Monday, August 3, 2015

What Connected Educators Do Differently Week 10: Conclusion

It's hard to believe that our 10-week summer book club is ending. Some of you started school last week, many start this week, and others have an additional week to get ready. As you're starting your school year, what are you taking away from this reading and our discussions that you will use in your classroom? How will you be more connected or maintain your connectedness?

Don't forget to catch up on your reading and commenting this week. In order to receive 10 PGPs and be eligible for the $1000 professional development grant, you must have commented to all 10 week's blog posts by this Friday, August 7th, at 5:00pm Eastern. Also, be sure your introduction from the first week includes your school so that I can locate your email address.

Thank you to the book club participants who were able to participate the #INeLearn Twitter chat this past Thursday and a big shout out to Chantell Manahan who co-moderated the chat. It really was a great conversation! If you were unable to participate, be sure to check out the archive here. Check out the #INeLearn Chat blog to get more information about the chat, including other chat archives and upcoming topics.

With this book club winding down, I wanted to let you know that we are ready to announce our fall book club selection. We will be reading Ditch That Textbook by Indiana educator Matt Miller. More details coming soon.

85 comments:

  1. I feel that I have established PLNs this summer with a variety of teachers across the state and globally. I have been participating in the TwoWritingTeachers "Slice of Life" along with my students in the "Classroom Slice of Life" version this past spring. I plan to continue looking for ways to grow and learn with others. I also discovered some new online platforms for record keeping in my classroom. I have started two Evernote accounts that I will keep the two classrooms I teach lang. arts to keep track of student conferences in reading and writing workshop. Here is my original info on using Evernote in the classroom.

    https://teachingandlearningthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/reading-conferences-and-evernote/

    There are also MANY YouTube videos on using EverNote in the classroom.
    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=youtube%20evernote%20in%20the%20classroom

    Thanks for all the interesting suggestions and comments and best blessings on a wonderful, new school year.
    D :)

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  2. This summer's study has opened my eyes to the world of Twitter. Although I was initially overwhelmed, I have gotten accustomed to following a few people and imagine I will add more as the year goes on. Also, I feel like I have another option besides a basic google search when I am trying to find more information on a topic and, with a PLN, I can get feedback from a person I trust in a timely fashion. I have also learned about Twitter chats and I figure this is something I can do weekly without adding too much time or stress to my life.
    Finally, it was nice to hear from people with all levels of experience voice their opinions. Those who have really gotten involved with it seem to feel like it is worth it, but there are also many who, like me, are trying to figure out how to fit this into an already busy day.

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    1. It was great to get to hear from othes of all walks of life. It really helps to know others are struggling too. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. My eyes have been so open to Twitter during this study. I am still very overwhelmed but I am looking forward to diving in and getting my students to push me along with this!! I think that I have realized that Twitter will help me stay connected to many things professionally (teaching ideas, science updates, and middle school life!). I don't think I ever thought about a PLN before this book study and I know I never thought of how a PLN could help me grow professionally. It really has opened up a whole world of resources and support that I didn't realize was there.

    I hope to decrease the amount of paper used in my room since I am going to be one to one...I am hoping to put many of the ideas that came out of this book study to use as I do this. I also hope that being more connected in my classroom helps spark interest and "connectedness" with my students.

    I really enjoyed the book but I think I enjoyed the ideas that everyone shared even more! I have a nice list going and my goal is to add a couple of things throughout the school year.

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  4. I am taking away the fact that connecting globally can help you find solutions to problems by getting ideas from other teachers. I also love that there are so many resources that you can find to improve your teaching. How lucky we are that there is such a wealth of information to be shared. I really enjoyed the book and even more so all the discussion about the book this summer.

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  5. I really enjoyed the book study. This was my first one, and I am egger to start another! I think what really is my big "take way" is there are more ways to connect and keep you energized than you can imagine. I've really enjoyed following new people especially those I've heard speak at conferences or with others on this book study. I think as I read through these posts that everything is great, but then I see things that you all Tweet and I could get lost for HOURS in these articles and ideas (and then I remind myself of chapter 9-UNPLUG).
    I hope to participate in a EdChat via Twitter soon-I'm sad I had to miss the last one. I think that's one of my goals to take away. As someone who used Twitter prior to the book study, but never having participated in a chat-that's my goal.
    I've really enjoyed connecting and reading everyone's blogs. As someone who hasn't been teaching for long, its nice to see that we're all trying to improve!
    Looking forward to "Ditch That Textbook"! Thanks for hosting this Indiana DOE elearn!

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  6. Like many others, I had heard of Twitter and been to conferences where they suggested being connected on Twitter but never really go into unitl reading this book. I thought it was great choice for summer because I was able to give this my full attention. I plan to stay connected through my PLN on twitter and hopefully tweet out blogs by my students.

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  7. After reading this book, I am going to try to keep up on the whole PLN network via Twitter and having more online for my classes. I hadn't really used Twitter much prior to these book clubs, but now I am seeing the positive side of it. Have a wonderful school year everyone and looking forward to the next book club "Ditch That Textbook"!

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  8. What I am taking away from participating in this book study is that just like students who feel connected to a school are more likely to succeed, the same holds true for teachers. I take away that I don't have to be isolated professionally. I take away that the success of my PLN depends on the investment of time and effort that I am willing to commit to myself and to others.

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  9. Twitter was a new experience for me. Since my district is going to move toward Google Classroom and setting up Google account for students, my students will be more connected this year. I now have a Twitter account and YouTube account. This book club has help me see the possibilities and allowed me to dabble in new technology. Thank you for the opportunity to learn about how to stay connected and what a P2LN is. I look forward to "Ditch That Textbook."

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  10. I have enjoyed connecting with others and hope to stay connected with them via Twitter. I have learned that Twitter isn’t just for socializing but it is a great educational tool. I hope to participate in more Twitter chats and find ways to use Twitter in the classroom. I will probably choose two or three new ideas that I have picked up over the last 10 weeks and implement them into my daily classroom routine. The next few days, I want to re-read chapters five and six. I believe those two chapters will get me in the “return to school mind set”. I am looking forward to a great year being a better and more connected educator.

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  11. The main thing I learned more about from this read is Twitter. Of course I had heard of it, but thought is was just about tweets or little statements people put out there. I didn't realize it is ongoing valuable conversations taking place. I think Twitter could be a great tool in the classroom as well as professionally and I'm looking forward to incorporating it.

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  12. My plan is to become more comfortable with Twitter and to start using it as part of my professional development. The goal is to follow more and read more using this tool.

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  13. I think what I will take away from this study is the idea to look for ways to connect with other counsellors. I think I will lean more toward Pinterest and Facebook (I just could not get into Twitter). As the only counselor in my building it is important to connect, and I have to do it outside of my building.

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  14. I plan to speak with my students to see which social media format they are more interested to connect to the classroom. I am not comfortable with Twitter but if that's the connection that is preferred I will learn to like it. I know many still use facebook and I'm hoping I can get a classroom page up and running so I can connect with students and parents easily.

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  15. I was very skeptical about Twitter at first. I always thought of Twitter as just another social media tool that people became involved with to post selfies and such. However, after completing this book club, I know know that Twitter is another great resource for finding ideas to use in the classroom. I plan on continuing to find and connect with people in my similar field and I'd also like to participate in some more chats. I'm not sure that I am ready to use Twitter in my classroom yet but maybe one day!

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  16. This summer's book club has introduced me to the professional side of Twitter. Through participating in this book club, I have learned about several opportunities to connect with other professionals. I now follow many organizations that I can use in my classroom. I feel like I am now "in the know" about what these organizations are currently doing. I can use the links (websites, videos,...) in my classroom. Thank you very much for the opportunity to participate in the book club.

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  17. Reading this book allowed me to try something different. In education if you do not continue to try new things you get into a rut and the students and yourself do not profit in the long run. I am really excited about the next book. I bought it two weeks ago and have enjoyed reading it. I hope everyone has a great school year.

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  18. What I'm taking away from this book club is that I'm not alone in my uncertainty of how to implement many of the changes and technology components that would lead to better professional practice and better engagement.

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  19. I want to be able to show my staff how important a good PLN is. What they can gain by being a connected educator, whether that is Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, Linkedin, or something else. There is so much information out there with so many people willing to share, we just have to get out there so we can find it.

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  20. Reading this book reminded me that it is energizing to gain new ideas and perspectives. While we may have more time over the summer, it is important to be connected to a PLN to keep the new ideas coming all year long. Happy learning everyone!

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    1. I agree with you Sarah this was an energizing book filled with great ideas. Summertime is a great time to learning new things.

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  21. I have used Twitter for several years because I like the format. However, I never thought much about using it as a learning tool. Twitter is currently blocked at our school, but I plan to use it as a tool for after school activities. I plan to host a few Twitter chats throughout the year concerning content in some of my classes. I plan to give students some incentives to participate. I also really enjoyed the last chapter about unplugging. I have already tried to stay off my phone just before bed. Great book!

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    1. I also loved the last chapter. I'm working on turning my phone off before bed as well. I hope you have a great school year!

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  22. I am so happy I found this book club! I have grown so much as a teacher just reading this book. From this book I have joined twitter, followed some amazing educators, gained some great ideas for my classroom and my school environment and have begun to develop my PLN! I have also learned about three great books that I have since purchased and read. Teach Like a Pirate and Learn Like a Pirate, and 50 Things you can do with Google Classroom are three books that I am going to take ideas from for the coming year. I do not think I have experienced this much professional learning growth in one summer ever! Loved this book and look forward to growing with twitter as well as many other online resources mentioned by the book and all of the book club participants. A big thank you to all for your great comments, suggestions, links etc. Give and take is so important! This book will remain on my desk for future reference! I can't wait to share with my school. I especially thank the authors for the Follow 5, Find 5, and Take 5. Very helpful resources!! Can't wait for the next book club and Ditch That Textbook. I was lucky to see Matt Miller at a conference last summer in Valparaiso! Outstanding!! !

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    1. Barbara,
      I did several online learning book clubs this summer, too. Learn Like a Pirate had some interesting technology suggestions. I've marked a few of those to try, too.
      New technology uses for planning...Trello Board: https://trello.com/
      He used this for planning the "Passion Projects."
      D :)

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    2. Thank you and I will check this out!

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  23. I am definitely taking away the concept of participating in twitter chats and connecting beyond Indiana. I am still slowly getting use to using it frequently, but it is starting to come more naturally. I realized how fun it was to participate in twitter chats using my tweet deck. It's fun seeing how people interact and how positive that type of environment is!

    Twitter (and other resources) will be a great thing to try to incorporate into my classroom throughout the year as well! I enjoyed reading everyone's experiences through this book club and hope to participate in another one soon!

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    1. Twitter is probably something I am going to try using in my classroom this year also.

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  24. This book club has really taught me the value of being connected, to students as well as to other educators. It has given me the confidence to implement some new things for this year, Incorporating Twitter into my classroom is something I definitely plan to do.

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    1. Ditto- through this group I really got the picture of connected students- it's a 21st century life skill to be connected through media in some way!

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  25. I have enjoyed reading this book this summer. I hope to get more comfortable with twitter and see how it works for me. I want to go back and reread certain sections. My school has already ditched most of the textbooks so I will be anxious to read his perspective.

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    1. I am excited to check in with you Kathleen this year to see if we can use some of the information that has been presented in the book.

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  26. This book study has really opened my eyes to new resources available, to people around the globe I can communicate with, to new ideas being tried and to not be afraid to fail or talk with students about all of these same issues! Our town is so small yet we can really be a part of the big world and make an impact.
    What I've learned from the book and my goals for the upcoming school year are: to be on Twitter regularly, post, try some new digital art projects with students, use technology regularly in the classroom, and stay connected with my PLN through two chats. At first glance it might seem huge, but I have a plan to balance it throughout the week and weekend and also get unplugged as well. This experience has been very useful and I will recommend it to my colleagues.

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  27. I created a class Facebook page for the first time, a closed group for parents to connect with our classroom, where I can safely share pictures etc. with them. I also use Remind. When I explained my note going home to my students, I started talking to them about how I want each family to join at least 1 of the two groups so they can stay connected to our class. We talked about how I don't give a lot of homework, how their parents are always asking "how was school today", and how being connected can help them be better learners as everyone can discuss and share in our classroom outside of school. This group book study and discussion really enhanced how I view connectedness as a 21st century skill (not just something I do as a teacher because it's fun). Thanks, everyone, for sharing and teaching me!

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  28. This book has been extremely helpful for me as far as further developing my PLN via Twitter, becoming more comfortable with Twitter, and understanding how to better utilize social media as an educator. Through each chapter, I was able to follow relevant educators and educational resources on Twitter, and I have participated in a couple of chats, which I was not comfortable with until I participated in this book club. On our first teacher day yesterday, the superintendent handed out a bracelet with #GKBGAMEON imprinted on it, and it was nice to understand what I am supposed to do with the hashtag as a teacher in this school district. As I get ready for the first student day tomorrow, I keep thinking of ways to incorporate Twitter, chats, etc. in my classes to help me connect more with my students, and I am excited!

    I have enjoyed reading comments from other teachers on this blog and have written down several ideas, suggestions, etc. that were extremely helpful. I have also spoken about this book with a couple of other teachers who don't really understand Twitter or how to utilize it; in fact, one has asked to borrow my copy so that she can become more comfortable with Twitter and growing her PLN. This book club was a great opportunity for me - not only was it convenient as far as earning PGP points for my license renewal, but it was so nice to be able to do this from home, as I have three young children. I would recommend this type of professional development opportunity to any teacher, and I am so thankful that I choose to participate in it!

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  29. I have learned so much about Twitter through this book club. I didn't even realize Twitter could be used as such a valuable tool to my PLN. I had only thought of it as a social resource that I didn't really understand or care to be a part of. I am now connected to so many innovative educators and am learning so much from people I have never met. I am so excited about all the new ideas I am learning through Twitter.

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  30. I have absolutely enjoyed this book study this summer! It is exactly what I needed! I will be setting up and starting a twitter and Facebook account for our classroom. I want to do some brainstorming with the children during our opening week before we get it all started.

    I have a GREAT PLN here at JEO and also through All Write! Looking forward to continue learning and growing with these groups!

    This year we are starting off the year with CANVAS. I am hopeful this will keep our students and parents connected as well. Looking forward to learning more about how we can make this work.

    Thanks so much for making this a possibility! Holly Wright JE Ober Elementary with Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District.

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  31. I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments from the Book Club! I am hoping to take away from this class the emphasis that being more connected can and will benefit my teaching!
    When I started the class I had only heard of Twitter. I had never even seen anyone tweet! Since starting the class I have watched and even made a few tweets and replies in the Thursday night Twitter chats.
    I do feel using Twitter could help me find new teaching strategies from others in education!
    I attended an in-service today concerning I-pads that our school has bought for each grade level and I look forward to learning how to use a few apps in my second grade classroom!
    Thanks for a great class, I felt most of all this class gave me some confidence to try a few new pieces of technology!
    I hope everyone has a great 2015-2016 school year!
    Chris Peek Nativity School

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  32. I am really glad that I joined this summer book club! I feel like I have learned so much more about how twitter can benefit my teacher. I never thought about creating an online PLN until I read this book. I never realized before how twitter could be a benefit to my teaching. I only saw it as a tool to connect with parents and staff at my own school. Now I see it as a great teaching tool! I look forward to all that I can learn on twitter. The twitter chat was new for me, but I loved it! I would like to start participating in more twitter chats. I have enjoyed reading other teachers comments on this blog. I love hearing how this book is benefiting their teaching. I have written down many ideas that were shared!

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  33. One thing I am taking away is that it's really the first time that I completed one of the book clubs. I always have good intentions, but then life happens. What made this book different? It was very engaging, and the conversations on here were very frank. I like the way that the tasks in the book became a bit more complex as it progressed, and maybe the fact that I was already very comfortable with the things in the first couple of chapters made it easy to continue. It seemed doable. The fact that it was summer probably made it easier as well. In fact, I even finished the book way before we needed to (another first!)

    I had already met Todd Whitaker, so by going to edcampLeader in Chicago, I completed the trifecta by meeting Zoul and Casas. They were so welcoming and fun; I was very impressed. This book also was so positive in its approach. I have no reservations recommending this to others (and showed my principal over the course of the summer)

    I created a twitter list of everyone mentioned in the book. My thinking was that if anyone has been considering twitter but has not jumped in all the way, they could start by something as simple as looking at the posts from the people on the list, and they could instantly see that valuable information and ideas are being shared. https://twitter.com/shighley/lists/connected-educator-book

    Lastly, I am so happy to see that Ditch That Textbook is our fall book! I'm ready to spread the word! Can I make it two in a row?

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    1. I liked this book, too, Susie. It was more engaging than I thought it would be. I enjoyed the Follow 5, Find 5, and Take 5 format at the end of each chapter to help me organize my thoughts.

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  34. I plan to share this book with many of my colleagues in hopes that they will jump on the Twitter train. While I was not new to Twitter, many of the Take 5's are things that I have not done, and now plan to do to grow as a connected educator. I feel my next way of growing is to spread the Twitter wonderfulness to those who cannot yet see it.

    I also hope to begin teaching my students about the positives of having both a professional Twitter and a personal Twitter. I am also going to try again with the class hashtag as last year's did not go how I wanted it to, but I have high hopes for this year! :)

    Can't wait to read Ditch That Textbook with everyone - already purchased!

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  35. What a great book for this summer. As I have started to use Twitter more to develop my PLN, I also continue to build my PLN through email and facebook.
    This year my goal is to share more findings on twiiter, use twitter and other PLN sources to build my professional development in my classroom. I am also going to attempt to use twitter to tweet our reminders and announcements to my students.
    And although this book was largely on being connected digitally, the last chapter on being unplugged spoke to me. I want to make sure I plan time to develop my PLN and also make sure I am unplugged to develop real-life networking!!

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  36. I believe that I have learned a lot about getting involved in PLN's but have not taken much of a plunge into the world of being connected. I have a connection at my school who I plan to talk with about connecting through Twitter. I am very interested in gaining more connections, but hesitant about it.

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  37. I have built my PLN through the suggestions in the Follow 5. My PLN has become international, and I am actively seeking classes in the U.S. and internationally for my students to share science investigations and questions (grade 6.) The book study helped me be more intentional about professional growth this summer.

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  38. I would like to echo just about everything in Jaime Wolski's post. Before reading this book, I really sort of thought Twitter was just something people do as another form of social media. This book showed me how it can be helpful professionally, both by connecting with other educators and by connecting more with my students. This year I plan to continue to learn to use Twitter to build a PLN and to grow through the advice of other educators with Twitter chats, etc. I also plan to look for ways to use Twitter in my classroom. As far as professional development goes, this summer was definitely focused on technology in the classroom for me. Between reading this book and attending a couple conferences, I have so many new ideas that I don't know where to start!

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  39. From this book blog and reading, my greatest 'take-away' to the classroom remains the intentional behaviors of connected educators (pp. 66-67) which I have reread tonight, the eve of starting the school year as I had previously committed to do. While I will try to maintain the twitter contacts that I have made over the summer, my focus is now going to be on establishing the best relationships with my students. These are based on positivity, helping students value mistakes, setting high standards and smiling: I can do that! I have appreciated the expanded connections with fellow participants in this e-learning book blog, and I hope to have an e-reunion with many of you as we move to "Ditch the Textbook" in a few weeks.

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  40. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this book club. Since joining, I have a greater understanding on what it means to be a connected educator. This includes finding a balance between being connected and enjoying the moments in life away from social media. I look forward to using Twitter more in the classroom and seeing how this may impact the relationships between the school and the community.

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  41. This has definitely been a learning experience for me. I am now on Twitter for the first time and have been following a few others that I think have great experience and ideas for a preschool classroom. I have been involved in a few Twitter chats, and I will make a point to do this on a regular basis to help build my PLN. My school has began a Twitter account. I was excited to hear our new Principal talk about the importance of us teachers and parents staying connected. I have a classroom webpage but I'm going to add a blog to the page this year. This will allow parents to hear what their is doing in class on a daily basis. Which will also allow more communication with their child. I'm also talking with administration on getting a pro board in my classroom. We have access to one in a computer lab but I think we will use it more often in the room. Then I would like to Skype with other classrooms around the world. I think this would be a great learning experience for my students. I am very grateful for this book club and all of the educator who have posted enlightening comments.

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  42. I have learned more about twitter this Summer. I will try and use it for a class this first part of the year and if it goes well will start it in all of my classes. I think Twitter and Canvas that we are starting to use this year will work well together. I have learned that we have many ways to stay connected with our students and it is up to us to find ways to stay connected in a connected world.
    I would also like to use Skype to connect to historical people from around the world I have those emails out to people of history already.

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  43. I have really enjoyed this book club. I have learned a lot of new ideas just from the posts on here. But, the book has made me really stop and think about the way I get resources. Twitter will definitely be another way for me to continue to build my PLN.

    Let's be honest, I wouldn't have just sat down and read this book this summer. With two kids, my life is pretty busy and reading a book, for myself, is not normally on my list of to-do's. I'm glad I took the time to complete this. I am hoping to use several of the things learned this summer in my classroom.

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  44. Being a connected teacher definitely provides a lot of encouragement about the topics and issues that are important to you. I really enjoyed the book study, and I plan to continue staying connected. Teachers have fun learning, too!

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  45. This book has really opened my eyes to how Twitter can be used to be more connected with parents and also in being connected with educators around the world for support or advice. I didn't realize the uses of Twitter and the various ways that it can be used. I hope to get more involved with Twitter and being more connected in general.

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  46. I have learned a lot about the benefits of Twitter and other social media while reading this book. Although I still feel a little unsure about my ability to implement these into the classroom, I am looking forward to learning and discovering more about using Twitter. My son’s 6th grade English teacher has created an Instagram account devoted to her classroom. She is going to post homework assignments, news and general info there. My son seemed really excited about it. Kids can always look for information on teacher’s websites, but since many of them are already on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. it seems more likely that they will look there for information.
    I hope to expand my PLN over the course of this school year and really delve into Twitter more in depth.

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  47. I have really enjoyed this summer'sbook study and am hoping to do the fall one too that used I can keep up. What I am taking from this is a better grip on Twitter and a whole new group of PLNs from all over the wod that I would not have had if it weren't for this book study. I'm still struggling with the whole Twitter chat thing and keeping up with that but it will come. At least now I have made the contacts and those seem to flourish each day. In addition, it is always a relief to know that we are not alone in our struggles. Sometimes it just feels like we are are the only ones dealing with an issue whether with a student, parent or other it helps to know we are not alone. Thank you everyone also for all the great advice and comments best of luck on the new school year. 😊🙏

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  48. I really enjoyed reading this book, however, in the busyness of summer with three little ones, I seldom sat down to do the posts even though I read and discussed almost every chapter with my husband and sometimes others. I know that I value conversation with others in the verbal, personal form. This is what was a challenge for me in doing this portion of the book study. I miss the human interaction of sitting and typing rather than talking. I enjoyed learning about twitter and hope to figure out how to make it useful in my classroom.

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  49. I am going to make sure that I keep up with my PLN. Being at a new school, I have had to make a lot of changes (going from music to 2nd grade) so I have been learning the ropes and planning, planning, planning! I am very excited about my new opportunity and have met some awesome educators that I have connected with. I have added to my PLN and want to stay connected to the PLN I have built during the book club.

    What I am working on putting into my classroom is my Twitter to help stay in contact with parents. When I gave out my information, I made sure to put my twitter handle on the sheet. I have yet to do so, but we just finished day #3 of school!

    Also being back at school, it has been a time to be unplugged. I have been the most unplugged since forever this past week. And it has been a nice break, but I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things.

    I would like to become more connected since I am working with new people and a new principal. But I know I will have the opportunity to do that because my school has PD opportunities throughout the whole year, which I love!

    I am happy that I got a chance to do this book club this summer, it has taught me a lot about myself and how to be a connected educator. I am looking forward to this fall!

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  50. It won't let me reply to anyone's posts. So wish the best to everyone to have a wonderful school year and stay connected! We can do it! Twitter has so much we can use to connect (as well as other SM)! I wish everyone the best of luck! Looking forward to this fall's book club! I already have the book on my Amazon wish list!

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  51. Actively and consistently...that needs to be my motto. Put more time into connecting and being more patient with myself and the process...

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  52. I like Twitter, but don't love it. I'm hoping this year to be more proactive and be deliberate in my connecting and being willing to put myself out there to share ideas.

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  53. I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. At first I thought it was going to be only about Twitter. I have added Twitter, but I especially loved the ideas in the second half of the book. Chapters 5 & 6 were refreshing ones for me to read. I loved the 33% explanation, and I see more and more that the connected teacher doesn't let the bottom 33% drag her down - whether over behavior, lack of effort, lack of courtesy, time crunches, money crunches, poor decision-making, technology - or any other issue. I want to introduce Skyping in my classroom this year as an important interviewing tool as well. We had an open position in our English department this year, and we conducted one interview with a teaching candidate in Utah via Skype. She got the job even though the distance could have been against her favor rather than in her favor. I was proud that my school interviewed her in this manner. If we hadn't been "connected" educators, we would have missed out on hiring her. I don't want my students to miss out on some great learning opportunities by not utilizing Skype this year. I also want to use Twitter selectively to increase my own personal professional development, and hopefully, assist other English teachers.

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  54. I'm a little late this week because we were in band camp all week. How exhausting!
    I hope to use Twitter more effectively for my PLN and not just to tweet about running or other side interests. I hope to get my students to blog this year so that they can express themselves about their reading assignments in a different way rather than just hearing the same students talk all the time. I hope to get my students to use their own best judgement when it comes to being unplugged, appropriateness, and posting. I hope my students realize what great tools they have in Twitter, FB, and other social media sources, rather than just using them for sharing pictures and drama. I hope to continue to expand my PLN and get my colleagues on board as well.

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  55. Tis the season to be busy! I am a little late this week as well due to having our back to school open house Friday evening! I found this book to be helpful in painting a bigger picture in regards to technology within the school and in regards to my role as an educator. I learned more about what programs to use to help me connect with other teachers and professionals out there. I am hoping to use this knowledge of Twitter and such to expand my horizons as well as encourage the staff that I work with to explore those options as well.
    I hope to share with my team the importance of connecting with other educators. I feel that this book will be beneficial in encouraging them along this route and will be something I can recommend to them to investigate further as they explore how they can become more connected with others.
    I also think the book had many practical thoughts and ideas I can use and encourage fellow teachers in the building to foster our connect as a school, district, community and beyond! We have professional development this coming week and I look forward to recommend this book to my team!

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  56. I know I am a day late with these last few posts as it said by August 7th. I just always do my responses on weekends so didn't make the deadline yesterday. But, I still want to post as I have greatly appreciated this book! I have a teacher who is going to read it now that I am finished. It was a book sold at the Model School's conference in Atlanta this past June and I was telling many of my fellow teachers to purchase a copy and they would not regret spending the money. I learned so much I bought a little bulletin board for my office to write down my top 5 takeaways from the book. I am going to put them on the bulletin board and cross them off as I achieve them. I will probably have to put five more up after that!

    I am also thrilled about the next book, Ditch That Textbook! My VP bought that book for me in July and I have been dying to start on it when this one was finished...funny how things work out that way. I am going to get more of my teachers on board for this next one. Congratulations to whoever earns the $1,000 and I have enjoyed learning and discussing with all of you. Some of you I have made connections with for projects to work on this year....let's not forget! Everyone have a great school year!

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    1. Most specifically-
      Use Twitter more for PD- I feel like I go in spurts, one week I am on it, tweeting, replying, retweeting, searching, chatting, etc.....then a week later I never logon. I need to be more consistant.
      Develop a school hashtag and use it- Hashtag chosen.....t-shirts order for promotion with staff..working on it!
      Blog with students- Trying to get this set up, would love to concent with your students if you are also interested.
      Two A Day staff notes
      "Be a risk-taker, seperated by their courage to sit on the front porch rather than leave out the back door!"

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  57. I am sorry that my last post is beyond 8-7. I seem to have had trouble this entire summer getting the blog post to recognize me as a participant. I have posted each week and hope I will still be included in the 10 pgp points. I have taken so much away from these posts. I have learned that others feel very much as I do at times - lack of resources, hopes in getting better at communication, the need for knowledge on how to do it better, etc. I have learned that my school needs to make this a priority for all, not just me. I know that I will be attempting to continue this process long after this blog is finished. I realize the importance and hope to improve my list of PLNs as my new school year begins. Thanks for everything. Linda Schumacher (Tony is my husband - I have used his email - sorry for the confusion. North Judson-San Pierre Middle School).

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    1. I have had issues as well! Sometimes I published my comment and it never appeared. I tried looking online for support in the area but couldn't find anything.

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  58. My summer has been a whirlwind of connecting, both online and face-to-face with Edcamps, summer of elearning conferences, and new colleagues in my building. I can't wait to start the school year and help my students make connections! I have plans for my high school students creating "professional" Twitter accounts using school email addresses, Skype and Google Hangouts with classes and experts around the globe, a class blog, and taking part in the IDOE Instagram takeover, not to mention the plans for my student tech team this year!

    The most important thing for newly connected educators to remember is that connecting is not an "all-or-nothing" situation. Some weeks I connect on Twitter every day, blog 3-4 times, and attend a conference. Some weeks I do none of those things because I am busy with other responsibilities, and that's ok! I do my best to connect when I have time to make the connection. Good luck to evryone connecting this school year!

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    1. What were your feelings on the edcamps? The lack of structure intimidates me!

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  59. My comment/response didn't post last week for some reason! I shall start again... I shared some of my sentiments about the book last week. I really like the idea of staying connecting with your colleagues and other professionals around the country and globe. I think we live in a day and age where we have more resources and opportunities than ever before due to the internet. I really enjoyed reading peoples comments and I feel like I am walking away with a TON of new resources to work with. I am still getting the hang of Twitter but I’ve got a new reading list based on this group and I started looking for lesson ideas through Pinterest!

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  60. I am just wondering when we can expect to get the 10 pgp points. I don't want to miss seeing it in my email. Thank you!!

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  61. I know I'm behind the 8/7/15 date. When school season started my life became extremely overwhelmed and this took a backseat. I really wanted to finish out the book club! The PGP points and $1000 possible grant are amazing, but I mostly just enjoy connecting with all of the other educators within our state!

    We have already created a school hashtag for our building to share student work and successes. I've enjoyed working with my colleagues throughout the summer to build all of our PLNs and help them become more connected. I like helping other people see all the positives in technology use and being connected!

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  62. Believe it or not, we just had our first PD conference this morning over our PLNs. In years past, we have simply called our meetings, "3rd grade meetings." PLN's sound so much better and more professional. We found out that we have to meet every 3 weeks and discuss things that we know about or want to research about. I will share many of the wealthy knowledge that I learned over the past few weeks while reading this book. I will definintely stay on twitter as much as possible and use that to my advantage. Thanks for the follows that I received! I will also pass on the information to unplug every once and a while to let go of social media and relax. Our work is very important to us all, but there is also more to just work.

    This summer book club has been very knowledgeable to me and I look forward to doing/participating more in the future. Thanks to all for the help and the "sharing" of things to do this year.

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