Week 11 Review: What I learned from Twitter and Hashtags
Educator to Follow #1:
The first person that I wanted to explore and learn more about was Michael Matera. He has devised ways to "gamify" his classroom. To the left is a picture of the book he wrote on the topic. It's purpose is to guide teachers on how to apply motivational techniques of gameplay into your classroom using strategies that work into your current curriculum. The book is split into three parts: Part 1- Debunk myths and stereotypes, Part 2- Focus on Empowering Students, and Part 3- An All-in-one treasure chest containing ideas and examples. I previewed the book and it looks like a valuable resource that I will most likely invest in in the future. Adding interest and "gaming" to the classroom has always been a goal of mine that I can achieve with help from this resource. Follow Michael on Twitter and check out his Website!
Educator to Follow #2:
One of many things that caught my eye on Rick Wormeli's page was that he stressed how impactful the EL magazine was. In fact, he dedicated two tweets in a row to how important and powerful the new issue is. One problem, I had no clue what the EL magazine was or why it was important to educators. So I decided to take his advice, "do myslf a solid", and find it so I could read it. I discovered that EL magazine stands for Educational Leadership magazine. That definitely sounds like something I would be interested in as a future educator, but what exactly makes it so great? After finding the magazine online I quickly discovered why he made such a big deal about this resource. It is awesome! I highly encourage you, and all educators, to follow @ELmagazine AND bookmark the website so you can keep up to date on all of their amazing articles. I especially encourage you to read Rick Wormeli's article on racism in schools to get you started. Also, make sure to follow Rick on Twitter and check out his Website!
Educator to Follow #3:
My last educator to follow is Sarah Thomas. First, let me just start by saying she has so many great things to say. If you need to feel inspired, just hop over to her page and read for a bit. You are sure to find some pieces of gold while your there. The tweet I chose to focus on is actually the end of a multiple part tweet. It involved some English teacher math, but basically came down to what she said to the right. Thinking about this makes me realize how influential I may be to others right now and how much more of a positive influence I could be right now. Read the entire thread of tweets HERE. (Seriously, do it!) Second, she has officially introduced me to #borededchat. I don't know if you have ever seen it before but it is basically a hashtag that is used by educators to make a point when they have a thought and are bored. I can't imagine educators having enough free time to be bored, but there are quite a few good posts. If you do nothing else I have told you to do so far, do this. Follow Sarah and get on her Website. NOW
Hashtag to Check Out:
When I first saw this hashtag on Matt Miller's list of 50 People and Hashtags you MUST check out on Twitter, I though it must be a joke. It sounds like something I would end a satirical tweet with when I am feeling overwhelmed and annoyed with school. Although, this may be how some people try to use this hashtag, the majority makes a much better use of it. This hashtag is full of great resources.
I didn't have to further than the first tweet that popped up after searching this hashtag to find gold. Via #whatisschool I found David Geurin's (which is great in it's own right), but I also discovered Levels of Engagement and methods on keeping students engaged. We all dream of a classroom where students aren't staring at the clock or packing up early, but that is an impossible goal to achieve, right? It may be hard to believe, but students being engaged clear to the end of class, not even noticing the bell is achievable. A big part of this is finding flow in your classroom according to David's post "9 Ways to Make Learning Irresistible". He goes into detail on designing a class in which students are engaged and excited to learn. It is great resource that I will be saving for use in my future classroom and encourage everyone else to do the same.
Next, I discovered the Lead Up Teach movement which I part of the Lead Up Now movement. Lead Up Teach is a live YouTube group that discusses various education topics on Blab.im or the Blab app. The hosts have weekly slow chats on Saturdays and I'm looking forward to checking it out. They also have various other chats throughout the week. These are announced on their Twitter Page. As I mentioned before Lead Up Teach is also a part of a larger movement called Lead Up Now. This is a group of people who are "committed to moving the conversation forward on leadership, culture, growth, and shifts. They have a fantastic blog that you should check out HERE. They bring up some interesting and tough topics that will make you think.
Lastly, I want to share EDWords with you. This a page fueled by BAM! Radio (which is also host to many other education resources, check it out). It is full of tough and honest topics. The first article I found there was about dealing with racism and having the tough conversation on racism and privilege with a class after having been on a field trip in which students were judged by others. This page tells it like it is and has some really amazing people who write for them. There is not much more I can say on this besides go to the Website, check it for yourself, and see what I mean. It discusses getting through the good and the bad. Every teacher will have instances in which they need some help and this page has the honest advice of educators ready to help. If you want to read the article I talked about earlier it is titled "Breaking the Silence" written by Sean A. Thom (who I highly respect for the way he handled this situation). He also has his own Website that you can find HERE.