#AISQ8 is starting a slow chat: #AISQ8chat

Last week Christina emailed six staff at our school to share information about the first ever #nesachat. Then we got thinking about how many staff at our school are actually on Twitter. We were pretty surprised (and excited) that there are 15 of us! For our school, this is kind of a big deal. The dominoes started falling from there: I created a list of all our Tweeting peeps, we settled on a new hashtag (now #AISQ8, formerly #AISK), and started tweeting about our MS/HS Edcamp (#edcampq8).

This week we’re taking it a step further with a slow chat (#AISQ8chat). We’re hoping to expand on what people already know about Twitter and help some of our staff become more comfortable using it as a professional development tool. This week it will be a 3-day slow chat centered around a Twitter K-W-L. Details are below (created by Christina). Please help initiate our staff to the power of Twitter by participating with us 🙂 Looking forward to it!

AISK grade 2 wants to share the planet with you


Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc

Our IB PYP grade 2 classes are getting started this week with their next Unit of Inquiry – Sharing the Planet. In order to enhance and share their learning, they have started a blog. Our classes will be posting but they want to hear from YOU (teachers, students, experts, etc)! Here’s how you can help:

  • leave comments on their posts
  • become an author on the blog
  • share how/why you conserve water
  • participate in & share simple experiments with water
  • share something about water (stories, feelings, how you use it, how much you drink or waste, etc)

If you (or someone you know) have any questions or would like to participate, please let us know! They are excited to get perspectives from classrooms all over the world.

More about their unit:

Central Idea: Survival depends on conservation of resources.

ThemeSharing the Planet: An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things.

Focus: Earth Science; Chemistry; Language; PSPE; Social Studies; Math

Lines of inquiry:

  • the properties of water
  • how living things depend on water
  • the availability and distribution throughout the world
  • our responsibility toward the conservation of water

Internationalism: Students will be encouraged to inquire into global issues related to the usage and conservation of water.

Transdisciplinary Skills:
Research Skills: Students will formulate questions, collect data, organize data, and record data. Students will keep record of their usage of water. They will find ways to conserve water. They will also research different animals and plants to inquire into the ways they use/need water.
Thinking Skills: Students will think about themselves, their learning, and those around them. They will carefully consider the ways they use water and how to persuade those around them.

Learner Profile Traits:
Reflective: Students will reflect on their water usage, how they can conserve it and the importance of water to all living things.
Principled: Students will be encouraged to reflect upon their usages of water in their daily lives and improve their practices.

Attitudes:
Integrity: Students will be encouraged to start making better choices and to inspire others to make better choices when using water.
Commitment: Students will be committed to conserving water throughout the rest of the year. Classes will be encouraged to create a contract about water conservation.

Assessment Strategy: Performance Assessment
The students will create a persuasive media piece about conserving water. The media piece must include an overview that details the properties of water, how living things depend on it and why it is important to conserve this resource. The media piece must also include recommendations about how to conserve this resource. Students will be given guided framework for their research.

PEAK 2013 pt. 2 – Making the Web Work for You

After my first two sessions at PEAK last weekend, I gave a brand new workshop. As excited as I was about my Google Apps presentations, I might have been even more excited for “Making the Web Work for You.” I focused on becoming a connected educator and specifically on Twitter (I purposely left both of those terms out of the title because I didn’t want to scare anyone away). I’m realizing that besides meaningful technology integration, GAFE and being a connected educator are my passions. I love working with anyone, anywhere on these and don’t need anything in return.

I started by appealing to their feelings (educators never have enough time) and highlighting what they thought Twitter was. I then talked about what it actually is and gave them testimonials from the survey I created and other connected educators. I was heavily influenced by Steve Anderson‘s Twitter series but did have significant time constraints. I highlighted searching, hashtags and a few other must-knows. Then I gave them time to create accounts, explore some hashtags, find people to follow. A genius idea from Jeff – make sure everyone in the class follows everyone else before the session is over. I ended with ideas for organizing all this new info and next steps.

It was a great plan. And then I realized 20 minutes before the start of the session that Twitter was blocked at the school (!!!). Oh my goodness. I tried several different things but unfortunately I had forgotten my wireless router at home and we were in the basement (so my phone wasn’t working as a hot spot). But..it was okay. I let someone borrow my iPad and we just went with the flow. The workshop didn’t go exactly how I planned it but I still got great responses and people were excited about the possibilities of becoming connected. It was another example of how becoming a teacher has changed me – I’m flexible and don’t get easily rattled! 🙂

Input needed: tips to cultivating a thriving PLN

Jeff and I have a few upcoming presentations we’d love some input on! Please fill out the embedded Google form below…then check it out as the answers populate. Please feel free to use any of the information gathered for yourself!

At PEAK in a couple weeks (…10 days) I’ll be presenting an hour-long workshop on how social media can make educators lives easier.
Session title: Making the Web Work for You
Session description: Come learn how social media and other websites can save you time and energy while also enhancing your lessons. By the end of this session you will be on your way to creating a thriving Personal Learning Network with other educators around the world. It may be helpful to bring your own laptop or tablet.

In January, Jeff will be presenting a 4-hour workshop on getting involved on Twitter and blogging.
Session title: Becoming a Connected Educator
Session description: Thousands of educators all around the world share their thoughts, ideas and lesson plans with each other every day, and you’re only 140 characters away from joining them. In the first half, you’ll learn how to leverage Twitter and other forms of social media as a means of finding new ideas. In the second half, we’ll get you set up with your own blog so you can start sharing with the world.

Check out my Diigo library for some of the resources we’ve previously found.

Input needed: tips to cultivating a thriving PLN

Jeff and I have a few upcoming presentations we’d love some input on! Please fill out the embedded Google form below…then check it out as the answers populate. Please feel free to use any of the information gathered for yourself!

At PEAK in a couple weeks (…10 days) I’ll be presenting an hour-long workshop on how social media can make educators lives easier.
Session title: Making the Web Work for You
Session description: Come learn how social media and other websites can save you time and energy while also enhancing your lessons. By the end of this session you will be on your way to creating a thriving Personal Learning Network with other educators around the world. It may be helpful to bring your own laptop or tablet.

In January, Jeff will be presenting a 4-hour workshop on getting involved on Twitter and blogging.
Session title: Becoming a Connected Educator
Session description: Thousands of educators all around the world share their thoughts, ideas and lesson plans with each other every day, and you’re only 140 characters away from joining them. In the first half, you’ll learn how to leverage Twitter and other forms of social media as a means of finding new ideas. In the second half, we’ll get you set up with your own blog so you can start sharing with the world.

Check out my Diigo library for some of the resources we’ve previously found.

How would you change teacher preparation programs?

As I was reading through my Google Reader last week, I came across Josh Stumpenhorst‘s newest post. In his opinion, we need to go back to square one in order to ‘fix’ public education and start changing teacher education programs. There were some great comments (Jeff L. and I’s among others) – more proof that making connections and developing your PLN help you think outside the box and grow as an educator.

I didn’t take the standard path to becoming certified…I actually never thought I would become a teacher. I was offered a job teaching HS French and completed PACE in South Carolina over the course of 3 years. It was on the job training with coursework throughout. One could argue that it was better or worse than the traditional route.

No matter how you came to teaching, how did you learn to become a connected educator? Many of us probably explored by ourselves, others might have been introduced by a colleague and a few might be connected for the first time through COETAIL. Nothing from PACE ever talked about Twitter or blogging. My husband (who went through the teacher prep program at our college) never took a course introducing him to the wide world of #edchat (granted he graduated in 2007).

If teacher preparation is in need of a change, why not incorporate a class on being a connected educator while we’re at it? If every teacher college, university and alternative certification program required students to take a course that taught them how to create their PLN, blog for reflection, and more – imagine what kind of teachers we’d see come into the profession in the next 5 years! So Jeff…when are you going to start offering COETAIL Course 1 for pre-service teachers? Get a few major universities on board and maybe it would catch on. 😉

Update: Just found this great article on Twitter via ISTEConnects written by Katrina Schwartz. The research (done by Project Tomorrow) is quite interesting…go check it out!