Category Archives: Blogging

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,600 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Advertisements

My nominations for the Edublog Awards 2014 #eddies14 –

The Edublog Awards is a community based incentive started in 2004 in response to community concerns relating to how schools, districts and educational institutions were blocking access of learner and teacher blog sites for educational purposes.

The purpose of the Edublog awards is promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media.

The best aspects include that it creates a fabulous resource for educators to use for ideas on how social media is used in different contexts, with a range of different learners.

(from: http://edublogawards.com/about-the-edublog-awards/)

This year’s nomination categories are:

  • Best individual blog
  • Best individual tweeter
  • Best group blog
  • Best new blog
  • Best class blog
  • Best student blog
  • Best ed tech / resource sharing blog
  • Most influential blog post
  • Best twitter hashtag
  • Best teacher blog
  • Best librarian / library blog
  • Best School Administrator blog
  • Best free web tool
  • Best educational use of audio / video / visual
  • Best educational wiki
  • Best educational podcast
  • Best open PD / unconference / webinar series
  • Best educational use of a social network
  • Lifetime achievement

(From: http://edublogawards.com/about-the-edublog-awards/)


I would like to share my nominations here.

I haven’t nominated in every category but I have in most.

My Nominations for the Edublog Awards 2014:

 

  • Best Individual Blog

http://michaelt1979.wordpress.com

A seemingly endless supply of resources for curriculum and assessment. Michael has the ability to post excellent commentary of the issues of the day.

 

  • Best Group Blog

http://educationechochamber.wordpress.com/

The task of collecting blog posts from around the web and maintaining this mix is challenging, yet always a good place for interesting and thought provoking read.

 

  • Best New Blog

https://friendlyneighbourhoodteacher.wordpress.com/

@GazNeedle is developing a really useful blog sharing his thoughts, ideas, experiences and reflections

 

  • Best Class Blog

http://davyhulmeyear5.primaryblogger.co.uk/

Lee Parkinson’s class blog leaves me in awe of the fabulous experiences he shares with his class!

 

  • Best Ed Tech / Research Sharing Blog

http://mrparkinsonict.blogspot.co.uk

Again Lee Parkinson, his knowledge of new apps and tech is second to none. As is his willingness to share it.

 

  • Best Teacher Blog

http://www.mathematicshed.com/index.html

Graham Andre’s site is a resource which grows on a daily basis. Along with his good nature and keenness to collaborate.

 

  • Most Influential Blog Post

http://michaelt1979.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/primary-curriculum-resource-pack/

I would love to know just how many schools have used Michael Tidd’s resources in developing their own curriculum and assessment?

I know that I did!

 

  • Best Individual Tweeter

http://twitter.com/ASTsupportAAli

Twitter Coaching, Culture Box, his Agility Toolkit, Teach Meets – Amjad is involved in what I consider some of the best of Twitter.

 

  • Best Hashtag / Twitter Chat

#primaryrocks

The first Primary focused edchat on Twitter – Mondays 8-9 pm UK time.

Getting bigger and bigger each week!

 

  • Best Free Web Tool

https://padlet.com

One I have only recently started to use – but it is a mightily impressive collaboration tool.

 

  • Best Use of Media (Video, Podcasts, etc.)

http://www.literacyshed.com

Rob Smith’s multimedia site is a vast archive of video resources for every possible occasion and purpose.

I wonder what we did before it!?

 

  • Best Educational Use of a Social Network

http://www.aussieed.com/ #aussieED

The network of educators from Australia has grown into a global brand now. I feel privileged to be a tiny part of that network. It’s high level blend of innovation, collaboration and education is very impressive.

 

  • Best Mobile App

Alan Peat’s Exciting Sentences

One of the best apps I have ever used in a classroom.

Alongside its partner Pupil Edition, Exciting Sentences can have a dramatic impact of pupil’s writing.


Make your nominations here:

EduBlog Award Nominations

Thank you for reading, blogging and tweeting.

Mike

 

 

The #CultureBox Experience – The story so far…

I had been scrolling idly through my Twitter timeline one evening and stumbled across a tweet from Amjad Ali (@ASTsupportAAli) using the #culturebox with a link which I duly followed as it had perked my curiosity.

The link led me here:  http://cheneyagilitytoolkit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/culturebox.html

(or somewhere close!)

An opportunity to link with another school somewhere in the world?

That sounded exciting and I signed myself up immediately!

Time passed and I eventually discovered that I was unlucky – the odd man out so to speak, the only teacher not to be paired up with another school (to be fair, my potential partner school had pulled out.) I was disappointed but happy to wait until the next opportunity…until I received a Tweet from Amjad, offering me a pairing with Brett Salakas (@MRsalakas), one of the top names in #aussieED, the massive Sunday morning twitter chat… I was delighted to accept!

Brett Salakas #aussieED

Brett Salakas
#aussieED

I honestly don’t think I could have been paired with anyone better.

It has already opened my eyes to new technologies. I had my first ever Google Hangout chat with Brett, and spend an hour laughing and chatting about our schools, jobs, different contexts, sharing information about our classes, teaching philosophies and more. Brett came across as an eminently likable and engaging character, who I not only shared a great deal in common with but we also look ever so slightly similar!

Perhaps the biggest lesson for Brett was what was to become our catchphrase “Don’t say Bloody!”

In Australia, an innocent word used by teachers, adults, pupils and children alike, in the UK a swear word, albeit a very mild one. That one gave us a giggle!

Speak No Evil! pixgood.com

Speak No Evil!
pixgood.com

We realised that the only disadvantage of our pairing was the timezone difference: 9-10 hours (depending on daylight savings). It was highly unlikely that the children in each school will ever get to meet each other. The UK school day starts at around 6pm for Australia and the Australian day starts at 11pm.

We decided that this shouldn’t stop us as we were too excited to get started and do some live broadcasts to each others schools. Especially Brett – he was literally buzzing with excitement and to be fair it was infectious. If the children couldn’t meet each other, they could certainly meet us!

I set my class a piece of homework: #CultureBox

This got them thinking about their own culture and that of another country – the children were as excited as we were.

I put a display in a shared area of school:

#CultureBox Display

#CultureBox Display

Hangout 1:

We set a date and time to have Brett link up to our school, but the time zones cursed us and unfortunately he missed the call.

He may or may not have been asleep! (Curses Time Zones!)

After a stream of apologetic DMs on Twitter, Brett was forgiven and we tried again a few days later this time at the start of our day.

Brett was fantastic!

We chatted for a bit and spoke of time zones, animals, Aboriginal history, British Colonization, Christmas tradition in Australia, as many children in my class thought the whole of Australia go to the beach!

#AussieEd Blog – Brett’s reflections on the 1st CultureBox meeting

It was a great experience for me and for them.

When it ended they wanted to know when we would be doing it again!

It wasn’t long.

Hangout 2:

My class had been learning about traditional tales and fables and other short stories, so we used another live link for Brett to share a ‘Dream Time’ story about Tiddalick the frog:

What a great experience – tales shared from another country, literally as far away from them as you can go without leaving the planet!

Even more exciting this time was that the Hangout was recorded live and streamed to YouTube – Brett felt his nerves let him down and he removed the video – he shouldn’t have.

#AussieED blog – Brett’s reflections on our 2nd CultureBox meeting

Hangout 3:

My turn followed a week or so later once the Aussie kids had returned to school.

It was my turn for a late night!

At 11pm Hangout went live into Brett’s classroom – delightful children – we had a great chat and a laugh too. The conversation and questions that came at me were almost identical in content to the questions my class had asked – if Culture Box teaches me nothing else it is that children are the same wherever you are!

WatsEd Live to Sydney

WatsEd Live to Sydney

It is not often I find myself without something to say, but I was genuinely lost for words when the link up started – such a cool thing to do. The children nursed me through and by the end we were mimicking each others accents and discussing farming, weather, food, hobbies, all sorts of stuff.

I with my ‘cultural’ cup of tea and digestive biscuit in hand!

We discovered:

a) The children didn’t know what a Badger was

b) The children didn’t know what a Yorkshire Pudding was (!)

and

c) I sound weird to them. (Fair enough – I sound weird to everyone!)

The chat ended with me being left with a challenge… share and traditional english poem, and discuss the features and why I chose it.

That’s going to be a tough one… but I am looking forward to it!

Oh, and the class told me they “had a bloody great time!”

I told them I had done too, and that if I said that to my own class I’d be in LOTS of trouble – they thought that was bizarre!

 

Now we are in discussions with our children to think what we can put into a parcel to send to Mr Salakas and his class that sums up ‘Being British’, their homework activity gave a few thoughts. It will be great to share a real life #CultureBox!

 

To those who dreamed the idea up Amjad and Maggie @madgiemgEDU – thank you. You have opened a window on the world to my class and hopefully a class in Australia.

You have linked me with a teacher who is an all round nice bloke and given the children I teach a chance to meet him too.

I can’t wait to keep the project moving!

#CupofTeaCPD Reference Point

I place this here for your attention and viewing pleasure!

Nine teachers who tweet – alot.

Artwork by Gaz Needle

Artwork by Gaz Needle

Thanks Gaz – I think this is great.

We need a statistical update for this based on experience and specialism.

The “Geek Teacher Squad”

Here to help you with your needs!

Cup of Tea CPD

Extrinsic Rewards Feel EPIC! by @gazneedle

My Twitter friend and colleague @gazneedle got here first – but I want to add my thoughts on his post:

Friendly Neighbourhood Teacher – Extrinsic Rewards Feel EPIC!

#CupofTeaCPD

I created that phrase and if I am honest, I am really quite pleased with it! It pops up now as a known #hashtag when I type it in. I did that.

As I have said before, back in April I didn’t ‘get’ Twitter, what it was, what it did, how it worked, none of it.

Now here I am, in September, nominated by my peers on Twitter via @Ukedchat as one of the Top 100 UK educators on the Social Media platform. How bonkers is that?!

Now, I am a realist.

In the big picture, it doesn’t mean a lot, but to me it is a really special moment. People who I don’t know, think what I have to say is useful and they like it enough to say something about it. I didn’t even know there were nominations or I would have made some!

So, like Gaz, I saw the notification on my Twitter feed and saw some friends getting excited: @gazneedle, @redgierob, @grahamandre, @bryngoodman so I followed it back to this tweet:

https://twitter.com/gazneedle/status/508296924659974145

And there we all were sitting proudly on #Ukedchat Magazine’s pages.

You get a badge and everything!

I was quick to add it to my page, because I want to see it! I told my wife who smiled and said “Well done!” (She doesn’t do social media and thinks I am wasting time!)

I now have a badge, and a link and I feel incredibly proud.

I have just over 700 followers and think, like Gaz, if this is how a 36 year old man feels, about being told he can share a little gif file, how important is it that we reward the children we teach?

We all, as human beings, like to be made to feel special, valued or important. It is why headteachers walk into classrooms and make a positive comment – it makes us more productive people.

It isn’t about the big things, it’s the little comments that make them proud, send them home with a smile or make their parents realise that their little person has done something special – those things count.

I feel rather like the jolly geezer in my opening animation – I suspect that I might be overselling it, but I feel good and I want people to know that!

To whoever voted for me – thank you, that minute spent has made me a very happy tweeter.

Maybe there is something to this Twitter thing – I think it might just catch on!

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Teacher

Baby Smile Should I be this happy?

It took me until I was 18 and in university to realise that I had to ask if I didn’t know what someone was talking about so I have grown to not feel ashamed to ask ‘stupid’ questions or admit that I am ignorant on a topic.  This blog isn’t about the merits of extrinsic rewards in the classroom as I haven’t read in depth any research about it, but it’s about today’s experience.

As I was twittering with the telly on in the background, I saw that @ukedchat had published a list of the UK Ed Chat community’s favourite UK educational tweeters

I scoured the list for anyone I knew and was delighted to see @bryngoodman on there (it was alphabetical order) so I tweeted him that he was on there. I was genuinely pleased that a nice chap like Bryn, who freely shares…

View original post 269 more words

How to ensure impact with blogging! By @ICT_MrP

I know that I have done this a few times, but not only do I want this blog to be useful to other others, but I also want it to be useful to me.

If that means collecting together interesting, useful and/or thought provoking ideas then that’s precisely what will do.

Over time there will be a balance between shared and original materials.

This post was shared on 31-8-14 on Twitter by Lee Parkinson (@ICT_MrP) from his blog:

http://mrparkinsonict.blogspot.co.uk

I liked the ideas in the post and wanted to put it somewhere that I wouldn’t lose it!

This seemed a sensible place!

Thanks to Lee for the idea – Something that I can store away and introduce later this term.

@ICT_MrP has a fantastic range of resources for innovative and creative ways to use tech in the classroom.

Hope you like it – and please visit the original post.


How to ensure impact with blogging!

The idea behind children blogging is simple – give them a platform to write for a real audience and this provides a purpose to write. When children have a purpose, it impacts on the quality of writing.The most difficult part for teachers trying to encourage children to blog, is to create an audience for children to write for. There are a few websites teachers can sign up for an use to really help build an online audience:

100 Word Challenge –  Simply an amazing way to promote and showcase children’s writing. Each week a prompt is given which the children need to write a blog post of 100 words about. The post is then linked from your blog to the 100wc.net website where it can be seen by the thousands of schools, teachers and children that visit the site each week. A group of willing volunteers have the busy job of trying to comment on as many posts as possible. As the site now gets around 1000 entries a week they are crying out for people to help comment on children’s work. I think a lot of Secondary school teachers should encourage their students to comment as it is a great way to really promote themselves as responsible digital citizens. As a class we sometimes will do the 100 word challenge as a lesson, look at children’s examples from around the world before having a go at writing their own.

Quadblogging – Created by David Mitchell, this termly project groups your blog with another 3 schools from around the world to create your quad. The idea is to then have a focus school for that week with the other schools visiting and commenting on work on the site. A really great way to ensure children’s writing is seen and commented on and also teach children responsible use of the internet.

Lend me your Literacy – If you are not blogging but want a way to have your work seen and commented on, Lend me your Literacy can provide that service. They will come and deliver a day with a class, publish all their work on their site and promote it so it receives comments from people all around the world. Within the package they will also publish other examples of work throughout the year to continue to inspire children to produce quality work.

Using these three tools will definitely build an audience and light up the globe on your blog. However they can’t guarantee that every post that the children write will have feedback and be equally valued. It is comments from people outside of the classroom that has the biggest impact on children’s work. Therefore creating a way to guarantee comments will create an encouraging environment throughout the school.

This idea originally came to me from Mr Osler and Miss Gardner who had the idea of recruiting a group of parents to ensure every child’s work is commented on. I thought this was a great idea however for maximum impact, I didn’t want the children to suspect it was parents commenting, instead other special visitors who were ‘experts’ at writing. And so the “Guardians of Grammar,” was created.

The real identities of the GoG will remain anonymous, they are only known as their literacy superhero alter egos. Their mission, to leave no posts on the Davyhulme Primary Blogs without constructive and useful feedback.

How we set it up – A simple Google Form was set up for parents to sign up with an email. I then created log ins for each parent so they can comment under their new superhero identity.

Thanks to twitter I was able to acquire a number of superhero names that can be used (thanks to Bryn Goodman@JwjmcdonCeltic Hippie, @RedgieRob,  @AlanPeat and @InspiredMinds for all their suggestions) here are some you could use:

  • Razor-Clause.
  • Adverbigirl.
  • Capit-Al.
  • Admiral Adjective.
  • Professor XYZ
  • The Red Margin.
  • Inverted Commander
  • The Vocabularmy.
  • The Determinator!
  • The Ellipsis of Evil
  • The Credible Hulk
  • Wonder WhatHappens aka Paige Turner.
  • Night-Vowel.
  • Diction Harry.
  • The Forward Slasher.
  • Grapheme Girl,
  • Dr Digraph,
  • Captain Complex,
  • The Modal Master
  • Comma Bomber.
  • Director Speech
  • The Fiction Phantom,
  • SpagMan.
  • Doctor DotDotDot aka Eric Ellipsis.
  • Optimus Time Connective.
  • CinderSpeller
  • The Ascender,
  • Colonel Colon,
  • The Guardian of Grammar,
  • Metaphor the Merciless
  • Agents of Alliteration,
  • Aunti Nim,
  • Meta4,
  • Ben Pen.
  • Captain Noun-sense.
  • Verbot.
  • The Full Stopper
  • Subordinate Mariner
  • The Dark Determiner
  • Dash
  • Subordinator,
  • The Comma-dore,
  • Super-lative.
  • The Eraser.
  • Alliteration Boy
  • Preposition Man
  • The Comma Chameleon
  • The Magnificent Metaphor Man
  • The Terrific Tenses Woman
  • Kid Flashback
To make this even better I sent all the superheroes this link for them to create their own SuperHero Avatar – Click Here.
It was important to inform the children about these superheroes who were now visiting our blog. Where were they from? Who are they? Why were they visiting our blog? These questions filled the children with excitement to get writing. When it was revealed that these superheroes find excellent pieces of writing to reward and comment on. This has filled the children with enthusiasm to have their writing seen and commented on by real superheroes!
As for building connections with parents and involving them in children’s learning this has been a great tool to use. By all means try it! But make sure that the parents can be trustworthy enough to keep the GoG a secret!

Tweachers – My advice for starting out with #CupofTeaCPD Trilogy Part 2

I am quite happy to accept that I wasn’t the first. But since I posted my blog on why Teachers should use twitter, it seems that everyone started sharing theirs and to be fair everyone who has, pretty says the same thing.

It all equates to my new favourite phrase “Cup of Tea CPD”.

So, here are my Top 10 things to do if you are going to start up with Twitter. They are in no particular order, they are the things I have done and while I am no @TeacherToolkit or @LearningSpy or @LeadingLearner – I am pleased with my first forays into the whole chasm of Social Media.

10: Choose your identity carefully.

Choose a good handle, this is the name people will remember and associate with you.

Keep it short and memorable, it might be your name or what you do or stand for.

Be careful. I made two mistakes with mine: @WatsEd.

Firstly that is very close to ‘Wasted’ and secondly I have now lost count the number of people, who have assumed my name is Ed.

9: Make sure people can see you.

If you keep the ‘egg’, then it will put people off, add a profile picture, it need not be your face if you think it might scare away the internet (don’t worry though I haven’t been shunned for showing my face).

It will help your case if your profile looks real and human. There are a lot of fake accounts out there and if you want to make Twitter work for you, then be ‘present’.

8: Write a bio.

You have 160 characters available to you to say who you are and what you do or share some thing personal. Pets and children are popular, so is job title, hobbies and interests – whatever you like. This gives your follows and followers a chance to open dialogue with you and find common ground.

https://twitter.com/WatsEd

twitter.com/WatsEd

7: Choose your 1st 10 – 20 follows.

This bit is really important.

What do you want to get back from your exploration into the Twitter Jungle?

Pith Helmet on, rucksack and supplies at the ready, machete in hand (OK, perhaps not). Off you go.

Here are some people who would be good to get you started…

  1. @WatsEd (Well, I had to put me!)
  2. @redgierob (Rob leads at the Literacy Shed site)
  3. @grahamandre (Graham runs the Numeracy Shed site)
  4. @ICT_MrP (for all things iPad and Computing)
  5. @InspiredMind5 (Comics in Literacy and wider learning)
  6. @MichaelT1979 (Michael does a fantastic job with Curriculum 2014 resources)
  7. @LearningSpy (David Didau – a man with his finger on the pulse of education today)
  8. @alanpeat (Alan is an author and creator of brilliant iOS apps ‘Exciting Sentences’ & ‘Pocket Punctuation’)
  9. @bryngoodman (ICT leader/writer and knowledgeable fellow)
  10. @Mr_SJS (Teacher and author of ‘The Penguin Pig’, see @PenguinPigStory)
  11. @TeacherToolkit (Most followed teacher in the UK – a man who knows what he is talking about – T&L/Leadership)
  12. @SeanHarford (HMI and Ofsted’s National Director for Schools Policy)
  13. @BeyondBehaviour (Steve Russell tweets about Behaviour Management/Strategy)
  14. @rivierabenson (Chris teaches in France and tweets teaching and learning)
  15. @ICTmagic (Martin shares endless links to useful, interesting and addictive websites for learning)
  16. @ASTsupportAAli (Amjad talks leadership, SEND, English and TwitterCoaching)
  17. @gazneedle (Gary tweets Literacy and Maths – Primary AHT)
  18. @DeputyMitchell (Blogging/Quadblogging and EdTech)
  19. @TomBennett71 (Tom is ‘A Teacher who Writes’ ITT and Behaviour inc. TES)
  20. @beingbrilliant (Andy Cope is an author and happiness expert)

Well there is a selection of 20 – pick and choose – look at the lists of followers and follows and you will soon pick up a healthy list.

thecripplegate.com

thecripplegate.com

6: Contribute – Be brave & Say something

It is like writing when you were little. What shall I write first? How shall I start?

Say “Hello!”

Tell the world it is your first tweet – it doesn’t matter.

Have a look through the people you follow’s timeline – RT things you like, favourite things you really like. Reply to the things that interest you, ask a few questions.

If you say nothing and just lurk on the periphery then you will get nothing out of Twitter, if you want  it to work for you, then you need to put a little something in. You’ll get some feedback.

Be seen.

Talk about what interests you, what you want to know more about, reflect on your own practice, ask for new ideas.

Use images and infographics – share useful things that you have on your computer, links, youtube videos. The better the range, the more interesting you will be to prospective followers.

Join in with other people’s conversations – they won’t mind (I haven’t upset anyone yet by butting in!) If you are thinking about something because of a tweet posted, then reply. You can get a chat going then and it gets to be fun.

Dive in, the water is fine.

Do consider what you say though, remember that this is going to be your professional face.

It was @gazneedle who said: “If I wouldn’t shout it in the playground, then I wouldn’t tweet it.” He is right.

Don’t troll, don’t be dismissive. Call people out on their ideas, but let them validate them if they can because that is the key to #CupofTeaCPD!

 

5: Know what things mean!

There are a lot of acronyms and jargon to wade through – much is common sense but this should help you along the way to begin with.

4: Use #hashtags

There are so many #chats to join in with. These are 30-60 mins of VERY intense tweeting about specific topics.

  1. #ukedchat
  2. #edchat
  3. #education
  4. #behaviourchat
  5. #SLTchat
  6. #headteacherchat
  7. #MLTchat
  8. #aussiEd
  9. #usedchat
  10. #whatisschool

The list goes on.

Many of these have the discussion topics chosen by the users. These all have an appointed day and time, so if you are prepared, you are good to go.

When you tweet to start with, include these #hashtags in what you say, people who follow them will get to see what you say and may well follow you or reply.

rocketpost.com

rocketpost.com

3: Share your website or blog address.

WatsEducation Blog – http://www.watseducation.wordpress.com

WatsEd Consultancy – http://www.wats-edconsultancy.moonfruit.com

Twitter is social media after, so if you have something to say – show people where to find it.

It is a bit like your Bio. It will allow people to see what your philosophy is, what’s on your mind, what motivates or concerns you, about education in general or perhaps a reflection on your own practice.

If you have something to sell – here’s a chance.

If you don’t have a blog – start one – you don’t have to do very much – but once you read others it will most likely inspire you to write something too.

seoskylimit.com

seoskylimit.com

2: Separate Personal and Professional

Not always as easy as it sounds.

If you are planning on using Twitter professionally, I suggest you keep your non-education stuff separate. It keeps things tidy and presents your professional face. Social Media is a way of tracking someone (Big Brother is watching – or is he!?)

Remember your colleagues and school leaders might be joining you – what do you want them to see?

I have found that very quickly, as I built up a PLN (Personal Learning Network) of like minded individuals that banter and in jokes do start, that’s OK, but if I was chatting with non-education people on the same timelines then it might get somewhat blurred.

Make a decision – in the end you can play it out however you like.

Decide what will work best for you.

debkrier.com

debkrier.com

1: Be patient

No, seriously. Be patient.

When you start you ca expect to get a little feedback on what you say. Perhaps even the holy grail of a Retweet (RT) or favourite. This is how people bookmark your tweets. The more that you say and do, the more interest you will develop and the more people will be inclined to follow you. Over the course of a few weeks/months the network will grow and you will find yourself drawn into more and more conversations and discussions.

Don’t let it take over your life (that is very easy, believe me!)

Be discerning about who you develop links with, some people will just be people you follow, some will be people you have occasional link with and then there will be people who form your PLN (Personal Learning Network) – you will realise who they are when they include your name in the tweets so you are drawn in, or they will refer to you when questioning or answering others, this is when Twitter becomes really powerful.

quotespics.com

quotespics.com

Now you have got yourself started, the learning can begin. I have been amazed at the wealth of knowledge, ideas and resources out there. I knew they would exist, but Twitter has shown me where to go to read about more and more interesting things.

I has both shown me how much I don’t know and need to learn and how much I do know and have been doing for years and even things I did and stopped doing for a variety of reasons.

Make your experience as broad and varied as you can.

Read blogs.

Share ideas.

The more you do people will want to know more about you.


Good Luck.

Enjoy the adventure, there are many others taking it with you and you can rest assured that you will bump into them on your way!


Update: 30-08-14

I have received this document as a result of these blog posts:

Essential Edchat Resource Guide

“This guide was brought to you by USC Rossier’s online EdD

Hopefully you may find it useful.

 

Why should teachers be using Twitter? #CupofTeaCPD Trilogy Part 1

The reason for this post, is quite simply that it is self affirming.

I joined Twitter, professionally at least, in April 2014. I had been a Twitter non-user for a number years before that.

I didn’t get it.

Too little space, too little to read, too much nonsense, if no-one follows me what’s the point? No-one can read what I say.

As such, my profile sat, unloved, unappreciated and under used.

Then I had an epiphany (a late one, but better late than never!) I had realised it was something which could be used professionally and I knew a few people who used it, so I took the plunge and @WatsEd was born. Well created anyway.

Now 7 months later, I have Tweeted 10,622 times, I follow 1328 users (all real people too, not bots or rubbish) and am followed by 1137 users (also real people, I hope! They talk to me, so if they aren’t that’s worrying!)

I have learned more in that 5 months about what is happening in the world of education, than in the last 4 years!

  • OfSted
  • Curriculum
  • Government Policy
  • #Gove
  • Tech
  • App Development
  • Blogging
  • Leadership
  • Global education
  • Updates from Conferences
  • Keynote Speakers
  • Teachmeets

The list could go on and on.

I am not professing to be expert in any of these things, but I know things now that I didn’t before and that is an improvement.

Twitter has opened so many doors to my practice, self awareness and self reflection.

  • Genius Hour (although I already did a similar thing)
  • Flipped Classroom
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Educational authors.

All off this and more is at my fingertips – literally!

I can ask a question of my ‘Twitterati’ and within the day I will have answers, lots of answers, from people in different contexts who have a range of opinions – I can discuss them, argue my case, back down, stand up – whatever I need.

More CPD than I can handle!

——————————————————————-

So, to the point.

I want to share my new found obsession (and it can very easily become that!) with my own colleagues.

So I asked Twitter…

“I wonder if anyone has any materials for showing staff the benefits of Twitter?”

I had a few responses, all helpful, but it was Tom Bigglestone (@the_tank) who really came through.

He shared both his very lovely printed iPad handout complete with suggested user to follow and a collection of tweets answering the question: ‘Why should teachers use Twitter?’

His blog entry I re-blogged below is the rest of his 10 minute presentation to staff.

It was exactly what I needed – I could easily have written and said the same things, but sometimes it is nice to know that you aren’t alone in your opinions. That’s powerful.

Thanks Tom.

——————————————————————-

There are so many professionals out there in the ‘twittersphere’ and the ‘blogosphere’ – they are nice people and they are all too keen to share their skills, knowledge and understanding with anyone who cares to ask.

Where else can you discuss a chapter of a book with the author(s) over a coffee – almost anytime you like?

What about discussion about an app that you like, with the developer and coder? It’s brilliant.

If you are a teacher and you aren’t on Twitter – why not?

@BATTTUK Twitter

@BATTTUK Twitter

I have had what I now refer to as ‘Cup of Tea CPD’ so often.

Just make a cup of tea, ask the question and discuss. 15-20 mins and you know more, or you have shared with someone else. Brilliant.

There are so many #chats to join in with – 30 mins of VERY intense tweeting about specific topics. #behaviourchat, #SLTchat, #headteacherchat, #MLTchat, #edchat, #ukedchat, #AUSSIEdchat, #usedchat, #tlap, #whatisschool – again the list goes on. Many of these have the discussion topics chosen by the users. These all have an appointed day and time, so if you are prepared, you are good to go!

Two screens is helpful to track discussions.

Sometimes it is like being a kid in sweet shop!

I have wholeheartedly bought into the idea that Twitte can provides some of the best CPD you can get.


Update: 30-08-14

I have received this document as a result of these blog posts:

Essential Edchat Resource Guide

“This guide was brought to you by USC Rossier’s online EdD

Hopefully you may find it useful.


Update: 02-09-14

This tweet makes me very proud.

A genuine 1st tweet using #CupofTeaCPD

https://twitter.com/primaryteachni/status/506877709923155969


 

Update: 04-09-14

Another 1st Tweet from my #CupofTeaCPD blogs

https://twitter.com/HayleyPreston8/status/507301255497388032

Practical P4C

On Friday morning I gave a ten-minute briefing to all staff at my school on the benefits of Twitter for teachers. Accompanied by a keynote presentation behind me, I used the words below as a rough script (though I don’t tend to read from notes when presenting). I also had designed and laminated a double-sided cardboard ipad for all to take away: on one side was a collection of replies I received to the question ‘Why should teachers be on Twitter?’ and a Getting Started guide on the other.

Please feel free to use any of these ideas to “put the case” for Twitter among your colleagues.

1394203322114

“This briefing is on the benefits of Twitter for teachers, and why the fact that only 4% of teachers are on Twitter means there are so many missing out on its advantages. This is not a “how-to” use Twitter. If I what I say…

View original post 547 more words

Teachers on Twitter by @TeacherToolkit – The best CPD you can, all get in 140 characters!

A blog post on blogging…

So, blogging…

blog-wordle-1

From: stsilasblog.net

It makes me quite sad really and I’m not sure why.

I think it is more of a sadness that comes from working with people who aren’t innovative or can’t see the value in something they don’t understand themselves. Even worse, people who don’t like something purely because it wasn’t their idea.

Blogging is great. Professionals do it, teachers do it, musicians, reporters, children, teens, old, young… there is no apparent limit on who blogs and about what they blog – the joys of internet freedom (unless of course you are in China or North Korea, but perhaps there is a whole different argument there!)

I started blogging in 2007 and started my first independent ‘teaching’ blog in July 2008: http://mrwatsonsplace.wordpress.com/

I set up a whole school worth of class blogs, trained staff on how it was done and what a powerful tool it could be and how it could link our children’s learning with school, home, community and the world at large, it was great and off we went. I led the way, updating 2,3 sometimes 4 times a week, I had a slot in my timetable where I trained the Y6s how to do and let them add content, they worked with Y5 and so on, it was awesome – sadly these class blogs seem to no longer be on the web as proof of this work.

One moves job and sometimes the work you leave behind is surpassed by something else as priorities change.

I did manage to transfer my own across though, I had to remove a few bits and it isn’t really a good example anymore but here it is, the white whale…http://mrwatsonsnewplace.wordpress.com/

It’s like an eBook now, almost exactly like the original, but somehow it just lacks the emotional character.

This is one of my favourite posts because of the amazing discussion it generated with Y3 children:

http://mrwatsonsnewplace.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/georges-melies-cinemagician/

 

What was sad is that, I stopped. Why did I stop?

Well I was told it wasn’t valuable use of the children’s time, it wasn’t productive, it didn’t seem to serve a purpose…

I argued, but lost and in the end I was the only one bothering and eventually even that slowly drew to a close. That is what’s sad.

Now, some 6 years and 3 jobs later, I find Twitter loaded with people creating fabulous work with class blog and children blogging to a wider audience for feedback and for opportunity to share their work; I am talking to you @DeputyMitchell and others. Wonderful work with children writing brilliant stuff and sharing it! I try as much as I can to comment on those works – just to show the system works and of course it does.

An example: http://2013year5.stjosephsblogs.net/

 

I was doing this so long ago and I stopped because I let someone else’s opinion cloud my judgement – shame on me!

It took until January 2010, new job, new opportunities until I started again properly and this time it took off in a big way. Children, parents and staff loved it – only this time the leadership embraced it too.

The result: http://watsoneastwoldblog.wordpress.com/

A blog which is now redundant (Left the school July 2011) with 354,959 hits (at time of writing) and still rising steadily, even though no one monitors it any more. I see ex-pupils from time to time and they tell me that they still go back and look now, using some of the links in their work.

Now that is the opposite of sad.

That turns my frown upside down!

 

And so here I am again – back on the horse so to speak. (Bl-orse? Bl-onkey? Not sure)

I love blogs.

Reading the thoughts of other professionals is one of the best ways to gain an insight into what is happening everywhere else. If nothing, it has taught me that I didn’t realise how little I knew! Well, now I am working to rectify that.

At the moment there is a lot I would like to say and a lot I probably shouldn’t! I will strike a balance and keep adding little pieces of my mind to this page as and when it comes to me.

I can also say that, my class will be getting a blog very soon.

As I draw to the end, I think this is a more a cathartic post than a educational one.

In reflection, I knew I was onto a good thing and I let it go.

I can categorically say that I will not be doing that again. Lesson learned.

So finally, if you find yourself with nothing better to do, click here and practice this. It started as a joke and 2 boys learned the whole thing, off by heart, at home and performed to the class. Why? Because they wanted to, they chose to and because they could!!

http://watsoneastwoldblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/tom-lehrers-the-elements/

Riding back in to blogging… hopefully the right direction!