TheTechEducator http://thetecheducator.com/blog Helping Make Us Better Educators One Tech Tip At A Time Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:01:06 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.5 140 Characters at a Time http://thetecheducator.com/blog/2011/02/15/140-characters-at-a-time/ http://thetecheducator.com/blog/2011/02/15/140-characters-at-a-time/#comments Tue, 15 Feb 2011 17:46:41 +0000 tryocum http://thetecheducator.com/blog/?p=81 Follow TheTechEducator on Twitter
As I sat in many a classroom desk and listened to lecture after lecture and took many notes (and drew lots of doodles) over the years, I never imagined that, one day, I would learn more in 140 characters than I did in many of those classroom lectures.

Please don’t take offense Sid Homan, Dr. Kaufman or Mark Smith. Your classes were engaging because of your teaching style. You added humor, hands on activity and/or memorable visuals to your 60 minute lectures. You engaged me and my mind.

As I look at how I learn now, I have noticed that the classroom is no longer the single venue for learning. With a web enabled device, I can learn anywhere and anytime and the best part is I can learn from hundreds of people around the globe.

The one tool I have found to be a valuable resource is Twitter. No, I’m not talking about the “I am sitting on the porch.” type tweeter. I refer to those in the Twitterverse that share similar interests in the same areas I do and provide links to valuable information.

For some more information on Twitter and how to use it to build your PLN, take a look at these tutorials by Josh Stumpenhorst. The first is an introduction to Twitter and the second is Twitter 102 focusing on Tweetdeck as a more efficient way to participate in the ongoing Twitter conversation.

Put your toe in the water. Lurk around the conversation for a while. Find some like minded individuals to follow and eventually tweet with. You’ll be glad you did.

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A Time for Teaching, A Time For Learning http://thetecheducator.com/blog/2011/01/13/a-time-for-teaching-a-time-for-learning/ http://thetecheducator.com/blog/2011/01/13/a-time-for-teaching-a-time-for-learning/#comments Thu, 13 Jan 2011 22:06:34 +0000 tryocum http://thetecheducator.com/blog/?p=69 Through out the course of our day, there are six 55 minute blocks for teaching, five 6 minute passing periods and a 29 minute lunch period. On most days, one of those 55 minute blocks is a planning period. Unless of course, your planning period is non-existent that day due to the rotating schedule. Then you have a six period day and no break, save for lunch.

At 3 P.M. we head home to a life of leisure to prepare dinner, have a glass of wine and watch our favorite show on the tube with our feet propped up on the coffee table. Well, not quite. We all know it is then time to grade papers, prepare lessons for the next day, return parent phone calls and enter grades from the comfort of our homes in the online gradebook.

The real issue here is that teachers, by far, spend the majority of their time on teaching and tasks related to teaching. The question is, when do teachers get time to learn for themselves? Why is professional development limited to a few certain days out of the year or to the 2 months of the summer? Shouldn’t teachers have time set aside each day to have some time for learning, for sharing notes and ideas on methods that work in the classroom to be more effective teachers?

This time would be set aside for developing Personal Learning Networks both in the school building and networked communities on the World Wide Web.

Teachers teaching teachers. Teachers sharing with teachers. Teachers helping each be better teachers. Teachers modeling and becoming lifelong learners. Teachers becoming more effective teachers because they are more effective learners.

Doesn’t make sense that  we should have time to learn too? Right there in our regular school day?

That is one of the reasons this blog exists. Learn from it. Add to it. You would be a welcome contributor to TheTechEducator. Just leave your comments below.

For more thoughts on this idea, please look at David Truss’ article, “We aren’t in the ‘teaching business’, rather we are in the ‘learning business’ ”

Click here – http://bit.ly/eJ7ndc

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Get WordPressed! http://thetecheducator.com/blog/2011/01/06/get-wordpressed/ http://thetecheducator.com/blog/2011/01/06/get-wordpressed/#comments Fri, 07 Jan 2011 01:42:44 +0000 Administrator http://thetecheducator.com/blog/?p=45 “Website? I don’t need a website! I’ve got a whiteboard and projector in my room, That’s good enough!”

“I don’t know how to make a web page.”

“HTML? URL? Code? What are those?”

“I write all my assignments on the board.”

“The kids all have planners and a place to write down their assignments.”

“It’s extra work for me.”

We’ve all heard these words or similar expressed by educators that are wary of  using a web site.

The truth be told, I have found that using a web site to communicate my class information has saved me time.  I admit that at first, I did not see the advantage of putting my class information out there. Since I started using a web site, my students and I have information at our fingertips both in school and at home or where ever there is Internet access. I have also found that the site serves me well when I have to go back and review assignments and see what we did during a particular week.

Getting started can be a bit daunting and that is where I have come to like WordPress. It is flexible and can be as elaborate or as simple as you like it. There is technical support available that will answer all your questions. WordPress.com offers FREE hosting. WordPress offers simple tutorials to get you started. You don’t have to know how to write HTML code and there are thousands of available themes out there that can help make your site look like you want it to look.

If you don’t have a web site started, sign up today and give WordPress a try.

Go here to learn more.

]]> http://thetecheducator.com/blog/2011/01/06/get-wordpressed/feed/ 0 Building Your PLN http://thetecheducator.com/blog/2010/09/01/setting-the-cornerstone-for-your-pln/ http://thetecheducator.com/blog/2010/09/01/setting-the-cornerstone-for-your-pln/#comments Wed, 01 Sep 2010 17:43:20 +0000 Administrator http://thetecheducator.com/blog/?p=11 “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”

It’s just an old proverb. But, what does it mean? Apparently, this proverb is so meaningful that even the Mythbusters felt the need to determine if it were true.

As an educator in an increasingly technological world, this proverb means that if I’m still teaching like I did just 5 years ago, I’ve stagnated.

But, what if I were still teaching like I did 20 years ago when I first entered the profession? In addition to some moss, I might just have some grass and weeds and perhaps a tree root or two beginning to grow around the stone.

My students are connected to their world in more ways than ever. As an educator, I feel I need to be connected too.

One of the ways I have done this is by becoming involved in and building a Professional Learning Network. Sometimes these are also referred to as Personal Learning Networks or Professional/Personal Learning Communities.

There are many resources available to me that provide feedback and thought provoking moments that help me connect in new ways with my students. I can make my areas of expertise more meaningful to my students beyond the tidbits of information they have to know for the test. When I make these connections, I see a difference in my students’ excitement levels and enthusiasm for learning.

One way I have made these connections is by going outside the walls of my classroom and opening up dialogue with other professionals through a variety of online media. It all started with Twitter and continues today in the use of blogs, Facebook and online conferences. Tom Whitby offers an explanation of the concept in this video.

If you are interested in building a PLN, begin today by subscribing to the email feed for TheTechEducator.

You’ll receive email notifications when new posts are written. In these posts we can share our experiences in the classroom using interactive white boards, BriteLink projectors, blogs, social media, video and whatever else is out there in our attempts to create a connected classroom environment.

Just like a rolling stone, we’ll keep moving forward to make sure you find some satisfaction as we provide you with quality information to help build your PLN and in supplying technology tips, tricks and tidbits to help out in your connected classroom.

Keep rolling along!

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