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Posts from the ‘social networks’ Category

CoffeeEdu, personal professional growth, and large amounts of caffeine

Mary Frazier is so smart. Seriously. She’s been a classroom teacher. A technology coach. And now a teacher again. She’s had the chance to work with lots of people. Read a lot of books and try a lot of different instructional strategies. Mary has also had all sorts of opportunities to explore technology tools.

So when she talks, I listen.

And today she said Read more

Tip of the Week: Teaching with Primary Sources Teacher Network

Most social studies and history teachers are aware of the vast amount of resources, lesson plans, and teaching materials available at the Library of Congress. You can spend hours and hours browsing through their Teachers page, their standards aligned lessons, professional development tools, and their primary source sets. Or their teaching blog. Or their ten Twitter accounts and other social media tools. Or Today in History. You might spend time at their Places in the News page. Or perhaps their site for elementary kids. Maybe their interactive iBooks. And if you get really lost, you can always just Ask a Librarian.

You get the idea.

They have tons of stuff.

So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I’ve been missing out on another Library of Congress related tool. Titled the TPS Teachers Network, Read more

Social media is a hook. And a tool.

In an essay titled From Connected Educator to Connected ClassroomBrianna Crowley describes her journey using social media tools at a personal level to using them in her classroom. It’s a good read with practical suggestions and links to a variety of social media tools and strategies. Brianna also makes a statement that I like: Read more

You’re bringing whiteboard markers to a gun fight

I’ve talked about this in the past. Both the positive impact of technology on learning and the ability of tech to create distracted students who have difficulty thinking deeply.

I admit I’m still torn. I get it from both sides – many of my colleagues are strong supporters of tech in the classroom, of back channels, of hashtags during instruction.  And I would probably fall on that side of the argument. I do multiple tech integration workshops every semester. I’m planning a Chromebook / GAFE mini-conference. I worked with a group of folks this morning learning how to best use the Adobe Voice iPad app. I’m writing a blog post on a site titled History Tech for heaven’s sake.

But I’m running into more and more classroom teachers who are starting to be wary of the tech. There has been some interesting research about how the misuse of technology can screw with deep thinking skills and how the use of social media can be addictive. And a recent article by Clay Shirkey lays out a pretty persuasive argument for a tech naked learning environment.

So I’m torn. Read more

Eat your own dog food

In a recent article in Wired magazine, author Clive Thompson suggests that members of Congress should eat their own dog food. Thompson describes the “hardships” Congressmen had to endure as they waited in long airport security lines, rushing out of town on their way to hit up potential donors. Long lines they created by failing to solve federal budget issues, a failure that kicked in the ridiculous sequester idea.

Critics warned that the sequester would cause hardship throughout the country, but congress-folk didn’t care — until they had to share in the pain. When they discovered that the sequester was eating into their vacation time, they rushed back to the Capitol and passed a law restoring funding to airports, working so fast that part of the bill was handwritten. Congress, it turns out, isn’t paralyzed. It’s just not motivated. In this spirit, there’s one simple way to get our do-nothing legislators off the dime: Have them eat their own dog food.

Thompson goes on to describe a term I had never heard of before. In the world of software coding, “dogfooding” describes the habit of programmers actually using their own products, “day in and day out.” Invented in the early 1980s, the term – and the practice – continues because it works. Forced to live with their own code, programmers can quickly see what works and what doesn’t work. And just as quickly fix it.

Thompson suggests that Washington would be a bit more successful if Congress actually experienced life as they code it. They don’t live like . . . well, like you and me. Incredibly cheap and well run health insurance. Private schools for their kids. Great pensions. People throwing money at them left and right.

They don’t really understand what happens in the rest of the country when they pass (or don’t pass) legislation. They don’t eat their own dog food.

So.

Step back a minute. What does this have to do with social studies teachers? I’ll wait. Think this through a bit. Read more

History Tech Podcast: Episode Three – Tweetalongs

Besides being really fun to say, tweetalongs have the ability to connect you and your classroom activities to parents, the community, and other classrooms.

Find out more about tweetalongs and how they got started.

Use the #tweetalong hashtag to follow all sorts of folks.