Category Archives: Internet

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!

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Twitter EdChats – #CupofTeaCPD Trilogy Part 3(ii) The End?

This is it – the end of the line … The final part of Part 3 of the #CupofTeaCPD Trilogy. Like the last Harry Potter films, I had to spin out the last bit for maximum effect!

In #CupofTeaCPD1 I explained why I think teacher should be on Twitter.

In  #CupofTeaCPD2  I gave my Top 10 tips for starting out with Twitter.

In #CupofTeaCPD3i I looked at trying to collect Twitter EdChats. It was Pokemon-esque attempt – “Gotta Catch ’em All!”

In this blog #CupofTeaCPD3ii, you will find the list of edchats collected.

Thanks to all contributors:

@gazneedle

@MRsalakas

@mrkempnz

@educationbear

@gtchatmod

@goodman_ang

@WatsEd

@tim_jumpclarke

The Google form is still open at: #CupofTeaCPD3

Please feel free to add any further chats to the list.

I will then update this blog post.


 

Here is the list, hopefully there is something for everyone. Enjoy.

 

Chat: SLTChat

#Hashtag: #SLTchat

Moderator: @SLTChat

Based: UK

Date/Time: @TeacherToolkit

 

Chat: ukedchat

#Hashtag: #ukedchat

Moderator: @ukedchat

Based: UK

Date/Time:

 

Chat: AussieED

#Hashtag: #aussieED

Moderator: Rotational Host (@MRSalakas)

Based: Australia/New Zealand

Date/Time: Sunday 8:30pm AEST

 

Chat: Asia Ed Chat

#Hashtag: #asiaED

Moderator: Rotational Host

Based: Asia

Date/Time: Slow Chat – one question per day

 

Chat: What is School

#Hashtag: #whatisschool

Moderator: @mrkempnz & @candylandscaper

Based: Global Chat

Date/Time: Thursday 7pm EDT / Friday 9am AEST

 

Chat: PrimEdChat

#Hashtag: #primedchat

Moderator: @educationbear

Based: UK

Date/Time: Wednesday 8:00pm – 8:30pm

 

Chat: gtchat

#Hashtag: #gtchat

Moderator: @gtchatmod

Based: USA

Date/Time: Fridays 7/6 C (US)/Midnight UK and 3rd Sunday 4/3 C (US)/21.00 (UK)

 

Chat: New Teachers 2 Twitter

#Hashtag: #nt2t

Moderator: Rotational Host

Based: USA

Date/Time: Saturday 2pm

 

Chat: EduTweetOz

#Hashtag: #edutweetoz

Moderator: Rotational Host

Based: Australia/New Zealand

Date/Time: Slow Chat – one question per day

 

Chat: Primary Rocks

#Hashtag: #primaryrocks

Moderator: @redgierob / @gazneedle

Based: UK

Date/Time: Monday 7pm-8pm UK Time

time fo dat

 

Still trying to track down:

 

Chat: Headteacher Chat

#Hashtag:

Moderator:

Based:

Date/Time:

 

Chat: Behaviour Chat

#Hashtag:

Moderator:

Based:

Date/Time:

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

Twitter EdChats – #CupofTeaCPD Trilogy Part 3(i)

Part 3 of my #CupofTeaCPD Trilogy – It has been long anticipated by some!

So here is Part 1 of Part 3!

In #CupofTeaCPD1 I explained why I think teacher should be on Twitter.

In  #CupofTeaCPD2  I gave my Top 10 tips for starting out with Twitter.

Part 3 is going to be about really taking the opportunity to get the best out of Twitter and creating genuine, personalised professional development.

Improving knowledge and understanding of the up to date issues of education nationally and internationally. Taking the opportunity to discuss with colleagues globally.

How to do this?

Twitter Chats

In Part 2 of the trilogy I made reference to Twitter Chats and how interesting and useful they can be.

#CupofTeaCPD Part 2

“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. #aussieEd
  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

The education chat on twitter provide contributors an opportunity to share ideas and practice with other educators. Contributors include teachers, leaders, inspectors and consultants – all offering answers to the proposed questions/themes. It is fast paced, hectic and tough to follow at times! Definitley a need for a Twitter Client like HootSuite or TweetDeck (@gazneedle).

I have been involved in several chats but more often I miss them as I don’t actually know when they happen, or I am too late and am out of the flow and find it hard to jump in as it can be tricky to find the initial questions.

There is a clear schedule – #aussieED and #whatisschool, which usually trend globally, are on a Sunday. (I think!)

But there are lots that can be checked out. Individual states in USA have their own and they welcome overseas teachers to jump in and contribute. There are several in the UK too.

So, my project for the next couple of weeks is to try and find out what happens when and who is in control!

I will then use this to catalogue a timetable of @Twitter #edchats and post it here.

This will hopefully be a useful resource that can be added to and amended over time.

Please fill in the Google Form below if you know of a #chat and add it to the list.

I have given the ‘option’ to rate the chat – don’t feel that you have to.

It might be a way to help people prioritise the chats they want to get involved with.

Thanks everyone!

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.

 

A Reflection on: Internet trolls and the School Playground

I read this piece earlier this evening and could not help but feel it was loaded with truth and reflected scenarios that I have seen and dealt with almost on a daily basis in school.

As I find myself drawn deeper and deeper into the ‘rabbit-hole’ that is Social Media, you find it more and more often. One only needs to read the comments on a Sky Sports news story, or a comedy photograph on Facebook and it begin almost immediately. Yet rather than leave these people to it and leave them to their opinions, we fight back and ‘Feed the Trolls’. That’s when the trouble usually starts…

I like many others have 2 Twitter identities and as time has passed there is less and less link between my personal and professional accounts, to the point where I rarely use the personal one. Using Twitter professionally has meant that the majority of the people I communicate with are like minded education professionals, which means that there isn’t that much ‘Trolling’, perhaps a light hearted jibe from someone seeking debate or as a way of instigating reasonable discussion, I have never seen it get ‘nasty’. I am sure others might have other stories.

To quote: http://newteachersblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/internet-trolls-and-the-school-playground/

“The blogosphere is a very big playground. Most people in the playground know how to play nicely. But in every playground, there are highly-skilled, expert name-calling wind-up merchants. Their influence relies on people taking notice of them.”

I wonder if this is just another facet of the old fashioned playground bully?
The one who whispers in another child’s ear: “Hey, guess what I heard Barney just say! True Story!” And then having ilt the blue touch paper, retires to a safe distance.

The difference is that as teachers, we always knew who that kid was and kept an eye out accordingly!

The ‘troll’ can be nameless and faceless and cowardly. Hiding under their appointed bridge.

They can hide behind a false online identity, which they do for the sole purpose that the ‘man in the mask’ is harder to find. I honestly feel sorry for those people who have nothing better to do than insult, offend, falsely accuse or otherwise incite others, just to sit back and watch the chaos that follows.

Should any accusation be based in truth, then there is a proper way to make those allegations, and I’m not entirely sure that Social Media is the right place to do it.

I suspect that Trolling will never become professional nor will it become an Olympic sport, and unless in some peculiar parallel universe that comes to fruition, I shall stick to my opinion that:

I Pity the Troll!

 

They clearly have a very empty life!

 

newteachersblog

As a child, if ever I came home from school complaining of people calling me names, my mother would say: “Ignore them. Otherwise they’ll do it even more. Don’t play with people who call you names.

If I ever protested, she would get visibly irritated: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.  Say that and walk away.”

Sometimes I found her advice very difficult to take. It always seemed inadequate and it never satisfied my inflamed need for retribution against the perpetrators or more perversely, for my desire for their acceptance and inclusion of me in their group.

Sometimes if I could not resist the temptation to retaliate, my mother would say: “If – and when – you come off worse… don’t come crying to me!”

By the time I became a teacher, I had graduated to dishing out the same advice.

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