Monday, June 22, 2015

What Connected Educators Do Differently Week 4: Key Connector 3 Embrace the Three Cs: Communication, Collaboration, and Community

Last week we talked a lot about hashtags and Twitter chats. Hopefully you all have checked out some hashtags and found some that will be helpful. And maybe some of you have even found a Twitter chat in which to participate. Thank you for all the suggestions! In this week's reading, the authors suggest creating a school hashtag. I would like to challenge you all to come up with a classroom hashtag (or school or corporation hashtag if you are at the school or district level). Share some ideas of some things you might share via Twitter utilizing a hashtag. The authors also discuss sharing through blogs and YouTube videos. If any of you are doing this, please share your URLs so that others can learn from your example. If you're not doing either of these, do you see a use for these in your school or classroom?

We have a few people who have recently joined the conversation, which is great, but please make sure you have introduced yourself in the first week's post. This is the only way I know who you are and where you're from so I can send your PGPs at the end of the book club. If you have colleagues who would still like to join in the conversation, please tell them it's not too late. Just make sure they participate in all the past weeks' conversations.

For next week we will read "Key Connector 4 Give and Take...and Give Some More."

172 comments:

  1. Our school has an official Facebook page that posts "highlights" from athletics, academics, and so on; it also provides reminders like finals week, conferences, and so on. Our corporation also has an official page which shares with the community all kinds of interesting information from schools being rebuilt from the tornado disaster in 2013 to our National Teacher of the Year candidate. I would like to encourage our teachers and other community members to thing about a hashtag that would work for us - probably #MaverickPride.
    After reading this chapter, I created a BLOG for my students to use just as we use this one - to post a topic over our reading and discuss it. I think it will be a great way for the quiet students to get involved in discussion over the novel and maybe ask questions they are too afraid to ask in class. Any writing I can get them to do is going to be a plus in my mind. They are usually great writers, but more practice never hurt anyone! My blog site is: http://aubbieenglishteacher.blogspot.com/ I literally JUST started it last week, so it is just ready for the first week of school. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. :)
    And thank you to everyone for all the great ideas, people to follow, and books to read! I just got Teach Like a Pirate in the mail on Friday, and I am so excited to begin reading it!

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    1. I created a blog for my second graders to use during Daily 5 and as a reader response at home. They really enjoyed it. There was a lot of modeling at first but they loved seeing their thoughts on the blog. It also allowed parents to see what their child was reading in class so that they could engage in meaningful reading conversations. Unfortunately I didn't keep the excitement alive and it faded out by the end of the year. Good luck!

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    2. Just looked at your blogspot. Looks good!!

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    3. Cindy, thank you so much for providing the address to your class blog spot. I would love to do this for my English classes and my Current Events class this year. This will be completely new for me, so wish me luck setting it up. And, kudos to you! You sponsor a lot of activities and have a family!

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  2. One of the things that hit me when I read this chapter was that to complete these tasks, you really need to work with others in your school/district, such as in creating a school hashtag. It's also a chapter where you really need to check out the many links provided. (and if you haven't already, be sure to use the links provided on the publisher's site; it's easy to just click away!) http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781138832008/

    Only a few people have used our district as a hashtag #msdwarren, but occasionally I noticed people tagging the district with @msdwarren to be sure the post is noticed. Partly to support one of our teachers battling cancer, my school started using #crestonstrong but it was mainly used within the school. MSD Wayne Township has made effective use of #WeAreWayne, and I notice lots of things they do through that. If I were to come up with a classroom hashtag, I would probably use #CrestonLib or #CMSCIALib (since I serve two schools)

    A few school librarians across the state have started to use #AISLEchat to bring attention to items we think are important. We do have a twitter acct, but adding the hashtag is so easy.

    My own blog has gone through so many fits and starts (and I need to update from the dreary winter background) I have so many posts I've started in my head but never even started to draft online. I can see great value in the youtube channels, but only have a few random things there as well. So many times when you are busy with an event or project, you forget to take video to document it!

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  3. Here is a helpful article from George Couros about blogging: http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/4673 He is the one who inspired me to attempt blogging a second time as my efforts to blog have been very much like my original Twitter attempts. I started on Blogger when I took a blended learning class a few years ago; that didn't last. A year ago I started a blog on wordpress after hearing George Couros speak; I found it again today and saw my last post was from September 2014. HA! I had to reread it to remember what I wrote. That was fun, and I realized that blogging chronicles what I cannot be trusted to recall about my experiences in education or in any other facet of my life, what other generations would have called a diary or personal journal. I am going to see if I can add to it over the next few weeks and maybe surprise myself again next summer with my entries. It is located at https://farlowt.wordpress.com/
    This week's encouragement to blog seems to pile on a little more in the expectations column, and I need to discern exactly where my time is best placed. Trying to participate daily in all options for 'being connected' is somewhat in opposition to the trend in education that we should reduce the quantity and focus on the quality of our students' work. Flooding twitter, a blog, or any social media with quantity that is not quality makes it all the more difficult to determine whom to follow or what to read. I appreciated the comment from one of the 'follow 5' suggestions, Pernille Ripp, who said, "I didn't know I was unconnected until I was connected." I have learned a lot from this book and even more from teaching for several years. Her comment somewhat mirrors the expression: the more I know, the more I know I need to know.

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    1. "Reduce the quantity and focus on the quality". I love that. It is so true! I'm attending conferences, doing this book study, looking up some new curriculum that involves technology and I have to say I feel a little overwhelmed sometimes. I know that I can NOT participate in everything and need to find what will work for me.

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    2. I too feel overwhelmed! I 'm not technology inclined and I sometimes find all of this a little frustrating. I am currently teaching summer school, doing this book study and trying to plan for some changes that will be happening next school year. I realize too I can't do everything and need to pick and choose some things to do. I have thought about maybe a blog for my classes next year. It seems to me that teachers are always busy doing something all year long!

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    3. Amanda, Kathleen,
      Anyone who is taking time this summer to participate in this blog, conferences, etc. is more ahead of the game than some give themselves credit. There are a lot of choices and some directives. I relate this to an observation made while parenting my own children over the last couple of decades. There were a lot of options for activities available and a lot of other parents and children who seemingly made it look like we needed to be doing 'one more thing'; at times I questioned whether my children would miss out on an opportunity if they didn't participate. In the end we were a happier lot when I put on blinders to other parents/children's activities. I needed to support my children where they chose to become stronger instead of watching what others were doing. I am going to try to apply that to my own business of being a stronger educator; I appreciate interaction, but I can't interact with everything and produce top quality work. I am enjoying this stretch of summer to rekindle some educational sparks and try new things; I am also aware that once school starts, time spent on Twitter, blogging, Facebook, etc. is time I am not spending on something else. I will at some point need my blinders to all the 'activity' and focus on what keeps me strong for my students/family/health. I appreciate you all.

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    4. Well said, Tammy. I needed to read this.

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    5. I just don't have time to blog- I think blogs are great but I struggle to read them let alone write them. I only do this blog during the summer months. For me, Twitter has become my blog- short but sweet Tweets to chronicle what happens in my classroom daily. Follow me @catanhistory . I'm also going to start using the hashtag #bravescatSS6 next year- for Maconaquah Braves Catanzaro Social Studies 6- that way parents can find what's happening in our classes too. I'm not a big fan of Instagram, but I may even venture into that area- my students seem to like it best- as a means of communication with my class and students. Another thing that helps me with short and sweet communication is Remind- I don't really use it to remind my students as much as to tell the parents what happened in class today- to give them a conversation starter for the evening with their students. People seem to really like it, and it's another way for me to look back in self reflection as the year progresses.

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    6. WOW! So much information to filter through! I get very excited when I read each chapter on how I can become more connected. I feel this is going to take some time and I agree that we do have to make choices! My kids are grown but time is still a big factor. I started a class website for my students but mostly parents to see what we do in FACS class. Our school has a "newsletter" but that is it. I do think as a school we could benefit from a facebook page. I am still trying to attach to twitter- but I do not want to be glued to my phone more than I already am. I also have used Remind but I have students in each class that do not have access to this. I have a class webpage: blazzarofacs.weebly.com that I post information but could go way further with this. (A goal for summer!). I have been hesitant with the blog page to include student response. I think it would be great for elementary school but not so sure for middle school. How do you prevent responses that are inappropriate? Thank you all for sharing so many blogs/websites/etc. I am sitting here on vacation and once home will continue to work my way through all of this. I too am going to other workshops this summer and I think that we all need to find what works for us and make choices! We cannot do it all!

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    7. Thanks Tammy,
      This seems daunting, I am so wrought with thoughts of I am so not doing my best as I read these chapters. I have not realized the tool Twitter can be and have only viewed it with my preconceived negativity. I need to do so much more with it. I have trouble delving into the unknown.
      #hopingtogetholdofthis

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    8. Tammy, wise words and great advice!
      It is so easy to become overwhelmed (as I am), but it is so important to remember that I am trying and every step helps! I will take the advice of "blinders" and remember what my focus needs to be!

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    9. I really think I am in the same boat as Tammy. There are just so many routes to communicate in a different way. Is there anyone out there who is a faithful PLN Tweeter, does a blog, follows hashtags or creates them and post you tubes? All of these options just seem overwhelming. This technology train seems to be speeding along so fast that when I think I have a handle on something, a new "have to try" appears and the cycle starts all over. I tried blogging years ago and was so surprised that my sophomore level students had no idea what a blog was and some even could not navigate through the registration process. I think if an educator is going to integrate these technology aspects into their teaching, one would have to go either technology or non-technology. I don't know how effective the technology integration would turn out in a blended environment. When I have had students use some cool programs to create self-expression in the language, I found myself training them more on the technology and the linguistic production aspect was being lost. Which are we supposed to do as 21 st century global teachers? Both, of course--and to do them well, no less. TIme, time, time. A four letter word. So, any time management tips from heavy teach PLN users would be most appreciated. Thanks!

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    10. Tammy,
      I know that I am responding pretty late to your response, but it was exactly what I needed to read because I was starting to feel overwhelmed as well! Thank you for the very sound advice :)

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    11. Yes thank you Tammy!! It is also what I needed to hear. I think sometimes we can get too wrapped up in technology & just every day life. It does feel overwhelming:)

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  4. I just received an email publicizing a webinar in which you all might be interested. It is titled "Empowering Digital Citizens: Embracing Social Media in Schools" and is presented by Jason Markey, principal at East Leyden High School, who was discussed in this week's reading. For more information and to register go to http://www.instantpresenter.com/AccountManager/RegEv.aspx?PIID=ED58DF878148

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    1. Thanks for the source! Will check it out...:)

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    2. Great, thank you for this! Will definitely look into this!

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    3. Thanks for posting this. It looks like it would be a great resource and learning tool.

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  5. After reading this week's chapter, I feel I am more inclined to use a blog versus twitter. I'm not certain I could keep up with a blog and a twitter, so I am going to have to attempt both to see which is more beneficial to me personally. Our school has a facebook page, I notice alot of posts are of the elementary school. The high school needs to have more posts about our students. Whether I end up connecting on facebook, twitter or a blog I want to post about my students, their successes whether small or large. I think this would encourage parents and students to stay connected to what is going on in the classroom.

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  6. I usually just use the #FACS or #FCS with my classroom tweets. I’ve never thought to make my own and use it. Not all my students follow me for various reasons. I was offering some incentive but then had a student approach me and said their parents wouldn’t allow them to use Twitter so if she could have something else to do. I then realized that it might not be fair to offer incentive like extra credit questions to follow if not ALL my students could use it. That kind of stopped my frequent tweeting and it became less important unfortunately. When I do share things on Twitter they are usually about the school not my classroom. When I attend a game or event I take pictures and usually post them.
    I do have a YouTube channel and use it a lot. Last summer I got a crash course on playlists and it has REALLY helped me this year. I also do food demos being a Food and Nutrition teacher so I made my first demo this year as well for measuring. The link is my YouTube channel.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCykG9TAn9aPyvk_vx_a7dpQ

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    2. Thanks for sharing your YouTube channel! Do a lot of students/parents follow your channel?

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    3. Thank you for sharing your YouTube channel! As a FACS teacher too, I know how valuable demonstrations are for student learning. I have searched many hours looking for the right clip to show my students. It would be worth my time to create my own videos. Less cleanup/set up and it would cover EXACTLY what I need my students to learn. I am not sure how to do that though... Haha!

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    4. Jamie, parents-no. My students do because I post my videos for some demos there.

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  7. Although I have felt woefully unconnected as an individual while reading this book, I do feel like my school does a good job reaching out to the community. We have a twitter account @BishopChatardHS and I have discovered it is the place to go to find out the latest about everything from sporting results to new baby announcements. I have just begun to follow them and now I don't have to ask my colleagues to relay what they read on Twitter! Like Kim, I think I would be more inclined to use a blog. I do not like being limited by he number of characters I should use and I think it can help improve my students reading and writing skills, even in a math class. I do intend to play around this summer and see what I can come up with! One thing I have realized, too, is that students are more connected to Twitter and other social media outlets than they are their email, so if I really want to get their attention I have to use their outlets.

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    1. I definitely like the blog aspect for the same reason: not being limited to the number of characters. But at the same time, I agree with your last sentence that students are more apt to connect via Twitter rather than blog updates through their e-mail.

      This is actually why I chose to do both. I use Twitter for quick reminders, updates, and PD while I use my blog to reflect and evaluate PD, teaching techniques/activities, etc. I also use my blog as an example to show students (like you said about helping students with reading and writing skills). I ask students to create their own blog on GoogleDrive, so whenever I have them write, I write as well. It shows students that we can't just write quickly and be done. They see me delete, think, re-write, re-word, etc. until I am finally happy enough to hit publish.

      I see the positives in both blogging and Twitter, and I hope you find out which is most beneficial for you! Keep me posted on what you decide!

      @MissSchlo_EN

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  8. I have been working on thinking up a creative, yet short and sweet hashtag. I know the district I work for has one. Some ideas that I would share using my hashtag are when things are happening in my classroom (projects, programs, what we’re learning today, reward days, etc.), and I feel the hashtag would let parents know the information in my tweet is specifically for my classroom. Also, a hashtag can help me search and keep track of the tweets that I am posting and see if others are posting.

    I have been working on creating a website for my classroom(s). I would use it similar to Twitter, but have more resources and information for students and parents. On a website that is the place to put more information and look what we have done this year, and Twitter is more for the “happening now.” The link to my website is: http://rockingwithmissriggle.weebly.com/. It is not published yet, but I am hoping to get it up and going soon!

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    1. Thank Susie, I will see if that hashtag is available!

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  9. When I post on twitter I use our schools hashtag as well as our districts hashtag. I never thought about creating a hashtag for my own classroom, but I really like this idea! I will make it my goal to create a classroom hashtag. When I post on twitter I like to share what we are doing in my classroom (ex: activities, songs we are singing, rewards), and what is happening in our school.
    At the end of this past school year, I started to create a classroom website, http://note-ablemoments.weebly.com/. I really liked using the www.weebly.com site. It made it very easy to create a classroom blog. I have not posted any blogs yet, but I have created an About Me Page, Community Events Page, Music Websites to Explore Page, Classroom Blog Page and a Contact Page, with links to our other related art teacher pages.
    After reading this chapter, I’ve become interested in creating a YouTube channel for my classroom. I think this is a great way to share ideas with students and their families. I will also be looking into the TouchCast App that was mentioned in this weeks reading.

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    2. I also have a Weebly site. I had not updated it for two years, but I'm teaching summer school. We are studying about Knights & Castles. One of the projects the students created is a Medieval Power-point. I like to post the Powerpoint on the Weebly site so parents can download their project.
      I created the pages for the my site years ago. I am going to update this summer. You can visit my site @
      http://mrsndenny3rdgrade.weebly.com/ :)

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    3. Thank you for sharing! I love to look at other teacher websites and get new ideas!

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    4. Yes, Jaime we do need to look into the YouTube channel! That will help us be more connected with the parents/teachers/school/community!

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  10. My school does not have an official Facebook or Twitter but I think it is something we should look into. We will need to change some older policies that did not allow any use of social media at school.
    Is anyone going to the Post-Secondary Institure in Indinapolis tomorrow or Wednesday? If so, it would be nice to meet some fellow book study buddies.

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  11. Our school does not have a Twitter account or Facebook page, but our sports department does. A few years ago, I set up both a Twitter page and a Facebook page for the library (@BCMSLibrary), but I don't update them very often. One more thing to add to my list. Joining conversations like this always gets me motivated. Now, I just have to stay motivated.

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  12. My school recently started a twitter page: @JESTigers We also have a Facebook page to share information with parents. I have not used Twitter or Facebook to communicate with parents. I do have a website where I put upcoming events and important information. The website also has a place to upload pictures. The pictures motivate parents to look at webpage because they love to see their child in school. I also communicated this past year with parents by group email. I had each parent give me an email address and then when I need to send out important information I could send out one email. They seem to look at emails more than the many notes that go home in their backpacks.

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    1. Our teachers all maintain Canvas LMS pages, plus we have a school website. We do have parents that check them but what they lack is a notification feature. Does your website have one? What I love about our social media sites blog, Twitter, FB, and Insta. is that it notifies followers when something new is posted......I wish our websites did the same!

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    2. Sometimes the notification is on the receiver's end. A blog can include widgets for notifications like an RSS feed, but sometimes it's up to the follower to opt in.

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  13. I know that my school has a facebook page and twitters accounts. Some of those are for clubs, sports teams, and etc. For me I usually just go by what I get in my emails. I think it would be good for the school and the community to see a blog that was posting positive comments about what it happening in the school. I think that is a great idea, one I might be able to help with but not lead.

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    1. I am behind on my response this week. I read my chapter and tried some hashtags. I am very excited about how we can incorporate some of these ideas with our school. I am thinking of creating some blogs to help our school and a place for teachers to share ideas. I have just returned from AVID training earlier in the week and then ASCD conference late in the week. My mind in on PD overload. I

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  14. On our classroom Twitter account (@MrsRicesClass) we post pictures and links about what we are learning. We also post questions to other classrooms hoping that we can connect with them and share our learning. When we do this we usually use a hashtag (such as #2ndChat, #2ndMath, etc.) so other classes will find our tweets. We also mention specific classes if we know they can relate. We tweet as a whole class. My second graders suggest what we tweet and they proofread it themselves. It really gives me ownership. They cannot access Twitter themselves, but can see our posts and comment on them through my webpage. They really love seeing our tweets and hearing from other classrooms. They know we are sharing with the world, so it also helps to model good digital citizenship to them. I do use a classroom hashtag (#GESMrsRice). Mostly to help parents find our posts without having a Twitter account. We also have a school hashtag (#GburgElem) that we have recently started using.

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    1. My 2nd graders were interested in the interactions we would get through my Twitter posts about our Skypes this year...but it was usually just the people we were Skyping with. How did you get other classes to interact with you from your posts?

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    2. @Tracy Young I started with Twitter when I was in 2nd grade. When you are open to "be followed" then you can allow them to follow and allow them to comment. This is all in "settings." At the end of your tweets add @and other twitter handles that you want your tweet shared on their twitter page. It will happen as you grow your followers and follow others. D :)

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    3. Tiffany, I am adding you on Twitter. And I'm excited to use the 2nd grade hashtags too. I often am discouraged by not being able for our students to connect with other classes.

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  15. the hashtag for the School City of Hammond is #schk12... there are at least 2 hashtags for our school - #GavitAthletics (for sports of course) and #gavitmhs (used mainly for staff)... we need one for the school community...

    I have a classroom hashtag I rarely use (the kids say Twitter is passe, lol) its #sci_explorers I will try to use it more this coming school year.

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    1. I teach at the middle school level, and I would agree that most of my students do not use either Facebook or Twitter. I am looking at Twitter for my own personal development.

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  16. Our school corporation has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Each school has it's own Facebook page as well. Some of the clubs, groups, and sport teams have Twitter accounts. There are so many opportunities that are available through social media. I feel like we have just hit the tip of the iceberg. I very much enjoy reading the comments and information presented by members of this group.

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  17. My school's twitter page is @OBannonELSCH. O'Bannon also has a Facebook page. School City of Hammond's hashtag is: #SCH12. Hammond has been participating in Summer Workshops for each they created a hashtag. For the reading workshop the used #schliteracy. During the workshop, educators tweeted about what they were learning during the professional development. Last week, Everyday Math presented their new program to Hammond educators. They used #schmath for day. Again, educator tweeted about being excited and their learning.

    I do not own a Smart Phone so my only access twitter is my laptop or computer. The result of no Smartphone means I'm not connected to the internet at all times. I have a web page on Weebly. I have never began the blogger part of it. I have attempted to blog on Google one. However, finding the time to blog is almost impossible during the school year between school expectations and required documentation of professional development, student progress, guided lesson plans for four groups for reading and four groups for math, objective boards with I Do, You Do, We Do - for writing, reading and math, not to mention grading papers. I have been working my Twitter account and attempting to feel more comfortable with it. I have a Facebook account and active on Pinterest.

    I would love to be connected has a whole school family at O'Bannon ELS. I didn't find out about my school's Twitter site until I read this chapter. I feel more connected and enlighten.

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    1. My school doesn't Twitter or have a Facebook page just for our school, but our corporation does. Our administration also sometimes picks something up from an individual teacher FB or Tweet and shares it corporation wide. I think it's just good public relations in this day and age, to present schools and students and teachers in a positive light! The high school Twitter handle is @MaconaquahHS , our school Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/maconaquah.schools .

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  18. A few thoughts I had on this chapter....
    1. I love the idea of tweeting for school pride. What a great way to increase community awareness of the positive things happening at school. I see many educators in my district using Facebook for a similar purpose.
    2. It is frustrating that my district blocks so much social media. Teachers could be using it for professional development and community involvement, but the fear that students will misuse it has held us back.
    3. Enjoying the comments by everyone! Feeling more connected already!

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    1. I agree Megan!

      And what is crazy about the blocking the social media...our school corporation has all of the social media! I know lots of people that use twitter to keep up with the sports and activities.

      I used Instagram for my homeroom last year...they loved it! They were always saying.."what's our hashtag going to be?" ha!

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    2. I agree too. I would love to do more with social media...once I figure it out.....but our school blocks so much that it almost makes having technology pointless. I was asked to help maintain a new middle school Facebook page for our school and am very excited...I just hopes it helps with communication to families and our community.

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    3. Megan, I agree as well. Social Media is a great way to help us stay connected outside our schools. It helps the community/school/district see how much pride we have in teaching at the schools we teach at!

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  19. Our district has hashtags set up for each of our schools. My school is #shstars. I never thought of having a hashtag for my classroom. I wonder which platform my parents would be more comfortable with-- Private Instagram account or Twitter?

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    1. If I am in the classroom next year, I'm planning on setting up a class account and using a classroom hashtag. I have used class hashtags for specific activities or events, but not had an enduring one in the past.

      Last year I set up Twitter accounts for characters from Romeo and Juliet (yes, actually on Twitter), and had my students log in as the characters to Tweet a modern summary of the play using #manahanrj. Here's a Storify of one of the acts https://storify.com/cmanahanahs/romeo-and-juliet-act-1-scenes-1-3 They had so much fun and did a great job of it!

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  20. My school corporation, my school and all of the schools in our district have Facebook and Twitter accounts. MSD of Wabash County is considered to be one of the top technology enhanced school districts in Indiana. We have been a 1:1 school for three years. We all have learned quite a bit in the last three years. The teachers at my school are encouraged to post what is happening in our classrooms on the school’s Facebook page. I never really thought about having a Twitter page or Facebook page for my own classes. It seems like the kids have moved towards Instagram and other social media, but I am considering starting either a Twitter account or Facebook page for my classes or possibly a blog for my Spanish classes. There are a lot of choices. I feel I would need to do something that wouldn’t take a lot of time to maintain but be something useful for my students.

    I’m still not on Twitter much. I have found a few interesting sites to visit via Twitter. I enjoy Facebook and Pinterest more! I am slowly becoming a more connected educator through Twitter and Pinterest. There is so much information available for us. It is overwhelming to try to check it all out. I know we are told to tackle one thing at a time…but picking one thing and finding that time is hard! I hope I will be able to find more time in the next few weeks to get more involved with the Twitter chats.

    I signed up for EdmodoCon in August The description of the event: “A live online event where educators from around the world connect with each other to share how they’re using Edmodo and other digital tools to personalize learning. The educational collaboration event of the year, EdmodoCon is streamed live from the San Francisco Bay Area and designed to help you partner with other teachers, discover valuable new resources, and feel inspired to harness the power of edtech in your classroom.” I have never done anything like this, so I will give it a try!


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    1. EdmodoCon sounds interesting! I know there is a lot of our building that uses Edmodo as their LMS. You'll have to let us all know what you learn! Good luck with it!

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    2. Yes, Sandy, I received e-mail reminders about the EdmodoCon event. You are a dedicated teacher; this event happens on our last day of summer vacation! Let me know how it goes.

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  21. I really love the idea of having a twitter account to use for my classroom. So many parents and kids that I know use Instagram so I might have to do a little research into what parents are most likely to follow. Posting activities, photos and positive moments in the classroom. Are there any privacy issues that need to be addressed if we are posting pictures and activities?
    I used a Reader’s Response blog for my 8th grade classroom last year instead of having the students do the typical Reader’s Response book report. This was a new format for many of the students so it took a little time for the kids to understand that they were doing the same assignment, but they were posting it on a site instead of typing it out and turning it in. The kids were also asked to respond to other students blogs. I was hoping that not only would they get experience writing on a blog, but that they would also be exposed to different types of books and maybe find something new to read.

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    1. I love the idea of a Reader's Response blog! I did this in college but I've yet to have a chance to use it in the classroom. Awesome idea!

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    2. Yes, I like the Reader's Response blog idea, too. I would love to see one!

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  22. I have a hashtag that I and a few of my teachers use (#KoutsMHS) and our district has one that some of us use (#EastPorterCO). I am struggling to get more teachers to use twitter and the hashtags to get the great things they are doing in class out there.

    I just started blogging in May thanks to encouragement from Dr Spike Cook (@DrSpikeCook), Matt Miller (@jmattmiller) and Amber Teaman (@8Amber8). My blog site is tomstoner24.wordpress.com and like I said, I just started it so there are only a couple posts there.

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  23. Our district is really tech heavy and active on twitter. Having tried twitter, facebook, and even Remind101, none of my students even signed up to follow one thing. At the middle school level, I think they are paranoid about people in authority possibly seeing what they are up to. The students in my school don't want to be connect outside of school. It's strange. I think this year I'm going to try a blog and post the daily agenda and assignments, as well as doing some extra flipped lessons for practice.

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    1. I like the idea of posting assignments and projects on the blog maybe once a week. Since my classes rotate every 9 weeks I like the idea of using the blog for this. Each 9 weeks are different so this would be a great way to keep parents and students informed. I do also think I will think of a hashtag - put it on my "Recipe for Success" that I give out the first day of class each quarter (this is my procedures/rules). Then try to use it for updates etc. I also teach middle school and many students do not use twitter.

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  24. Our district set up Twitter accounts for each school and for the district last year, but school/district hashtags haven't caught on yet (for athletics, many use #APride). I usually mention @ahsnation (Angola High School) and @MSDof Steuben (MSD of Steuben County) in my tweets, as well as #inelearn #elachat #engchat to share things from my classroom.

    I have also started sharing new ideas/articles/blog posts on Google+, and everyone should check out our Communities of Practice on Google+ (http://www.doe.in.gov/elearning/online-communities-practice); you'll find one for you no matter what your role in education may be!

    I started my blog last August, but only posted a few times before my Twitter PLN encouraged me to join the #AprilBlogaDay challenge. I didn't make it anywhere near every day, but having the commitment and the writing prompts if I needed them was helpful! That grew into #EdblogaDay after April, and people blog weekly (prompts suggested) at #youredustory too! My blog is laughinglearningleading.blogspot.com

    I take MANY pictures in my classroom, so I recently set up a class Instagram account! I am really excited for the possibilities of using Instagram with my students! Fabulous ideas here: http://morgetron.edublogs.org/instagram-in-the-classroom/ AND http://www.weareteachers.com/blogs/post/2014/08/07/10-ways-to-use-instagram-in-the-classroom

    Facebook is the social media my district tends to shy away from (the only one blocked in our district), other than a few clubs or teams with closed Facebook groups. I think part of this is the fear (horror stories) of what COULD happen because so many people are on it; BUT, that's probably why we should have an official Facebook account! It's where most of our parents and stakeholders are already comfortable with social media!

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    1. Thank you for sharing the websites for Instagram in the classroom. I was thinking of doing this for my course. Part of my class is cooking at home for homework. If the students could share their pictures on Instagram that might be fun to do and look at.

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    2. I am also going to check out the Instagram for the classroom. I take lots of pictures and also have at home cooking assignments! Thank you!! Very helpful!

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  25. I know that our school has hash tags district wide and for each of the schools but I have yet to really use Twitter so I honestly can't say what they are. Now that I have gained a little confidence in my usage of Twitter I'm going to have to go to more of the PD's offered by our technology consultant. This year we learned how to use Google Drive and our school is really pushing for that to be used by everyone along with a blog that was started for our school. This summer we have teachers doing research and blogging important articles and ideas that we can use for next year.

    One of my biggest concerns as far as using Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube in the classroom is privacy issues of my students. By privacy issues I mean that I don't think my kids want me to see what they are up to. I did a survey of my sophomores this past year and they said they would more than likely not follow our class on social media for school related things only because they felt like we would be invading their "personal space." I personally don't use any of these in my classes but I feel like it would be worth a shot to get something going. I can see YouTube being beneficial in some respects. One thing I know I could use YouTube for is my how to lessons. At the beginning of the year I teach my kids how to set up their paper with the proper heading, I show them how I want papers turned in, and I also teach them how to set up their binders. We often get a large influx of new students after Labor Day, so having these types of videos my kids can just watch them and get caught up so I don't have to spend so much time before or after school or during class even teaching them how to set up materials.

    Another concern I have is just being able to have the time to maintain a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. Although, this upcoming school year I will be teaching in a Freshman Academy team setting. This could be something that I take to them at our next meeting and maybe as a team we could get something going. I think a Twitter might be beneficial, but only if our students participate and follow us. I have younger siblings and nieces that are more interested in Snapchat and Instagram and not so much Facebook and Twitter.

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  26. My corporation has a Facebook page that was put in place this year but it was really only used for weather related delays and closings. The PTO at my school put together a FB group page and posted a few pictures and asked for help with their projects. That is the extent of the social media connections. We have a few teachers in the corporation on Twitter but no one uses a specific hashtag.

    I would love to get my school connected in some way to let the positives shine! I tried to connect my 2nd grade families to classroom happenings via Twitter, but only 1 followed. I think I'd like to try linking my Twitter with a Facebook page or group to see if the families would better connect. I've been trying to research which would be better.

    Any suggestions for my 2nd grade class to connect with their families? FB page vs. group, some other outlet?

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  27. Great chapter! I love the idea of a school hashtag. I agree with someone else who thought that was something to maybe have input from others in coming up with a school wide hashtag. I'm going to check out the website in the book and try to come up with one to see if everyone else likes it.
    I started a classroom blog last year. It was super easy to set up! I always wanted a webpage but never got the time/motivation to set one up. I'm taking a course through five-star technology and learned how to do it and got it all set up on one of those lovely Indiana snow days! The way I used it this year was letting one student do the typing and we all worked together to decide what to blog about. I am thinking about how to utilize it more next year and really encourage parents/families to read and interact with our blog.
    I am going to be starting up a Facebook page for our PTO. I think that twitter and facebook can be great ways to get information to parents quickly.

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  28. Our school as a Facebook page, and according to a teacher/friend of mine on this e-book club, Sandy Gutzwiller, I learned we have a hashtag.....but I don't now what it is.
    I have utilized the school Facebook to add pictures of labs and activities we are doing in the science classroom.
    I like the idea of a classroom twitter hashtag, and I think if the 5 or 6 teachers from Southwood that are in this e-book club started that it might take with our kids. I would make a separate classroom account rather than the twitter account I am currently using to develop my PLN.
    I like the blog idea, but I think I would get started strong and then fizzle. I would like to utilize it though an e-portfolio when I learn to do that!!

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    1. I am not sure we have a hashtag. @SouthwoodHS is the Twitter handle.

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  29. One of the earlier posts states, "I didn't realize how unconnected I was until I got connected." That pretty much sums up how I am feeling while reading this book and the posts each week -- except that I still haven't really gotten connected! My kids have been helping me with Twitter and I can now see that it's not really that hard, plus there are many classroom and professional uses. But, I have a long way to go before I really feel proficient. Our school athletic director does a good job of using Twitter to keep everyone up-to-date with our sports and we have a group of kids who are pretty active on YouTube, but I'm not aware of anything official for the whole school. Perhaps a School Wide Goal in the making??? I also love the idea of a school wide blog; something where students, staff, retired staff, the community can all comment on positive things going on -- no room for negativity though, how do you keep that stuff out?

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  30. My school doesn't Twitter or have a Facebook page just for our school, but our corporation does. Our administration also sometimes picks something up from an individual teacher FB or Tweet and shares it corporation wide. The high school Twitter handle is @MaconaquahHS , our school Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/maconaquah.schools . Follow me @catanhistory . I'm also going to start using the hashtag #bravescatSS6 next year- for Maconaquah Braves Catanzaro Social Studies 6- that way parents can find what's happening in our classes too. I'm not a big fan of Instagram, but I may even venture into that area- my 6th grade students seem to think it's the coolest- as a means of communication with my class and students. Has anyone blogged with students about their learning? I'm thinking of trying that weekly, with the students telling me SOMETHING significant they have learned that week as part of their "exit ticket" for the week. But I've never tried that before- I don't have any idea what's the best website to use. Suggestions?

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    1. Kari, I have not blogged about what students are learning (yet) but I use Weebly to create my website. I find it very user-friendly! I know there are others out there, but Weebly is free to a certain point, and as teachers, we love free!

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  31. Our PTA has a Facebook page where information is available to parents about upcoming events. As stated earlier, I don't use Twitter therefore I don't have a hashtag. Our staff did have a meeting on setting up remind 101. This is a good way to text parents quick reminder if you're hesitant about parents having your cell phone number.

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  32. I too find myself after reading this week's chapter, more inclined to use a blog versus twitter. I see a blog as easier to manage as opposed to Twitter. I am afraid that some valuable information will be lost in the vastness of the Twitter world. Even with the creation of a hashtag I just see it as another way to get lost in the big Twitter world. I could create a blog and post the address in my classroom and send it in an email to parents and all the information they need would be in the same place. I am just afraid that information is going to get buried on Twitter.

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    1. I completely agree! Twitter can be used for some information meaning not taking it away completely, but a blog is definitely the way to go to get information all in one central place. I am a music teacher so communication about programs is crucial to give parents time to call off work and be there to watch their child.

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  33. My principal has been on the Twitter train since our administrators attended an event featuring Todd Whitaker. Our principal uses the account to feature sports and academic events, highlight pictures from concerts and dances, and push out important news items. I plan to create a hashtag to use for my own classroom news.
    From the very beginning of my career I have belonged to HASTI and value the connections I make each year during the conference. Getting involved with technology has extended the collaboration to the whole year.
    My personal Twitter account has been reserved as a professional growth site. I have worked to follow individuals and groups who can challenge my teaching habits. Last chapter and the econferences offered in Wabash and Warsaw have helped me add some new people.

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    1. I just revamped my Twitter account for PD only.....if I opened a new one for classroom I think I would do it separate. I wish there was a way to manage both accounts from a phone. It's hard to sign in and out.

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  34. I am finding all of this information very overwhelming yet very interesting. To my knowledge these things do not exist at our school, but should and I believe that we have the people with the knowledge to make it happen. I plan to talk with them about it when school begins in August. I want to be more involved and could use support within my building.

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    1. Just takes one "heat-seeker" to start the fire! Good luck! Be the flame!

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  35. My school corporation is FULL of technology. Possibly because we are a 1:1 school? We have a full time technology curriculum person to help us integrate technology into the classroom. My corporation all employs a full time marketing person to update Facebook and Twitter. I personally have a blog for my classroom (quinnselner.blogspot.com). I find this blog provider to be very user friendly. I use the blog to allow my students to journal activities that we have participated in as a Life Skills class. They love to look at and update the blog. I also feel that the blog is a strong line of communication to parents, administrators, and the community at large.

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    1. I author our school blog as well and I love blogspot! I think it is very userfriendly and visually appealing. I also think it displays nicely on mobile phones which I know is where our parents are looking. Do you have any tips how to get more people to follow? It would be great to have that marketing person at our building. Right now it is just me and my assistant principal who keep all our social media sites up....and there are 5 of them plus my 3 Canvas sites! We could do that all day, every day probably!

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  36. Our school just became a 1:1 technology school this past year and all of the students/teachers received iPads. We had to sign a social media contract and the administration has really encouraged us to use our Edmodo application instead of Facebook (although we are switching to Canvas next year). So I am pretty sure I would need permission from my administration to create any sort of social media page connected with the school.

    I am also feeling super overwhelmed with all of this information. How is anyone supposed to work 10+ hour days, participate in extracurricular activities, have a Facebook account, a twitter account, write on a blog, AND find time for their friends, family, and themselves?? I also agree that quality trumps quantity. Here are my suggestions:

    Instead of a PERSONAL blog I’d like to do a SCHOOL blog for teachers. Each month or every two weeks a teacher shares what they are doing in class, a lesson idea, etc. Teachers can contribute whenever they want to and share student achievements. It could also be a place to ask for support or resources when creatively problem-solving various obstacles.

    Instead of writing a blog or tweeting, create a Pinterest educational board and pin various educational articles related to your content area, classroom management, etc. Pinning is more visual and I think it’s more fun in general.

    Also, the book mentions YouTube a few times. I encourage everyone to check out the Ted Ed video page; they have some AMAZING resources to help teach various concepts:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/TEDEducation

    These videos have everything from Shakespearean insults to how to make a mummy and how music effects the brain… it’s awesome!!

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    1. I also feel super overwhelmed with this information. This is a lot to do, in addition to our normal work hours. I love the idea of a school blog. Designating certain months to certain subject areas might be a way to organize the blog too.

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    2. I agree about Pinterest...I use it all the time and it is a great place to store ideas, articles, and even lesson plans. It has really helped with my professional development.

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    3. I think you are on to something with the school blog and the Pinterest Board--great problem solving!

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    4. We use our blog that way. I started it and as the tech facilitator I just had teachers let me know when they were doing neat things in class, then featured them on the blog. Sometimes we had students panel questions that came in on the comments like after chicks were hatching or after big events.

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    5. We use our blog that way. I started it and as the tech facilitator I just had teachers let me know when they were doing neat things in class, then featured them on the blog. Sometimes we had students panel questions that came in on the comments like after chicks were hatching or after big events.

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    6. That is great that you do that for your school. I would love to mention this possibility to my tech director for next school year. Have a feature of the month focusing on technology in the classroom, critical thinking skills, etc and if a teacher had something to contribute they could. Or perhaps the blog could feature one subject area (if your inf a large school like mine(.

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  37. I am glad to know my school corporation is not the only one that is conservative and afraid to dive into the social media world. I personally wish we would take the risk. Even though my corporation doesn’t have a social media presence, I do like to follow other schools. My brother teaches and coaches at a different school corporation located over three hours away from me. Twitter is an easy way for me to discover how his basketball team is doing when I can’t make it to the games. I also follow schools where I have previously taught. I love the up-to-date information I can gain from just scrolling through my twitter feed.

    I do not have a blog; however, I have a teacher friend who does have one. She is pretty new to blogging, but I think she is a great, connected educator (http://adayinthelifeof19b.blogspot.com/). Some primary teachers I know like the following blogs:
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher- http://www.ateenytinyteacher.com/
    Fun in First- http://fun-in-first.blogspot.com/
    Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbits- http://tunstalltimes.blogspot.com/

    I think Twitter is an easy way to share pertinent school information like school delays, athletic updates, reminders, etc. Creating a school, corporation, or classroom # is a great idea!

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    1. Our corporation has Facebook accounts for the corporation and each of the schools. A few teachers like myself have their own account but not very many for their classes. Each teacher however has a school's website where assignments and alternative sites are available for students and parents.

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    2. I followed your friend's blog. I love seeing what others are doing in class, especially when they have Teacher Pay Teachers accounts. If I didn't have to sleep I think I would make things for Teachers Pay Teachers. The time it takes to put all that together...I can't imagine but I love the creation of resources.

      I had stumped upon the teeny tiny teacher blog before but not the others, so thanks for sharing. I was thinking more of using blogs as an online newsletter of the happenings in a classroom. I hadn't considered authoring a blog to use as PD for others.

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  38. I personally use my school website and Remind a lot for communication to parents/students. Next year, my school will be using Canvas and I think that will be the way that I first try discussions with my classes. I see the benefit of having Twitter for the school district I am in though. Its great PR to showcase things teachers and students are doing above and beyond the traditional classroom setting. My Twitter account was setup with the school's name in it, so I can easily be found by anyone.

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    1. We just switched to Canvas this year from Blackboard. It has been a long awaited move on my end. I love Canvas and I think you will too. Not sure what you had previously but it was a huge shift from the complexities of Blackboard. The only thing I don't like is that there is not guest access. So blogs and discussions can only happen "in house." I have helped teachers supplement Canvas with Kidblog.

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  39. Last year I created a Facebook page for my gym classes. I have less than 50 friends on the site. Most of these are friends of mine and I have only about 6 parents from the school. I have posted the page site in the monthly school newspaper. Starting a Twitter is something I have to think about. I have joined a few sites and enjoy the conversations. Photos were mentioned and that would be difficult. Many of our parents do not want their child's photos taken.

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    1. I work at the same school as Gail. It is sad that we have classroom websites, facebook pages, etc and parents/students do not take advantage of them. They are a really useful tool and they save paper!

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    2. I can see both sides of parents wanting or not wanting their child's photo taken, very fine line and I think my stance as a parent changes every other day!

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  40. While reading this I made a list of what I need to do to get this going. NOTES ON PAPER. Organizing my classroom that is so full of mountains of art supplies has a high priority this summer. I need to jump in and do this but it is so outside of my comfort zone
    #digitalimmigrant

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    1. I still love NOTES ON PAPER....I have this new pad that says "To Do Now"-"To Do Later" and all these neat columns. Something about crossing those items off makes me happy!

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  41. My school corporation has facebook and twitter (the twitter might be only our sports program). It is a great way to get information out to people as well as show some positive PR.

    My school building (the middle school) does not have our own facebook page or twitter. This would be a really nice addition.

    I have stated before that I have used instagram in my classroom and the kids LOVE seeing pics of themselves. I would like to continue that next year and include twitter as well.

    I am thinking of using my team name along with my subject area for a hashtag...#landroverscience...I think it might be helpful (and inspire a little healthy competition) to include class periods in the hashtag. I definitely have a lot to think about and practice with before the school year starts up.

    I am definitely going to take the advice given..."quality not quantity" because I know how overwhelming it can be when trying to do everything.

    I already use youtube videos and it is amazing what the kids will rewatch on their own time.

    I did a paper-slides video project this year and it was awesome...I can definitely see putting them on twitter and kids getting to comment on other class period projects. The paper slides is a great review tool...they were given a topic; they had 30 minutes to write a script answering 4 questions about their topic and then they drew pictures on copy paper explaining their topic. After a bit of practice, students recorded this "slideshow" with their phones. All the videos are 30 seconds or less and interest is very high. I could do this but have them post their videos with our class hashtag.

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    1. I really like your paper slides idea! Seems like the students did too. You might shorten the hashtag...that takes up a lot of your character allotment.

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  42. My school corporation has facebook and twitter (the twitter might be only our sports program). It is a great way to get information out to people as well as show some positive PR.

    My school building (the middle school) does not have our own facebook page or twitter. This would be a really nice addition.

    I have stated before that I have used instagram in my classroom and the kids LOVE seeing pics of themselves. I would like to continue that next year and include twitter as well.

    I am thinking of using my team name along with my subject area for a hashtag...#landroverscience...I think it might be helpful (and inspire a little healthy competition) to include class periods in the hashtag. I definitely have a lot to think about and practice with before the school year starts up.

    I am definitely going to take the advice given..."quality not quantity" because I know how overwhelming it can be when trying to do everything.

    I already use youtube videos and it is amazing what the kids will rewatch on their own time.

    I did a paper-slides video project this year and it was awesome...I can definitely see putting them on twitter and kids getting to comment on other class period projects. The paper slides is a great review tool...they were given a topic; they had 30 minutes to write a script answering 4 questions about their topic and then they drew pictures on copy paper explaining their topic. After a bit of practice, students recorded this "slideshow" with their phones. All the videos are 30 seconds or less and interest is very high. I could do this but have them post their videos with our class hashtag.

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    1. With using instagram and youtube- I'm assuming you had to get written permission from parents stating that it was ok to take their pictures. Did you have problems with any families or were most comfortable with this?

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  43. Last school year my district started a Twitter account, @MSDofSteubenCounty, and then my middle school, @AMSyellowjacket. It was used a lot for weather information. I have been searching hashtags and had a hard time finding one for my classroom, so many are already in use, and the content doesn't always coincide with what I want to be associated with. The middle school's hashtag, #yellowjacketpride, is used by quite a few others also. I can see a good use for Twitter, and am not sure how much I will tweet. Right now I want to continue using my Facebook page, Angola Middle School Art, and have 262 followers after about 4 years. I haven't pushed it all that much, small signs around the school, word-of-mouth, etc. I get good comments from people about it so I want to continue using it. I'd like to keep Twitter different from Facebook, more education-related, whereas Facebook is more fun and social. My Twitter searches have been very informative and different, and I really feel like I'm growing that L2PN network as talked about in the book.

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    1. I will have to look you up Pat! Thanks for sharing about the District, I am still learning...

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  44. My husband is an A.P. Chemistry teacher at a high school and made uploading videos a goal of his this year. He posted a review video that was done with him using his Ipad. You heard his voice in the background and saw him write on his Ipad and work out problems, performing a talk aloud. He is trying to expand to recording demonstrations but would like to keep them private--only accessible to his students. I couldn't advise him either way as to the settings with You Tube. I have just started to dabble in it and do not have recording expertise with that one. Any suggestions are welcomed. Thanks!

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    1. There is a setting in YouTube you can click that only allows users with the link to view. You then post the link on a class website or somewhere where students use as their launch pad (where they access all info).

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  45. Right now we just are hoping they tweet and follow our school @academy_ba. It's our second year with Twitter and we are still waiting for it to catch on. We just keep on using it in hopes it will take off! We sent home summer reading books each with corresponding activities. We challenged families to tweet us photos of students doing their activities or reading .So far we have only received two responses. :-( I also want to do a #readingselfie tag and bulletin board all year, but do it among st all the schools in our district.

    I do a YouTube channel, it has mostly housed coaching videos for teachers but this year we added an ISTEP Pep Dance and a Silly Superhero Summer Send off Video for our students. I think I could branch out more this upcoming year and do some read alouds, flipped lessons or something, perhaps make a student YouTube channel separate from my teaching staff one.

    I do moderate our school blog. PLEASE FOLLOW!! www.bonairtechnologyacademy.blogspot.com.....PLEASE COMMENT! We love to have conversations with others!

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  46. Also, our third and fifth graders have live public blogs from October- May. They blog about what they are reading. We invite other students from around the world to make comments on their blogs so our students can respond. We would love to share these with you. Please let me know if you are interested! Always looking for more connections!

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    1. Do you use KidBlog or ??? I love KidBlog as you can have private blogs with just your classroom or can open it up globally. This was a global blog http://kidblog.org/SOAR-34SliceofLifeStories/ and we have another SOAR-34 KidBlog for just classroom discussions. We are 4th grade. D :)

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    2. Yes our kids use Kidblog and we love it also!! We will have to connect this year!

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    3. Yes our kids use Kidblog and we love it also!! We will have to connect this year!

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  47. Like many of you, I'm starting to feel overwhelmed! At first, I was excited about creating my twitter account and collaborating with other educators, but now all the tasks seem daunting! I created a classroom blog several years ago as a way to communicate with parents about what was happenining in our classroom, and then I tried to also use it to share with other educators as well. It has been updated in spurts...when I "have time" it's frequent, and when I don't, the updates cease. I think after reading this chapter, I can easily communicate with parents using pictures and updates on twitter and facebook, and it seems more do-able than a weekly blog. (My blog is mintonkindergarten.blogspot.com) I'm still sorting through all the information that has been presented in these first few chapters, and I'm partly excited, partly overwhelmed about implementing!

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    1. Hi, Teresa!
      Make sure you link your classroom twitter to our classroom FB account. When you make a tweet (I most always include a classroom picture with the tweet, it automatically posts to our FB page, too. I use my classroom blog when I have classroom photos to share and often this is once a week. This I can also click to share on FB. Literally a click, not automatic like Twitter. I email daily updates to my families. The blog is connected through Mail Chimp so that parents are emailed the blog like a weekly newsletter. This also posts on our classroom web page on google sites. I think it is the connectivity that makes this all powerful. I don't have to update the classroom webpage to keep it current as my classroom blog does that. Twitter updates FB. I know it all seems overwhelming but it can be quite simple with little extra work once it is all set up. Get help as needed for set-up. I have a wonderful techie friend that helped me with MailChimp and linking to my google site. I recommend Twitter linked to your FB as the first step. Good Luck! D :)

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    2. BennisBuzz…Love your advice. I am looking forward to sharing with families this year via Facebook and twitter…can't wait to meet with my team to set things up!

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    3. Teresa: I know what you mean. I have a blog, but I add to it in fits and starts. The first couple of chapters of the book I had pretty much covered, but then I hit this one and thought..oops, better get moving! I need to add some of the features they mention on pages 35-36, although I don't know how I could do a link to "top posts".

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    4. Holly Wright, I just did some research and found if that our weebly website can link to twitter and facebook!!! :)

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  48. I am still new to the District and know that we recently started with Twitter. I know that at the High School level we use it a lot more than at the middle school. This chapter contained a lot of information. I would like to implement blogging in the new school year, wanted to last year but ran out of time and was not sure really how to get started, still am a bit weary. I do now teachers that use it and it is a great success in their classes. As for You Tube, I have used this on occasion in my classroom for various lessons. There are numerous videos already created that can be applied to anything or something specific. Sometimes I have my English Language Learners watch a funny animal video (short) and pull out all of the action verbs they see. Then write a brief paragraph in present tense about the video and then one in past tense. I am going to try the 5s at the end of this chapter and hopefully can get an idea on how to create my own blogging page for the new year.

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  49. I am a preschool teacher in Hamilton Heights School District. In my few years of teaching within this school district I have seen technology grow and evolve in exciting ways. Since I do not personally have a Twitter account I thought I would share a little about what my district does below.

    Teachers have quite a bit of freedom to use different mediums of technology within the classroom. Each teacher had a "My Big Campus" page they updated throughout the course of the school year. Several teachers also have Twitter accounts they use to update parents as well. As I previously stated in postings past, I have yet to jump on the Twitter bandwagon. Yet I believe more and more teachers will be setting up accounts to enhance technology within their classroom.

    Our school also has a technology team that helps create professional development geared around what the teachers would like to learn. The topics vary but we have had a few on "Twitter", Excel, and so on.

    Our school district's technology team has been hard at work promoting various technology-related professional development sessions and even a yearly conference solely educating teachers on technology-related topics. Last year was the first year for the conference and it was a fun and educational experience. Attending teachers could choose from various breakout sessions such as "How to Tweat" as well as how to use Imovie and even qr codes in the classroom. Since then I believe more teachers are using these within their classrooms.

    Since I could not comment on how I use Twitter, I thought I would comment on how my district is making great attempts to increase awareness of technology, specifically Twitter and many others to not only enhance student learning but also parent and teacher awareness. Technology is changing so quickly that it is great to have conferences and even book clubs to help educate the educators. :)

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  50. I had been thinking about using Twitter as a resource for my students and after reading this chapter I created a Twitter account for my class. AMS 8th History @ BmooreAMS I had not thought of using a hash tag for the class but I will definitely use one. I think I will have my students help me come up with ideas for the hash tag. Maybe if they have some say they will feel some ownership and use it as a resource.

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    1. One idea that I have seen mentioned at some conferences is to have a "tweet seat". The person sitting there is the "designated tweeter". That might be a fun thing to do in the classroom as well. Great idea to have them help come up with the hashtag.

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  53. Our school corporation has a Twitter account. It is most often used to tweet updates regarding delays, closings, and athletic highlights.

    I use our FFA account to tweet reminders and highlight the achievements of our students.

    I like the idea of blogging. I like to write, so I have always felt like I would enjoy blogging. However, the thing that is preventing me from blogging myself is time...finding the time to do it.

    I would like to include some blogging exercises in some of my courses this coming year. We will soon be utilizing a new learning management system, and I suspect it has a blogging tool.

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  54. Sorry if you saw this post earlier, I was posting on the wrong page. I am new to this and am learning as I go.

    I created a school hashtag, #nativityfamily. I chose this for my school for several reasons. One, my school is named, Nativity. The second, and much more important reason is that our school is a family. We support each student, parent and faculty member. I have taught at this school for some time and this is one reason I stay there. It has a family presence to it.

    I do not have a blog or make my own You Tube videos. I am sure the children and parents would love to read and watch them, if I did to find out more information on what happens in my classroom daily.

    The Twitter chat I watched on June 25th entitled Summer Refreshers; It's time to Revive, Renovate and Replenish mentioned making short videos to help kids remember content!

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  55. My classroom hashtag is #SOAR34 = Students of Academic Rigor in Room 34. Also, we use KidBlog and it allows students to create hashtags for their posts. I had not thought too much about introducing hashtags to my 4th graders but next year we will use them. KidBlog can be protected to JUST your classroom OR opened up to collaboration for the WWW. It does notify me when student receive a post so I can still monitor and delete if needed. I have not had any bad experiences and we went global with the Classroom Slice of Life challenge for the month of March by TwoWritingTeachers.

    We used KidBlog for Poem of the Week discussions. The discussions were amazing! We did have to spend some time, more than once, about what is appropriate and inappropriate in a formal academic discussion. Conventions were expected. I found this free on TpT and love the way it uses poetry for teaching deeper thinking. Highly recommend for grades 3-6 and beyond. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Common-Core-Lesson-Teaching-Deeper-Thinking-With-Poetry-536625 Still FREE!

    D :)

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    1. Can't wait to check out your #SOAR34. Thanks for sharing all of your ideas!

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    2. I was a little worried about the privacy issue with a blog. But after looking at KidBlog, I feel like this is something I could really use. Thanks for sharing!

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  56. Being a special education teacher sometimes makes doing these new things very challenging. I only actually teach 1 class (Life Skills Math) and I will only have about 6 or 7 students (total- usually broken into 2 different class periods). This makes it difficult to create classroom blog sites or Twitter accounts. Last year I did try a classroom blog but with only 3 students in the class it didn't really seem very effective. I do think that these things are great ideas for full sized classrooms. I have never tried to create videos and post to youtube either. I have however, been in inclusion classes where the students have made videos and posted to youtube. They did really seem to enjoy them. I think just knowing that something that they produced is out there for others to see really makes a difference in their work effort. Again, I do not see a use for me to have my own classroom Twitter account this year with so few students/ parents. Thanks Sandy Gutzwiller for our school Twitter info. I knew that we had a school account but I have never seen/heard it used, I think our school Facebook account is very successful though!

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    1. You could have your students help decide what pictures to use in short blog entries, or tweet some of them out. Even students and teachers not connected to your classroom might appreciate knowing and learning about what you do in your room.

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    2. Susie, that is a good idea of having the students help decide what photos to use. I'm not sure that my high school Life Skills boys really want to be seen on social media however! They would rather not have the exposure at all! But I do think it is a good idea, definitely something to consider!

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  57. I would choose #Bluejay way for our school hashtag. I am really trying to manage through twitter. I just can't make sense of it yet. But I am confident this will be an amazing improvement over my first years of teaching. I have learned so much although very overwhelmed and I cannot wait to out it to use. I am more concerned with student participation in technology. I see them using it for their own needs...but how do we get them excited about using it for school.

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  58. I would choose #Bluejay way for our school hashtag. I am really trying to manage through twitter. I just can't make sense of it yet. But I am confident this will be an amazing improvement over my first years of teaching. I have learned so much although very overwhelmed and I cannot wait to out it to use. I am more concerned with student participation in technology. I see them using it for their own needs...but how do we get them excited about using it for school.

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    1. "This often leads to schools being viewed by many as challenging places where too much time and energy is spent on complaining about student behavior,lack of— or over- abundance of— parental involvement, shortage of resources, state and federal mandates, and so on. Sadly, what is lost in the translation is that others are not only listening, but they then, in turn, carry the same inaccurate and/ or unfair messages and communicate these to others in the school community. Over time, these negative comments can become very damaging and begin to unfairly label a school as a poor- performing school with low morale, or worse yet, as cultivating a school culture that does not care about students." I feel like this passage helps explain our school. Maybe I am being a little ambitious here, but let's start a school Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page and link them all together. I bet the yearbook staff/class could help out with the videos that they talked about, highlighting activities for the week/month/whatever we decided! I saw you posted about helping with the middle school Facebook page, that is a great start. We could send out all the info on our school syllabus for each class the first few days of school, that way each family could choose what they wanted to follow.

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  59. I have our preschool's webpage on our school corp. website. This is pretty much set up like a newsletter, updating parents on what is currently being taught, classroom notes, and important dates. I also post pictures, attach documents, and provide links to websites. Some parents utilize the website, but I still have to send home paper copies on a weekly basis. I get too many parents complaining that they didn't know about certain events and because a majority of the families that I teach are lower class, they don't always have access to the internet. Our school and corporation has a Facebook page but does not have a twitter account. I would like to get the ball rolling on trying to connect more families and creating a twitter account for our school- maybe #PHcardinals. I do think a lot of families are unsure, like I was, about the effectiveness of twitter. I would like to talk with my fellow teachers and principal about providing some kind of technology inservice for teachers and parents.

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    1. Although many of our parents and students do not have "regular" internet access at home, many do access a lot through their phones. My students have told me that they will follow an instagram account, so maybe that's a way to go. Ultimately, I think schools will move toward developing apps for mobile access.

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  61. My to do list is growing longer and longer as I continue to read and think about the possibilities for the classroom community I want to build this fall. I want to be more connected with my students as well as their families and I think creating the Facebook and twitter accounts will help with this! I want to meet with my team, my K-2 Shining Star Team. (In our building with have six K-2 teams. Each team shares the 60 to 75 students per team. We build connections and relationships with the children and their families.) I think we will be able to come up with some GREAT ideas for setting up our page and sharing our stories.

    Last year I met with a teacher, Jaime, from another K-2 team in our building, to take a closer look at the Weebly they have set up for their team…at the end of the year she helped me get ours started. I am excited about the possibilities this will offer as well.

    This old dog is trying to learn some new tricks.

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  62. Our school does not have a Twitter account and I'm still trying to get used to all of the hashtags and finding things. My only concern with Twitter is how many of my parents would use it. Our school has a facebook page but very few parents even like it or check things on it. I have tried sending newsletters and even had a Remind account and only had 5 parents sign up for it after sending many notes home about it. I think if we had an open house with a room where parents could learn about Twitter it might help to make parents more aware of it being a useful tool for our classroom and school. I hadn't realized how useful it could be until reading this book and parents might not understand either.

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  63. Carrie:
    I have heard of parent teacher (or student-led) conferences where the school has some open labs for parents to sign up for email newsletter, learn about twitter, instagram, etc. In times where many schools have problems getting parents to come for "extra" meetings, why not hold things for them when they are most likely to be in the building, and use students to help?

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  64. Okay, all of this has guilted me in to updating my blog. Added a few gadgets here and there, but I still need to work on the overall look. You could say I post irregularly-- the gap is from February to June. http://highleyrecommended.blogspot.com/

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  65. My coworker Reena and I have talked about really pushing each other to use twitter in our classroom. I need to come up with my own classroom hashtag but I haven't done much looking into it yet. I am in the process of coming up with my own website for my classroom resources & updates, so hopefully I could incorporate twitter into that so people can see posts (still learning about this whole website creating thing!).

    I use to blog personally when I was younger, but I haven't done anything like that in a long time. I'm not sure what the best approach for using blogging would be in a HS math classroom, but if anyone has any suggestions or tips I'd love to hear them! I love reading people's blogs in general, so I'd be open to the idea of somehow using blogging in my classroom.

    My one thing that I always try to keep in the back of my mind is how to incorporate all these new things we learn in the most effective and simplistic way so that I (and teachers in general) don't get overwhelmed! I'm sure everyone can relate :)

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  66. This chapter connected more to me since I have a personal and professional blog. Through blogging, I've been able to share my own experiences, grow as a writer, share what my students are doing and empower them to share with the world. I love meeting up each summer at the All-Write Summer Institute and seeing finally, face to face, the people I have been following on their blogs and Twitter accounts.

    I definitely agreed with many more points in this chapter and our school corporation has their own hashtag that they encourage us to share (#WawaseeEd) what we are doing in our classrooms. Our school PTO, school, and many classroom teachers have their own Facebook page, but with two blogs and a Twitter account, I don't want to take anything else on right now.

    My second graders use Easy Blogger to share their own post on our classroom blog (which I check before hand or delete afterwards). :)

    I truly love giving students a voice to share their ideas and interests.

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  67. My school corporation has a Facebook page that is updated regularly. Teachers at the elementary as well as the high school use this page to let the community know what is going on in their classrooms. This has been a wonderful communication tool for our schools. However, we do not have a corporation Twitter account. I found it very interesting to learn how Twitter can be used to bring a school system together like was shared in this chapter. Several of our high school sports teams use Twitter to keep fans up to date on the scores as they happen, and several individual teachers also use Twitter to communicate with parents.

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  68. I think that a blog would be a great thing to try with my kids. After reading several comments, I checked out the KidBlog and it looks great.

    I also like the idea of a YouTube Channel. With the Math Common Core standards, parents don't always understand the new way of finding solutions. It would be great to create videos that I could post to go with the lessons to use from year to year. Not only could it help the parents to understand (for helping with homework), but could be a good refresher for my students on their homework or before a test.

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  69. Currently I do not use twitter, a blog, YouTube videos, etc to communicate with students, parents or the community, however after reading our book and others comments, I am motivated to increase my use of these tools in my work. I think twitter and possibly a blog would allow me a forum in which to provide more information to our shareholders for their own benefit as well as being an excellent PR opportunity for our school and guidance department.

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  70. Currently I do not use twitter, a blog, YouTube videos, etc to communicate with students, parents or the community, however after reading our book and others comments, I am motivated to increase my use of these tools in my work. I think twitter and possibly a blog would allow me a forum in which to provide more information to our shareholders for their own benefit as well as being an excellent PR opportunity for our school and guidance department.

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  71. I've noticed that a lot of others are saying that they'd be more inclined to use a blog than Twitter, and I must agree. Several teachers at my school use YouTube for lectures and demonstrations as we move more and more to a flipped (or at least blended) classroom approach. I find the idea fascinating, but so far I have not done it.

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  72. I do use You Tube frequently in my classroom to show information videos. There are so many good educational video out there that are classroom appropriate. If you tube is not allowed at your district, teacher tube is another good resource that I have used in my classroom. I have thought about a good hashtag for my room and I have come up with this : #Keelerroom2015
    It's short and sweet and easy for student and parents to use.

    Another 4th grade teacher at my school has been blogging for about 2 years now, and after reading this chapter, I am very inclined to begin blogging this coming school year. Thanks!!!

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  73. I love the idea of having a classroom hashtag. I teach several different classes throughout the school day, and my students could post on Twitter about that class. We could even create hashtags about whatever topic we are covering at that time. This could get classroom discussion going outside of the school day.
    I have never blogged before, but I do see the value in doing so. We are getting a new classroom management system this school year. I would like to incorporate blogging into my curriculum this school year. I think that the students would enjoy participating in this event.

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  74. I love the idea of having a classroom hashtag. I teach several different classes throughout the school day, and my students could post on Twitter about that class. We could even create hashtags about whatever topic we are covering at that time. This could get classroom discussion going outside of the school day.
    I have never blogged before, but I do see the value in doing so. We are getting a new classroom management system this school year. I would like to incorporate blogging into my curriculum this school year. I think that the students would enjoy participating in this event.

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  75. This was a really good chapter! It has really gotten me thinking about ways to improve what I already do. I started a website for our K-2 team last year in order to improve communication with our parents and to make e-learning run a little smoother. I played around with a blog for science inquiry and had fun with it. When I had a student teacher, I slowed down with my posts. I want to try a few things this school year...One I want to create a Facebook and Twitter page for my team. I want to then link them to our team blog: http://teamincredible.weebly.com/ . Finally I want to really push this with my parents at the beginning of the school year. I want my parents involved. I can't wait to step it up!!!

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    1. Fire Up Jaime! I want to start a Facebook page and twitter page too and link to our webpage…fingers crossed you will help me!

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  76. I think these ideas are great for connecting to today's youth and to educator's who are in similar stages of their careers. I can hardly keep up with what's on my unwritten job description now; adding time to participate in social media is not high on my priority list, though I want to stress that I do believe there is value in reaching out and growing a PLN of which I believe I am a part of on the local building level.

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  77. I know that for our corporation's summer technology workshop, there is already a hashtag that is regularly used. People share thoughts and ideas and information about workshops they attended through that. Beyond that, I don't know what would be a good idea to use as a school wide hashtag. Honestly, since I don't use Twitter, I'm not sure the best way to create something like that where it would be easily used and found. If that makes sense. I need to at least open a twitter account so I have a better idea of how to use it. Then I believe these discussions would make more sense to me. I will make that a goal for myself in the next week or so. I don't know if I'll ever get into using Twitter a lot, especially taking the time out of my evenings to join in Twitter chats, but maybe just to find ideas once in a while it would be a good tool. I do find that as a special education teacher, especially with the classes I have taught over the past couple years, I have trouble knowing what ideas to share or finding ideas from other people. My classes tend to be a little unique for high school special education, so it can be difficult to find other educations who teach in a similar situation to get ideas from. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't useful tools and techniques out there that I could benefit from.

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  78. I search #Mrs.Gohmann to see if it would be a likely choice for a classroom hashtag. What I saw was an eye-opening experience. There was a Mrs. Gohmann who was recovering from St. Patrick's Day in 2012 (not me) and a Mrs. Gohmann was was giving a chemistry test (also 2012 and also not me). There was a Mrs. Gohmann who told too many stories and had on a weird outfit (2012 again, but unfortunately that one was me. I don't know that I what to know all the critical comments that are out there about all of the Mrs. Gohmanns of the world! This may take some further evaluation on my part.

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  79. I search #Mrs.Gohmann to see if it would be a likely choice for a classroom hashtag. What I saw was an eye-opening experience. There was a Mrs. Gohmann who was recovering from St. Patrick's Day in 2012 (not me) and a Mrs. Gohmann was was giving a chemistry test (also 2012 and also not me). There was a Mrs. Gohmann who told too many stories and had on a weird outfit (2012 again, but unfortunately that one was me. I don't know that I what to know all the critical comments that are out there about all of the Mrs. Gohmanns of the world! This may take some further evaluation on my part.

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  80. East Noble High School has their own Twitter page (@ENHighSchool). Our superintendent, curriculum director, tech team, administrators, and various teachers within in the district also have their own Twitter pages. As a corporation we use the hashtag #ENSCrocks while different schools within in the corporation also have their own hashtags. We even sometimes change our hashtag to be more specific such as #ENSCrockseLearning on our eLearning days. I find myself so lucky to be a part of a top notch, innovative school corporation that believes so strongly in connecting.

    In terms of a classroom hashtag, I discussed in my previous post (I am always talking about things in previous posts! Haha) that I tried to create my own classroom hashtag, but the students didn't really jump on board. The students did, however, create their own hashtag for my classroom but it wasn't as educational as I intended mine to me. Again, my goal for this upcoming school year is to collaboratively create a hashtag with my students in each class period. We will discuss a possible hashtag, what we should hashtag and what we should not, etc.

    I also just recently started my own blog (https://bravelycurious.wordpress.com/). However, I have not posted professionally yet. Being 24, I wanted a blog that could be both personal and professional. I plan to blog soon regarding both #IntegratED15 and #EdCampFW later this month. Keep connected with it because I'm sure as the school year gets closer, and underway, my posts will be more professional than personal.

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  81. I know that there is a lot going on in my corporation with the use of technology. However we are not in a 1:1 environment and our technology resources are very limited. The admin does ask us to share any blogs, etc. that we use in class but they are not shared with all so finding out who has is basically through word of mouth. We do not, to my knowledge, have a corporation Twitter or blog. It seems that it might be beneficial at that level. It would only reach a limited number of our population due to socioeconomic conditions. For this reason I struggle with setting up something for my own uses. I do know of a teacher in my building that has collected cellular devices for students to use in his classroom because he runs a blog type of learning atmosphere. On a typical day he is loaning out 5-7 devices per class period.

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  82. I am very fortunate to teach in a 1:1 school district with an administration that embraces the use of social media. Our district has a Facebook page, and several of my colleagues and administrators have Twitter accounts with school hashtags. To be honest, I wouldn't even know where to begin as far as a creating a hashtag for the high school because so many already exist. I could probably develop one for the personalized learning program I am a part of, but I am not very good at keeping up with these types of things when I start them. For example, I had started a personal blog, as well as used blogging in some of the courses I've taught; however, I struggled with consistency, and they eventually petered out. I may try blogging again with some of the classes I will be teaching and try to set a goal for myself and my students to publish so many blogs. I would also like to take some time and research ideas from other English teachers that will help inspire my own creativity. I have definitely seen the benefits of social media with regard to the community and school district and just need to work on this more myself. I think the struggle is maintaining a healthy balance between work, growing professionally, keeping up with the state and district changes/adaptations, and family/personal life at home - it's a lot to juggle, and I try to do the best I can each day, which is what many teachers do I think :)

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  83. Our newest superintendent has set us up with a school Twitter account. He took the place of someone who had been in charge of our district for over 20 some years. I think the Twitter & Facebook pages for our school are neat & a great way to keep notified of current happenings. However, I do notice a lot of parents complaining about it. I feel it is change and it will take awhile to get everyone on board. I teach 6th-8th grade and only 7th & 8th graders have school issued iPads so I feel bad & don't want the 6th graders to feel left out. I also know that these such things are not accessible through the wifi at school because it has been block so I have mixed feelings on creating a classroom page because unless my students have Internet at home they won't have access to it.

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  84. I know that our school set up a Facebook page last school year. I still need to connect to the Facebook page and plan to do so this week before school begins. I discovered from other posts of teachers from my school that our Athletic Director tweets regularly about sports. I did not know this so will look for this. I think it is good to keep up on what my students are doing outside my classroom. Gives me something also besides math to speak about with them  I do not know if our school has a Twitter account. I know a few young teachers who will know that answer to this! I will commit to joining the Facebook page and finding a handful of groups to follow so I will not be overwhelmed. I cannot see a use for Twitter in a high school math classroom. I have a class web page and Twitter would me just one more thing for me to do for my classroom.

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  85. I know that our school set up a Facebook page last school year. I still need to connect to the Facebook page and plan to do so this week before school begins. I discovered from other posts of teachers from my school that our Athletic Director tweets regularly about sports. I did not know this so will look for this. I think it is good to keep up on what my students are doing outside my classroom. Gives me something also besides math to speak about with them  I do not know if our school has a Twitter account. I know a few young teachers who will know that answer to this! I will commit to joining the Facebook page and finding a handful of groups to follow so I will not be overwhelmed. I cannot see a use for Twitter in a high school math classroom. I have a class web page and Twitter would me just one more thing for me to do for my classroom.

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  86. The teachers in my high school are supposed to use a LMS to connect with students, post assignments, and utilize on our corporation's eLearning Days. I use Edmodo, and I have even met with some teachers in my building who were needing to start up with Edmodo since their My Big Campus LMS is going away. My good students are in the habit of checking their class Edmodo page for announcements and supplemental information. It would be nice to have a class Twitter account. Students seem to spend a lot of time on Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. Adults seem to prefer Pinterest and Facebook. Putting myself into their awareness may be annoying to some, but I think they also have a restrained respect for the adults who do infiltrate their domains. However, this does bring to mind one mom I know who follows practically every teenager her own daughter follows. I want to avoid that! A classroom blogspot sounds interesting, and I'd like to explore that. I have a read a few people's individual blogspot writings. I always enjoy reading them, but it does take time. English teachers have so many papers to read once school starts, that reading these will become a once-in-awhile activity, not an everyday occurrence. A class Facebook page would be easy to set up, but I worry a little about what ninth graders would post. Hmmmmm.

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    1. I forgot to say that my school has a Facebook page that has exploded this past year. It is very popular with parents because it covers a wide variety of activities. Our principal has encouraged all teachers to become editors so we can all post items. This is so nice! No one, not even the principal, can attend every activity that happens every day after school. We also post pictures and descriptions of classroom activities. It is nice to see what is going on in other classrooms, in athletics, clubs, etc. I have become very comfortable posting items to our school Facebook page, so I'm now contemplating something for my classroom. I'm still contemplating if Twitter, Facebook, or a blogspot would be the best avenue. More exploration and exposure to new formats will be necessary for me to decide.

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  87. We do not have a school hashtag that is used that I am aware of. This summer I was introduced to one for our corporation. I am interested in seeing how it is used and to see if one will begin to be used for our individual school. If we end up with one for our individual school I would consider one for my classroom, but I don't think I will until that point.

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