for places to network and get/share ideas. I know that there are so many options out there....it is sometimes overwhelming to find something though.

    ReplyDelete
  42. When I started reading this chapter I felt pretty good about networking but I think I need to expand. At our school I love that we meet as a staff at least 3 to 4 days a week for what is called IIB. Our principal is great about getting us to share whats going on in our classrooms. That works great for me. This is only my fourth year teaching. The first year I taught 2nd grade, then 3rd grade, then Kindergarten last year. Next year I get to stay in Kindergarten. I am excited. Being moved around I felt like I couldn't become as proficient as I would like. It did help to meet in the mornings to feel connected as a staff. I really rely on blogs and Facebook for most of my networking. Pinterest has helped me find some great blogs for Kindergarten. I would like to get into Twitter but don't quite get it. I have asked my teenage son and he said "old people already ruined Facebook now they're going to ruin Twitter". This chapter has inspired me to seek other outside networking. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed and lost when starting teaching. It is nice to have some networks to use as a resource for ideas or just understanding of what it takes to be a teacher.

    ReplyDelete
  43. The quote that starts off Chapter 2 sums up what the whole chapter is about. Educators must be more than information experts; they must be collaborators in learning, seeking new knowledge and constantly acquiring new skills alongside their students. As a teacher, that needs to be our goal to constantly strive to improve our teaching and knowledge just like we expect from our teachers.

    We can learn so much from others. In fact, I think that is how you become the best teacher you can be. On the fifth grade team I am a part of, we are constantly sharing ideas and working together. We don't necessarily have a specific meeting time, but after school, before school, and at lunch we collaborate and talk about different methods, strategies, and lesson plans that are working in our classrooms. We all teach social studies to our own classroom, so we try to stay on par with each other about where we are in the curriculum map. We share projects that have worked in our classrooms. We use google docs to write down ideas. For example, we created a new project on the iPad and shared thoughts with each other on what to include in the project by creating a Google Doc. By the way, I am planning on sharing with them the Google Art Project. We also shared the resource of my brother. He is a doctor, so when we taught the unit on the human body he answered questions in each classroom that the students had created. I am also fortunate to have a friend in the building that I ask for help even though we don't teach the same subject. I may run an idea by her or ask her for suggestions on a certain problem. I am a better teacher because of their help.

    I also use the world wide web and twitter as suggested in the book. Both give me perspectives from outside of my school corporation. I frequently search for specific ways to teach a topic. I have found ideas for bulletin boards, small projects, science experiments, etc. I plan to use the hashtag ideas on twitter to involve myself more in discussing topics with other teachers.

    I was also glad for the reminder of the professional organizations to join. I think it would help me to be up to date in my teaching by joining the NCTM, NSTA, or NCSS.

    I think it is important that we continually look for ways from each other and in our networks to improve. Each student and each classroom is different. We must try to adapt to help them be lifelong learners.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Most of my networking takes place online or in the teachers' workroom/lunchroom. I have a Twitter account which I use mostly for gathering and retweeting cultural material for my students, but I also follow and am followed by other teachers. I enjoy following the discussions on the weekly #langchat for teachers of world languages. I read articles and visit websites recommended by teachers from around the country (and the world) and share what seems useful to me.

    Much more than in my previous school of employment, I network with other teachers in my building through casual conversations and through department and staff meetings. Making the effort to go to the teachers' lunchroom in invaluable to me, as that is where I learn what is going on in other classrooms and how colleagues handle different situations.

    I also try to attend conferences and use the opportunity to network before and after conference sessions. I find that I often learn as much after sessions as I do during presentations. Many times, a question asked after the presentation is finished has led to a more in-depth discussion and suggestions for several more resources.

    ReplyDelete
  45. The best network I am a part of is Twitter. Networking with educators, librarians, authors, and more is amazing! Association wise, I find a lot of benefits in my state association (ILF, AISLE), national association (ALA, AASL), as well as international association (ISTE). These networks connect virtually and face-to-face. It is important for me to connect and contribute to these networks because together we are so much stronger. Connecting and sharing ideas has definitely made me a better educator.

    ReplyDelete
  46. As far as professional learning networks go, I have been an active member of my state, regional and national language associations. With technology, we don't have to wait once a year to "network" live at conferences. However, there still is a lot of value in listening to, seeing and interacting with a live person--not just reading all the time. I consider myself a dormantly connected virtual participant in a learning network. I had signed up for the WL Ning and Twitter accounts--almost anytime something new comes along I sign up for it--never knowing when I will need the information or not. For the most part, I feel inundated with the amount of resources and PLN opportunities available through technology use. Where do I start amid all the different sites, apps, etc...? Where is the most effective investment of my time? As a mom of four and a full-time teacher, my time for my personal learning is more than limited. Although the 24/7 setup of PLN's on the Internet can help ease the situation, there just are too many options from which to choose. I think I will select one tool and stick to that one for my PLN and see how it goes. The AP teacher communities are a lifeline for any AP teacher. In WL, we have been fortunate to have had Nandu and FLTeach for over a decade as our forum.

    ReplyDelete
  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  48. At this point in my career, networking has mostly consisted of working with other teachers at my grade level in my building. I have worked at 2 different grade levels in 3 years and will be in a different grade level next year. I often surf the Internet to find interesting ideas to use in the classroom, but I have not connected with a national group at this time. I was very interested in the discussion on Twitter in this chapter. At this point I have not used much social media and would like to build more technology skills. Getting involved with Twitter may be a small step I make in that direction.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I feel my personal and school networks are fairly well established, but I have not pursued joining national networks yet. My extended family includes many educators (wife, mother, sister, mother-in-law, father-in-law), and we regularly discuss the nature of the job of teaching. But while we can share our experiences with planning, grading, administrators, and suchlike, we are limited in discussing the particulars of teaching English at the secondary level. I am fortunate, however, to remain in contact with a few friends from college who are also teaching high school English, including a former roommate who shares my experience of teaching honors American literature. We even have similar students. Dan and I communicate regularly, discussing everything from AP prep and CCSS to lesson plans on The Grapes of Wrath. At the school level, I am fortunate to belong to a large department that is both supportive and collaborative. We help each other navigate the ever-shifting landscape of standards and evaluations as well as share lessons. Sometimes we even just discuss literature as fellow readers.
    The Edcamp networks described are appealing, and I hope to learn of an event planned in the region. Like many teachers, I explore what is available online to get ideas, but I had not looked at this activity as constituting a “web-based network.” While I will read others’ blog posts, I neglect to contribute to such online exchanges. I applied to the English Companion Ning site and see much there that looks valuable and engaging. I think that as a relatively new teacher, I have had the attitude that I have much to learn and little to contribute. As I enter my second decade in the profession, I’m going to try to “participate and lead, not just sit and get” (24).

    ReplyDelete
  50. Learning Connection is a networking system for Indiana. My main networking system is the people in my building and school system. My extended networking family are my friends who are teachers in Indiana and in four other states. I know I can contact them when I have a problem or when I need an idea or just to kick around possible ideas for my classroom.

    The main problem with networking is finding the time to blog, tweet, facebook or just e-mailing if you go through the technology route. With extended class time and more items added to the school day it is hard to find time to collaborate with others.

    I have seen networking for the main subject areas such as math, reading, etc. But what about the other areas of education such as technology, music, PE, and art just to name a few. Does anyone have groups that can toss around ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  51. As Meenoo Rami stated on page 16, "If we expect our students to be active, responsible, and indepenent digital and global citizens, we need to be models for them."

    I live outside my comfort zone, and as I often tell my students in a "constant state of awkward," This is true because I strive to never be satisfied with the status quo; part of that drive comes from the mentor network I've developed over the past several years. Many of you have mentioned LinkedIn, Twitter, Edmodo, MyBigCampus, Professional Organizations...I second those. They are invaluable to me to gain ideas, inspiration, but mostly perspective.

    The more I network with others the more energy I gain to pursue excellence on a daily basis. We all have those moments in the school year when we are counting down...but my Monday #sschat and #edtech and going on to the TPS Teacher's Network (Library of Congress) validate some of the things I'm doing and challenge me to do more. Networking does not come easily to me...I've learned that I'm an "I can do it myself" type of person. My colleagues in Romania said that's the "American" in me...but gradually, during Peace Corps, I learned that networking was directly tied to my success and survival. Loneliness is hard! Why would I put myself through that if I didn't have to? So even though I was isolated in a rural, Romanian town...I developed a community of learners. I've done this through YouTube (check out John Green's Tedtalk from Indianapolis about this exact thing here -->http://youtu.be/1mUDw0sRZV0)...the knowledge and questions I gain from videos and commentary under those videos is invaluable! I'm a twitter junkie (@UlmerSHS), I belong to an AP World History teachers group on Facebook, as I've already mentioned I am a member of the TPS Teacher's Network on using primary sources through the Library of Congress, I do the professional organization thing too... Do I have time for all of that on a daily basis? No! But I have developed a sense of which of those networks suits the particular topic I'm covering or assignment I'm developing.

    Lastly, I was really struck by Rami's statement that "if you're working toward helping our students to see themselves as lifelong learners who can construct meaning from the world around them, your personal network might be a golf mine of experience and ideas." I know some really great people! My students remark that I know someone in every country (which isn't true technically), but through networking I can connect with someone in any country. My friend Kelsey generously carves out time from working on Capital Hill to discuss nuclear disarmament with my AP World students. Skype in the Classroom has connected me to documentary filmmakers in Central Asia, Scientists in Antarctica, and even a Holocaust Survivor in France. My Peace Corps network is an amazing thing (join us at World Wise Schools - http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws/)...there are over 200,000 PCV's and RPCV's that would love to share their experiences from 139 different countries on topics such as agriculture, business development, HIV/AIDS, education, cultural customs, language learning, etc. You can even pair your classroom with a volunteer and interact throughout the school year!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I should also add that I love the people I work with...while working in a K-8 charter school I learned just as much from the Kindergarten teachers and the amazing things they were doing as I did from my content area colleagues. Currently, I love where I teach! There is this positive vibe I get in our building because as a whole I think most of the people there are invested. I'm inspired by my superintendent that emails me ideas, I often send assessment ideas or tweet interesting topics to my principal, my Social Studies dept. people and I are becoming good sharers... I'm still fairly new, and it's hard to break into some of those previously established networks...but little by little the personal connections are improving and my local network is growing.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Connecting with teachers is one area that I would really like to improve upon. Since I am in a bit of a different setting teaching all subjects to 7th graders all day, it’s challenging for me to find the best networks that adequately suit me. I could certainly join networks in each of the areas (Science, English, Math, Social Studies), but I worry about the cost and the time involved in doing so. If I could find some appropriate networks, I would want to be active in them in order to get the most benefit from it, and I just don’t know that it’s possible to do with such diverse subject areas.
    I have recently created a Twitter account for professional use. I have not gotten in the habit of using it much as of yet, nor have I connected with many educators personally. These objectives are toward the top of my “to do” list for the summer. I think that it will be helpful in connecting me with resources across the subject areas.
    My network of teachers in my building is fantastic. While I don’t fit easily into one department, I certainly feel welcomed in my team. I know that I can collaborate with any of them on any subject area. Being able to freely discuss things at lunch, in the hallway, or via e-mail has been a great way to hear what we’re each doing in our classes and the logic behind the instructional choices.
    My department, so to speak, is spread all across our school corporation, and there are only five of us total. Being that we’re so spread out in our county combined with the fact that we have three different types of alternative education in the group, networking is challenging. Each group has their own way of networking with each other. It could be direct communication between the teachers or indirect communication via the counselors and/or administrators.
    I am open to networking more, and that is a personal goal for me to do more of it this school year. I know that there are alternative programs out there that I could learn a lot from by connecting with them in one way or another. I’m sometimes overwhelmed teaching so many subjects to a challenging set of the student population, and I often feel as though there are things that I could do to improve my instruction. Networking via social media and other outlets were certainly help me do so. I think that most ideas I would take from the group are new activities that I could try with my students. With the diversity of the subjects I teach, I find that I can always learn new ways to instruct the kids on the various topics.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I knew that I was not taking advantage of all the networks out there, and reading chapter 2 and all these posts just makes it even more clear. I, too, tend to get a bit overwhelmed with all the resources out there and would probably do best just choosing one good one to start with. I have never gotten into Twitter or Facebook socially, but perhaps it is time to look into it professionally. Any suggestions for a high school Geometry teacher? I do belong to NCTM but can't even keep up with everything they put out.
    I do find conferences invigorating and enjoy even passing conversations with fellow attendees. I think this is a good indication of my desire to connect with other teachers in my field. I also think participating in this blog is a good start!
    Finally, I would like to give a shout out to my graduate school program, the ACE program through Notre Dame, which does an excellent job creating networks for Catholic School teachers (www.ace.nd.edu). There is so much there that I don't take advantage of!

    ReplyDelete
  55. This chapter has me thinking of how I can improve my network system that I have created for myself. I feel like I have a pretty good inner school network, where my fellow teachers and I often collaborate and share ideas. I am also connected with many other teachers in my school corporation. I always love bouncing ideas off one another. But I feel like that is the end of my network system. This chapter has inspired me to pursue other forms of networking. Edcamp sounds very intriguing, I hope I can make it to Indy next year! And I also think blogging fits my personality really well. I am glad I have the summer to start expanding my network so when the school year starts I can take what I have learned and apply it to the new year.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Earlier this spring I heard the acronym PLN and had no idea what it was. I "Googled" it to learn the meaning and never went beyond that, until now. After reading this chapter, I'm convinced there are so many other avenues to teaching my content area and I haven't even tapped into them. It was a wonderful surprise to find several networking sites that offer many communities from which I can learn. I've already signed up for a webinar next month. This should be enlightening.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I haven`t really had a lot of experience yet with networking, but it is something that is becoming more and more a part of all educators` lives. Because I teach special education, it can be a little hard to connect with people outside of my department due to the differences in special education versus other departments. However, I am finding that I became more and more involved throughout this past school year with the academic classes that I was assisting in. Those teachers sought my opinion more often as the year progressed which gave me a network to be involved with and helped me to develop some much needed experience with problem solving and being creative. I feel as if I work in a school where most of the teachers, and definitely the administrators, value networking. The majority of our teachers are on board with the idea that we have to work together to create a great learning environment for our students. We not only network within our own school, but we do so with the other high school in our district as well. As challenging as that may have seemed at first, I believe it has really given all of our teachers the opportunity to learn and grow as educators. Although some teachers are definitely more on board than others, all teachers are beginning to gradually come around to the idea of networking with each other to solve issues within our school and figure out what is best for our students. I hope to become even more involved with the decision-making process over the years and find other networks outside of my school to become a part of that will help me grow as a special education teacher.

    ReplyDelete
  58. As a band director, there are several different groups that have online communities. NAfME (the National Association for Music Education) has online webinars and other opportunities to connect throughout the year but there are also programs that happen specifically in the summer.

    In Indiana, there are three groups that allow instrumental music educators to regularly communicate while serving the needs of our students: IMEA (the Indiana version of NAfME), ISSMA (the Indiana State School Music Association) and IBA (the Indiana Bandmasters Association). All three groups serve different purposes while serving the needs of educators and students and providing forums for regular communication.

    The newest online opportunity to collaborate with band directors that I have found is a group called (ironically): Band Directors. It is an online community of more than 13,000 educators. It is highly moderated and free from distractions like vendors and allows for teachers to be able to ask questions and get feedback from a huge group of teachers at all levels of experience. Each post must begin with a subject and then you can ask your question. It is also easy to search and find topics that have been previously discussed. Having a group like this is a tremendous resource, especially for teachers that may feel isolated due to the geographic location of their school. Thankfully, the internet removes boundaries and solves these challenges of distance.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I have to echo many of the other posts on this chapter. I feel fortunate to work in a department that collaborates well, but my network does not extend very far beyond that. Prior to joining the high school staff where I work now, I was at a middle school. Most of our middle schools in our district have only one teacher per subject at each grade level. This made finding time to collaborate quite difficult. I confess that I am somewhat behind regarding using and understanding the ways that social media might be able to assist me, this chapter has forced me to acknowledge that! Clearly I would benefit professionally by learning to use some of these resources. The edcamps also sound interesting and productive.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Confusion time: I have followed educational sites on Twitter and I have done some of the activities for Connected Education Month with the Connected Educator network. My social networking experiences are very few. My new goal is to utilize these sites and pick up some new ones. After reading this section, I feel that it would benefit me greatly to join a network for digital curriculum and for English teachers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy - I love the times you pop into my classroom to share! I'm doing this book club because you made me aware of it! If I can be of any assistance with the "confusing" stuff let me know!!

      Delete
  61. I am fortunate to have influences that make up my personal, local, school, and national networks. My husband is the first one I go to for ideas and advice as far as a personal network. He is a great listener and offers practical advice since he is a successful manager in the business world.
    My school network collaborates on a daily basis and includes the principal, school counselor, dean, department heads, curriculum director, and coaches. We have a team that is constantly trying to make decisions in the best interests of our students. For this I am grateful.
    As far as a local network, I attend monthly meetings with the District 11 IASP. We have great speakers keeping us updated on legal issues and current trends in education. It is also a time to collaborate with other administrators in surrounding counties. On a national level, I am a member of the International Reading Association, get a daily newsletter from ASCD, and attend the IASP assistant principal's conference in the fall. This year I am a facilitator for this conference so have been able to collaborate with fellow administrators across the state as we plan the 2014 conference. I use IDOE webinars, Learning Connection Communities, Facebook, and Twitter for professional development. These resources have been beneficial as I create a weekly staff newsletter that always includes a short PD article or information on ISTEP+, etc.
    This chapter really helped me explore Twitter chats and I can hardly wait to contribute and learn from some of the topics this summer.

    ReplyDelete
  62. After reading this chapter, I realize that I am not networking as much as I should be. I think I prefer to grow professionally from mentors and professional readings. Currently I am a member of a few communities on Learning Connection.

    After reading this chapter I realize that I need to fully embrace online networking. I have been reluctant to participate in blogs and twitter basically because I usually end up frustrated with how long I spend reading posts and information and not really finding what I need. It makes me realize that I need to spend some time researching and selecting the right networks to follow. I'd like to take some time this summer to review a few networks and commit to one or two that I am really interested in. I think if I find a couple to really follow, the process may seem less overwhelming. Our focus for professional development next year is writing, so I'd really like to find some writing networks to support this. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Suz. When you come up with those great networks let me know! :)

      Delete
  63. I have to be honest, networking online sounds great, however time and inefficiency of finding something beneficial is my problem. I am blessed with a terrific learning community within my building. I also receive blog posts via email for a couple of blogs and I do read them. I need the quick version that I can read as I wait for the soccer game to start or my son to get out of practice. Sometimes the information is so long and overwhelming.

    All that to say, I have been challenged to stretch myself and investigate some of the networks that I could join that would be beneficial to me. I will work on that this summer as I have a bit more time on my hands

    ReplyDelete
  64. How have you connected with a network of educators?
    Absolutely! I am still connected to the network of educators from my last "classroom" teaching job via facebook, skype, hangouts, email, etc. We still bounce ideas off of each other. I am currently working at the DOE by day, and blessed to in a division where everyone is a former educator - so even though I am not in a brick and mortar setting - I still have access to awesome educators to network with on a daily basis.

    Are you connecting with a local group or a national group or both?
    Both - locally I network with former colleagues via social media previously mentioned and also with teachers throughout the state via google+. I also teach psychology online in the evenings, so I belong to the network of AP Psychology teachers via College Board.

    How are utilizing your networks?
    I use my networks to share ideas and to gain ideas to help me become a better alternative education/literacy specialist by day and a better online psych teacher by night :-)

    ReplyDelete
  65. My primary network has always been my in-house colleagues for the simple fact that I am a face-to-face person. Seriously, I delayed working on my master's degree for nine months because I was not interested in taking online courses, preferring instead to wait until a local cohort was available. My fellow teachers and I enjoy the time spent discussing, planning, sharing, and supporting, and I always leave these collaborative times feeling reinvigorated.

    Don't get me wrong; I'm not adverse to seeking info from electronic sources. But other than Edmodo and a couple of online lists, I've never really taken advantage of the networking opportunities that are available. Quite honestly, I didn't realize that half of them existed! After reading chapter two, I can see that I need to widen my circle of contacts. I've already begun bookmarking and exploring, and I can't wait to get busy planning.

    There is one thing mentioned in chapter two that I won't be signing up for anytime soon, and that's Twitter. I realize I'm in the minority, but it's just not my cup of tea. It's a bit too....busy. Trying to read the section of chapter two that was dedicated to Twitter was like stumbling through a swarm of locusts. Ugh! I'm sure there is some fascinating information being "tweeted," but I'll just wait patiently in the slow lane for some kind person to share it with me through email... or post it to the bulletin board. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brenda,
      I had to smile when I read your entry. I think I am in the slow lane too. I love networking -just not sure I'm up for the speed of Twitter. It's comforting to know I'm not "traveling" alone in this thought.

      Delete
  66. My networking, up to this point in my career (just finished my 19th year), has mostly consisted of working with another teacher in my building. She is always on the web finding new and invigorating ways to motivate and help her students learn. She is also the person I turn to before I try something new. Sometimes I use the Internet to find videos & lesson ideas to use in the classroom. I was very interested in the discussion on Twitter in this chapter. I now have a Twitter account! I plan to check out #mathchat on Thursday at 8 PM. I intend to get more involved with web-based networking, so my students know I’m always learning and striving to improve!!

    ReplyDelete
  67. One of my educator goals this past school year was to get my students to use the internet and sources other than parents and friends to help them with their homework. It wasn't until reading this chapter, that I realized that this was truly the essence of my goal. I want my students to learn that they have so many (often untapped) resources at their disposal.
    My journey as a student was made easy because of the value my parents placed on education. I was able to get to the library when it was open, I had encyclopedias at home, and a computer when they came out. I have always loved learning new things and social media and the ease of finding a conference, finding a reference and networking is a joy!
    I want the same thing for my students. I want them to know that, if they want "it" (knowledge, support, information, help...) there is way to get it!

    ReplyDelete
  68. I love the face to face networking that I do regularly with members of the English department in my building. I have also found a wonderful resource in the Instructional Coaches that have been hired by my corporation. Reading this chapter has opened my eyes to the number of online networks and resources available to me. I am definitely interested in utilizing them more. I have been a member of the National Council of Teachers of English in the past. I am thinking about renewing my membership in this organization. I loved the articles and ideas presented in the journal, and now, I am certain, there would be online components as well!

    ReplyDelete
  69. I am not having a lot of luck posting today... I have typed this twice so it will be short as I attempt my third time to post. :( As a result of reading Chapter 2 I have joined Twitter this week and began following some educational posts/threads. I was comforted by the person who said our goal with Twitter is to not try to "catch up" when reading it. That has been helpful to my novice attempts this last week. I am excited for the learning potential that awaits me. I also was curious about people's thoughts on structured versus unstructured collaboration time. Is it better to just let teachers work out their own collaboration or is it helpful for an administrator to set a time and provide a loose agenda??? Keep your fingers crossed as I try to post a third time. :)

    ReplyDelete
  70. This chapter was really eye opening for me. I attended a literacy conference this week and one of the sessions was about digital text and networking. I have started to try to create my classroom website and plan on joining twitter soon! I think that it's so important for me to grow and change my thinking as the technology changes as well. I also think that our classrooms will change tremendously in the next few years. My biggest hurdle is to not feel overwhelmed and focus on what my students need and will benefit from the most.

    ReplyDelete
  71. To be honest, my first year of teaching has consisted of very little time to network online. I found that I had a great network within my building and was able to set a lot of time aside to work with people/mentors personally. I felt as though I needed a more one-on-one person to work with to work through my thoughts and problems. I did spend a little time at night looking through some blogs and networks but most of my collaboration came through teachers in my building and their connections with other schools within the corporation. Considering how busy first year teachers are...I consider myself pretty lucky I had all of the support I did. I found that when I did try to network I would set a short amount of time aside and hours later have very little to show for my time (not saying that I didn't read great things to try). However, I felt overwhelmed by how much was out there when I could ask someone I worked with at school. Plus, they were able to quickly give me advice. One of my goals for this upcoming year will be to network more and outside of my building/corporation. With my feet just a bit more planted in the ground, I think this would be the best opportunity to get out there and network.

    ReplyDelete
  72. As I read this chapter and subsequently everyone's posts I found myself opening tabs to join professional networks. As a returning teacher without job security and part time status I had not made efforts to re-join professional groups. That was a huge error on my part! However, I'm full time going into this year and I have initiated the network machine.

    That being said, I'm going to look for ways to use the twitter account that has befuddled me for some time as a productive aid rather than a place to post random comments about my crazy life. I found the list posted by Suzette a great place to start and I'll be looking for particular opportunities within my Music Education discipline to stretch my network wings.

    I am fortunate that I was able to network well within my building last year. I'm in a new building this year and I don't have a great sense of the climate yet but I will be working closely with the other choir and general music teacher (yes, there are TWO of us!) and we have already been in communication and are working on planning our year. It is refreshing to have a partner in the world and not be doing this thing solo. I am looking forward to working on my new network in a new teaching situation and spending some time this summer and into the coming year working on my global network.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I'm behind in my posting, so I would like to make comments on the first three chapters. First, I am a firm believer that professional educators should, as professionals, take ownership for seeking out mentors (even first year teachers). With that being said, however, perhaps continued support from higher education professionals during that first year of teaching would be beneficial. Any thoughts on offering a course during the first year of teaching that would allow an on-the-job mentoring with higher education professionals?

    Chapter 2 thoughts..."Accomplished teachers must be connected." --- so true! Edcamp sounds like an awesome idea! I have always loved being a part of professional organizations, including my teachers association...and my American Library Association chapters offered me great opportunities and ideas.

    Chapter 3 - Autonomy in the classroom --- there has been great loss in some schools of autonomy --- great teachers find a way to keep the autonomy, engage and excite students...despite systems put in to place that reduce autonomy and promote teachers using scripted lessons and teach-to-the-test learning activities. The joy of teaching and being intellectually challenged comes from the joy of students learning and being intellectually challenged!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glenda…
      I was scrolling through the posts tonight and was so excited to see you that you have joined the group. (I am sure you are a busy woman, and it is AWESOME that you are taking the time to read and join the discussion.)

      Thank you for promoting a state wide book study and for participating in the group. This is a GREAT way for Indiana educators to network with one another.

      Delete
  74. I feel very fortunate to have a strong network of fellow administrators whose opinions I value and expertise I admire. I am in a corporation comprised of 11 elementary schools, and we meet once a month to discuss various topics. We are free to add anything we wish to the agenda each month, so the topics vary. Our meeting venue rotates among the 11 buildings, and we always tour the site so that the principal has the opportunity to showcase something that he or she is excited about doing with students and staff.

    I am also in a book club made up of elementary and middle school principals from the surrounding area. We meet each month to discuss the chosen book. I have found these discussions extremely, thought provoking; I always leave with a new perspective or added knowledge gained not only from the words of the author, but from the words of my esteemed colleagues as well.

    I am new to the world of Twitter; I just started "tweeting" June 17! I was actualy shamed into joining by one of the presenters at the Catch the Wave eLearning conference held at Lafayettte Jeff last week. I must say that I have found a plethora of valuable information from the tweets of colleagues on
    Twitter. I am looking forward to using this new world wide network to make me a better administrator.

    For the next two years, I will be a member of the Indiana Principal Leadership Insititute. I am very excited about networking with administrators across the state. I hope to start a blog to share what I learn from my time in the academy. My first retreat is July16-17. Stay tuned!

    ReplyDelete
  75. I still keep in touch with my English teaching cohorts from college. While we have grown apart we still go to each other for support. We are a tight-knit group with varying experiences. I utilize this group for their vast knowledge. It's a group of at least 6 people who teach different grade levels and demographics. I am also an active member in NCTE. NCTE is an excellent resource for incorporating new ideas from a national perspective. Their conferences are also a great opportunity to meet the author's of books your students are reading in class. Being a part of the NCTE network keeps one up to date with national updates in English Education.
    Like many others, I find Pinterest an excellent way to share ideas with teacher around the world. Pinterest enables teachers share ideas, content, materials, and best practices. Another excellent benefit of Pinterest is its accessibility. I am able to access my organized ideas from any computer via this website. If I find something I think one of my fellow teachers/pinners would enjoy I can send the pin directly to them from the site.
    In the future, I hope to incorporate co-teaching strategies in my classroom. This will require close interaction with our school's special services staff. This is a very exciting move as it increases the likelihood higher amounts of individualized instruction for students with higher needs. Being able to utilize our special services staff in this way is very exciting.

    ReplyDelete
  76. UGH!! Just responded and selected "publish" and I don't see my post. Any ideas....
    So here I try again...

    Most of my networking at this time is via email with people within my school building, surrounding schools, or those I have met through our state's science association (HASTI).

    Our school (and sister school within the same district) have been in a 1:1 educational environment for 2 years. Most of the teachers in our building have jumped on board with the technology. Each of us tend to have a “specialty” of a particular web tool that we have found works. I know what teacher to talk with about using “kahoots,” symbaloo, or even developing a simple form on Google docs.
    I have found my niche with My Big Campus, and I have actually learned more from other teachers as me questions about the program. If I don’t know an answer to a particular question, I will find out for myself and then get back with them.

    I do have a twitter account, but only because I attended a conference a while back and they were giving away prizes to a lucky “tweeter.” I learned how to “tweet” and what hashtags meant. Although I did not win a prize, I began to follow some people and groups that had common interests as myself. Then the conference ended and I did not look at my twitter account….until I attended another conference four months later. I had to relearn how to post and what hashtag to use, but it came back to me. I still don’t utilize twitter like I should as a networking option, but I know it is there. I need to take time to find those particular groups I am following and browse through.

    I also know Google has a networking option. What is it? Google +
    And what is LinkIN (is that right?)…..I know these are out there, and people have invited me to join, but I just don’t “have time” to learn another tool.

    So as I read this chapter, I am going to follow my own rule I tell other people….”pick one thing and learn about that, and be good at it. Then you can pick another. Don’t try everything at once. And find someone who “specializes” in that particular tool and learn from them. Teachers are people who want to help. We want to be successful and we want others to be successful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, we should pick one thing, learn about it and become good at it. It can be overwhelming to try too many things at one time. When I dabble in too many, I don't have the opportunity to fully explore what each one has to offer. I am going to browse a couple and pick one to focus on for now.

      Delete
  77. For me, networking has given me an edge I hope will help me land a permanent teaching position. I work for one school district during the school year, another during the summer, and yet another for an after school program. This has given me invaluable access to different instructional material, mentors, and best practices in technology. I also enjoy connecting with friends I attended college with and hearing what innovative techniques they are implementing in their classrooms. Reading this chapter has encouraged me to start my own twitter account and helped me understand why it can be so valuable. I am also inspired to share about an upcoming workshop I will be attending it's put on by Duneland schools and is only $50 a day. This workshop is put on by teachers similar to Edcamp in an active learning environment. August 4th and 5th... See Duneland's website for more info.... :)

    ReplyDelete
  78. I have been involved with and/or used networks at the local, state and national levels. They have all served different purposes for me. This year in my school a group of teachers wanted to focus on and strengthen their use of writing workshop. This led to a voluntary monthly meetings where teachers discussed and shared what had been happening in their classrooms. This provided encouragement for them to safely try new things and begin developing and organizing their curriculum. It also led to discussions among buildings and grade levels. It sparked excitement building-wide and will continue in our school-wide professional development for the first half of the upcoming year.

    At the state level I have utilized the Learning Connection. I have joined groups relevant to my area of focus. I have found this site to be both helpful and tedious. I have come across relevant and useful information. However often times it creates stress for me with an overwhelming number of emails. I flag things of interest and soon I have an "ocean" of flags and can't find what I'm looking for. Sometimes I miss important information when it gets lost in this "sea".

    I have also been a member of national organizations. I have been a member of the International Reading Association and the reading recovery Council of North America, as well as the Literacy Collaborative. These organizations have provided resources that have strengthened my knowledge if best practices in my field and have reinforced and confirmed my foundational knowledge and beliefs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa I'd love to chat with you about the Learning Connection. Sounds interesting and daunting all at the same time!

      Delete
  79. I have been able to connect with a group of educators via various outlets. Early in my career it was through the National Council for the Social Studies. Their bimonthly publications were a good way for me to get new ideas for my classroom, but it was to a degree a one-way relationship. More recently I have connected with the discussion groups created for each of my AP classes that are facilitated by the College Board, and by far the best network is the Facebook group I belong to for AP World History teachers. We can comment freely to each other, share photos of projects, share documents, and get quick answers to questions or concerns we may have. It's great to be connected with these teachers and to be motivated by their ideas or just share a quick link or video from the internet. I would say that I am also connected locally to other social studies teachers in my corporation. We shoot emails back and forth with ideas and often we can even get to professional development activities together.

    ReplyDelete
  80. During my first year as an instructional coach, I sometimes felt like I had the plague in some buildings. I didn't quite fit in anywhere. I left a beautiful classroom, a strong staff, and a great administrator to become a hobo. I wasn't part of any school "family" and I didn't have a coffee cup....looking back, I wish I had been more appreciative of our coaches' meetings. I spent way too much time thinking about what I'd left instead of trying to make myself part of a larger "school community!"
    The coaches in my corporation have decided that regular bi-weekly meetings are mandatory for us. We work to strengthen our own network that will help us better serve our teachers. We discuss what worked and get advice to better learn from our failures. We share our expertise via presentations/tutorials in our meetings to grow our PD and to share these new skills. The other secondary coach and I plan to meet next year for an additional hour prior to our large group meetings. I count on my colleagues to guide me into my second year of serving our educators while helping me to adjust to life outside of the classroom and from my school.
    Some of our coaches are great at forwarding articles and best practices to the rest of us. I have turned to some of them for guidance in certain situations where I felt my limited experience was hindering growth. I need to be better at giving to the network and not just taking from it....

    ReplyDelete
  81. There are a few teachers in my building who would act as my local network, but I also have a local network that includes teachers from three or four neighboring counties/school systems. These are connections I've developed through a summer science focus as Hanover College. My connections with them, outside of our science workshop days, mainly come via Facebook.

    However, we have a very techy principal who promoted online networks and challenged us to plug into Twitter, etc. to find groups of educators to learn with and from. Being a people-pleaser, I did so. However, I admit, as the school year starts barreling ahead...I often neglect those tools. Therefore, with the journey through "Thrive", I'm finding myself diving back into Twitter and LinkedIn...as well as dabbling with a few other things I've learned along the way.

    Now that my mentor/partner teacher has retired, I would guess I would lean on and go to these networks of colleagues more than in the past since I won't have a "network" next door.

    ReplyDelete
  82. My current networking with educators is nearly non-existent. I believe that this book club is the closest thing that I have come to networking, besides Facebook, which I use mostly as just a social network with family and friends.

    After reading this chapter, I have finally created a Twitter account. It took some time to get it set up; following only those who can offer help, support, ideas, etc., for teachers and students, but found that I had to begin following others just to get my account started. I have been extremely hesitant in creating an account for two of the reasons that they gave in chapter 2; too busy and no patience when waiting for results. However,in creating this account I hope that it will prove beneficial for me and I hope that I continue to use it. My fear is that in the hustle and bustle of the new school year I will eventually fall away from Twitter and other networks. I have added the Twitter App to my phone for this very reason. Maybe if it's located where I venture often I will consonantly be reminded to stop, take a break, and better myself; or even share something that I feel works!

    ReplyDelete
  83. As technology changes, I find I am online looking for ways to enhance lessons while using the devices we have available. I am currently using a group online called Better lessons. I find many ideas here directly related to the subject matter I am teaching.

    My school will be starting 1:1 during the next school year, at that time I will be challenged to find ways to incorporate the laptop into the learning process. I will be networking with teachers in my building to learn the programs we will be using.

    I have a twitter account but I rarely use it. I haven't found twitter appealing to me. I prefer to use websites where I can read such as NCTM Smartbrief. I use facebook and would love to find some groups that are related to my subject area.

    From reading this chapter, I hope to keep myself from getting too busy to use the sites I have found. They are great tools to research and although I might have to tweak an idea I don't have to recreate a new idea from scratch.

    ReplyDelete
  84. This chapter actually went right along with what my district was doing about two weeks ago at a conference called WISE. The conference was all about collaboration with teachers and using the internet to make connections. A really interesting thing that we had was an ongoing twitter feed using the same hashtag so we could all be connected.

    Our Keynote speaker George Couros made some really good points about your online profile. He talked about your online professional profile and how it can be used to advertise your teaching with the use of blogs. His point was that if someone were to "google" your name what would they find? Obviously you would never want anything that may give someone the wrong impression of you to show up, but what about if nothing shows up? Then you have not left your mark. You want to show the good things that happen in the class and put it out there for everyone to see not just your principle. I myself am not a blogger by nature but was really inspired to start one the next school year. I also feel it will be helpful to have a class blog for parents to check up on. Even though they are already able to check other learning management systems this might be easy for them to look at one webpage and be aware of what is going on in their students class.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Like others who have already responded, my networking is mostly limited to what those in my building have put into place. Our administrator goes out of his way to allow us to network on many levels. Likewise, teachers in our building go out of their way to help each other. I have attempted to use My Big Campus and am fortunate to have an expert on staff who uses it regularly and is more than willing to share uses. This summer I have been introduced to blogs and although that is probably "way behind the times", I can see how it could be a very useful tool. The networks I would like to investigate that I gleaned from this chapter and the responses are IMLEA, Edcamps, and Teachers Pay Teachers. I also thought about looking into possible networks that specifically address Alternative Education.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I am an early user of technology to make connections. Back in the day I subscribed to list serves and had RSS feeds. Most of these early connections were static. People posted things that everyone else read. I was not at that stage of reciprocating. Although I have a long way to go before I would consider myself to be a “sharer of knowledge” beyond my comfort zone, being a part of this book chat forces me to get out there and collaborate.

    Participating in IDOE webinars was really the start for me in terms of moving away from a one sided relationship with resources. You could ask questions at the end of a session. These were very informative and enabled me to be in tune with what was going on in the state. In fact I think that the state does an amazing job of connecting to its educators. This book club chat is only one example of how involved the state is at providing connections but there are many more.

    The #INeLearn Twitter Chat on Thursday nights is always great. It is also the perfect place to learn about being in a Twitter chat room. The people who frequent these chats couldn’t be kinder, especially to novices. I made every mistake possible the first few times I participated. I think I will refrain from sharing these.
    HECC and ICE are two other state organizations which deal with technology and education issues. I consider both to be important to my PLN.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Wow, this chapter has given me a great deal to think about.

    Sadly,in reality, I think my networking for science was stronger in my earlier years than it is now. I used to be a member of HASTI, NSTA, Environmental Educators Association of Indiana, and regularly attend (and presented) conferences at the state and national level. It was always so energizing to attend those conferences, workshops, meetings, and get the publications on a regular basis. The people were always so interesting and I cam away with so many resources and ideas! Over the years as our science curriculum changed and our focus on testing results increased, school support for attending these types of events for science is no longer supported and I have let my memberships and involvement go to the way side. I really loved my connections with other science teachers and always learned so much! I will make it a goal this next year to reconnect with those organizations!

    As for building my PLN, I am still trying to learn how to do this using technology. I am probably one of the few people who has never had a facebook page (I have lurked on my husbands! LOL) and only started a Twitter account to follow my principal. I have been afraid of using them. I am afraid not just because I don't know how to use them...but the idea of being able to draw the line with professional/personal use and making mistakes in thise area because of ignorance has always caused me to be hesitant. However, through this book study and our PD at school I am beginning to see how these tools can be helpful to me professionally. I have lurked on several of our twitter chats at school but have never participated. So, I am and have been working on adding some resources to my Twitter account. The list of resources we were given through this post were wonderful althought a little overwhelming to me but I am going to work on picking out a few to add and see how it goes. I also have talked to one of the teachers on my team who uses Twitter all the time and she has agreed to mentor me in this area!

    This chapter has also encouraged me to reach out to others. Recently I have contacted some teachers I have found on Teachers Pay Teachers, and through this, have connected to teachers from other states and discussed topics such as using interactive notebooks in the science classroom. Something I am wanting to improve on this next year.

    The information presented in the book and reading the comments here have been encouraging. I have a new awareness and and new direction now!

    I am open to suggestions of helpful resources for a middle school science teacher! :)

    ReplyDelete
  88. I will admit honestly that I am not a person who likes to do the social networking thing. I find it very difficult to sit at a computer for any length of time. I am the only teacher of my "kind" in my building, but do communicate with the Multi Disabilities teacher in the elementary school. I have a network of other special education teachers in the county and we do help each other out. I have found that the Ed Web sight has been great and I have really enjoyed the on line discussions and presentations that are viewed by educators across the world.

    ReplyDelete
  89. When I first started to read chapter 2, Join and Build Networks, I thought I am really short on this, but when finished reading I realized since our school corporation has gone 1:1 that I am better off than many educators. We have had various training sessions that have exposed us to many possibilities. I used Edmodo more the 2nd year of 1:1 and it has been a great tool for our eLearning days. I know I could do much better especially on a national networking level, but educational nor personal time have not been on my side.

    I appreciated the professional eLearning days our corporation had this past school year. This allowed the other FACS teacher in the corporation and me to share our networking sources with each other. Since we are not a core subject, this was the most beneficial part of our day. One that she shared with me that I want to make better use of this next school year is Family and consumer sciences.com.

    The teachers in my hallway and another former student/educator inspire and encourage me to use other programs, for example, Teachers Pay Teachers. At first I was refusing to start pinterest and I gave in. As I expected I am a bit addicted to it. I found some of my students were following my pins that were related to their class. I have used Edmodo and I appreciate one teacher that even sends us things we might be interested in on Edmodo. Not all relate to my subject area, but I always check out what she sends.

    Recently when eating lunch with one of my first influential people that too went on to be an educator, I realized again how much farther ahead I am because of our 1:1. We were discussing pros and cons of some things I have done that they are being asked to do.

    This chapter and reading the posts of the eLearning book club have inspired me to find time to try some of the suggested sites. I often get so busy reading posts that I get behind catching up on my book club reading and actually getting my written thoughts to the post. I am utilizing networks when I have time. When I am short time, I do a lot more internet searching for things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that you were able to collaborate with other FACS teachers in your school system! I need to do that with other ENL teachers, but it is hard to carve out the time.

      Delete
  90. I really appreciated how in this chapter Rami gives examples of lots of different types of networks. I am plugged into our local networks-- as the only ENL teacher in my building, I feel like I'm a part of both the English and the foreign language departments. I also collaborate with other content area teachers quite a bit. The literacy team has been a good place for that type of collaboration. We recently had a conference-style professional development day for the corporation with teachers presenting, and that was very helpful.

    I've done a few INeLearn Twitter chats, but I'll admit to that format not being my favorite. I need to give it another try.

    Since I enjoy going to conferences with other ENL teachers so much, I would like to be more plugged in to networks with the international and state organizations (TESOL and INTESOL). This chapter is encouraging me to do that.

    I use my networks usually to bounce ideas off of, to get new ideas for teaching, and to continue to develop as a teacher. I've learned a lot about the changing landscape of education through my networks, and that has been very beneficial.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Wow! This hit me between the eyes. I have always prided myself on staying up to date with technology. How ever after reading this chapter, and enough nagging from my 17 year old, I see that I am falling further and further behind. I have found generationOn.org. A great resource for student center classroom lesson plans. I was at a conference when I was reading this chapter and decided to start a tweeter account. This has been a great way to follow all my new friends.
    Most of the time I see technology as an excuses for people no to talk to each other. As with anything, it all depends on how you use it. Technology in as of itself is not bad. It all depends on how you use it.

    ReplyDelete
  92. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  93. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete