Posts tagged ‘Twitter’

Power of Google and My PLN

“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” By
Mattie Stepanek

This week I was asked to do a professional development (PD) on Google Apps for Education (#GAFE) for some educators. When brainstorming about the PD, I knew a lot of ways to use GAFE but I wanted the group see that lots of educators use it and not just me or our school district.

This made me realize that, I could use the power of my Personal Learning Network (PLN) – Twitter.  Within just two days, I had over 20 suggestions from educators in multiple states and countries! It was amazing how fast my global PLN came to my rescue! The PD was great and it sparked a lot of curiosity about PLN’s and using them to improve instruction….guess what our next PD will be on, that is right the Power of Twitter!

We are in education together and there is no reason we should not be sharing our great ideas with each other. Below is the ‘Ways to Use Google Docs in the Classroom’ document that my PLN collaborated on and I would love if you have ideas to please add to it by clicking here.

What I Learned from ASCD from My Couch

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” Maya Angelou

I unfortunately could not attend ASCD 2013 this year but because of Twitter, it was like I was there! I learned a lot and still walked away with some great resources, right from my couch! Below I share the things I learned. There are a lot of embedded links so don’t miss out!

1. Maya Angelou speech was inspiring even though I couldn’t hear it. There were many tweets quoting here and this poem is one she recited.

2. Fisher and Frey’s – YouTube Channel has great resources

3. Engaged Learning and Teaching with Technology by Meg Ormiston had great insights and it was like I was there with Nicholas Provenzano (@thenerdyteachers) notes.

4. Great Common Core resource site shared by Eric Sheninger @NMHS_Principal called Wiki-Teachers. the site has all of the standards unwrapped with lesson plans, videos and assessments. 

5. Link shared by @WholeChildADV Andy Hargreaves and Pasi Sahlberg: Where are We Going and Why? — Whole Child Education

6. 10 Ways to Spice Up Faculty Meetings  by @bcurrie5

7. Leading Technology Integration on Campus: Livebinder of Resources

8. A great chart on managing complex change Tweeted by @RemynesES

9. “If you really want to do something you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”  Jim Rohn Tweeted by @lindapemik

10. ASCD report 1 and report 2 along with blog post about Edcamp invasion of ASCD from

Even though I could not attend ASCD13, I was still able to learn a lot because of Twitter. Next year, hopefully I will be there and sharing resources for others who couldn’t make it.

Flipped Classroom and Common Core Standards

“The focus of flipped teaching is different from other examples in that the technology itself is simply a tool for flexible communication that allows educators to differentiate instruction to meet individual student needs and spend more time in the classroom focused on collaboration and higher-order thinking.” Jac de Haan, educator and founder of Technology with Intention

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A year and a half ago I wrote a blog post about flipped classroom for elemntary classrooms and since then a lot has changed.  I think more people are realizing that flipped classroom is not just a buzz word or catch phrase but a shift in the classroom approach while redefining homework. Educators are focusing needs to be on having the students master the content rather than just covering it. The Common Core has helped with the shift, as it is deeper, not wider.  The Flipped Classroom lets you attend to each students individual needs and making differentiate easy. There are a lot of newer sites that can help you do this easily along with connecting the Common Common Core standards already done for you. My two new favorite sites are Ted Ed and Learn Zillion.

The Ted.Ed site offers a structured access of content through subject or series. It allows teachers to “flip” any video on YouTube—including TED-Ed videos, Khan Academy or ones you have created on your own You Tube Channel. With each ‘flipped’ video you can add quizzes, links and other resources to the video. It also progress monitors for you as well. Check it out here and test it for yourself introducing Ted Ed. Other great features are that it is free and if you like a video that has been flipped already but you don’t like some of the questions etc you can customize it to your liking! You can also use the Khan academy site, that has a Common Core Toolkit and match the Common Core standards as well. I also love you can embed this into your wiki, Gaggle assignment, Edmodo or other platforms for your work flow.

Learn Zillion site offers great lessons that are linked to Common Core standards with there Common Core navigator.  You can then download lesson slides and resources that help you teach the lesson, depending on what you need. They have a coach’s commentary that you can listen to, to get expert explanation of the lesson and Common Core State Standards. (This is very helpful when you are still trying to understand these new standards. You can also assign lessons and track student mastery by setting up your class. This site is also free as well!

Flipped Learning Resources:

My Flipped Classroom Wiki

Google Doc by Dan Spencer

TechSmith Flipped Classroom 

Twitter chat #flipclass (Monday @ 8:00)

If you have used another site that allows you to flip your classroom and connect Common Core standards, I would love to learn about it.

Twitter Has Changed My Teaching Life

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” Henry Ford

About six months ago I was introduced to Twitter by @technology_tim. I had been always under the impress that Twitter was for celebrities’ and their fans. Who really cared about what Justin Bieber was doing? But after talking with Tim, he inspired me to at least give it a try and I am so glad I did; Twitter has changed my teaching life. Here are my top 3 reasons how….

1. Chats: There is so much out there on the internet that it used to take me hours to find sites that were really good or that fit my classroom wants and/or needs. But on twitter chats, everyone shares their resources and ideas that have worked for them resulting in saving me time. It also helps me reflect on my teaching practices. For example, I along with another teacher, started kid-blogging with our math class to integrate more writing in math this year. We thought it was going well but when I chatted on last weeks twitter @5thchat I learned so many more ways/ideas to make the blog experience even better for our students. We have become researches to what works or doesn’t work in the classroom based on experience.

2. Followers/Following: Twitter introducing me to the most amazing teachers who I never would have met if it wasn’t for this social site! It is great to see what other teachers are trying and exploring in their classrooms. They are the best Personal Learning Network (PLN) I could ask for! Following them truly is a pleasure. How this is different from chats is that chats are on one topic a week verses the people I follow post tweets of articles and topics they have found interesting. I only follow people that have the same passion for education as I do. I as well, post articles and ideas that I think is worth reading/exploring.

3. Global Learning: On Twitter everyone is from different places around the world not just your district or state. This gives you different perspectives on education. Twitter helps you learn how to communicate and collaborate in multicultural setting with other educators. (Which is also what we want our students to be learning to do as 21st century learners, so shouldn’t we be modeling this ourselves?) Twitter allows for open conversations about different cultures outlooks on educational news, classrooms resources etc. I have learned so much about “flipped classroom” through the educators I follow from Australia, as they have been doing this for awhile and know what is working and what is not.

Twitter can be used as a powerful tool to build your PLN, promote your ideas and/or raise awareness of different topics globally. I hope with this blog post more educators will jump on the bandwagon and share their ideas. Don’t forget to follow me @Edu_Thompson.

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