Beyond Classroom Tech Tips…

February 13, 2008

Read Blogs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Donna DesRoches @ 2:56 am

In response to a teacher who asked him what she should do to become a 21st century educator David Warlick told her, “read blogs”.

Reading blogs, facilitated by my rss reader Bloglines, has been the most powerful professional development I have experienced in 28 years of teaching. It has connected me to educators around the world, exposed me to a wide variety of educational views and helped me clarify my own thinking about learning and teaching. I cannot help but think how wonderful it would be if every teacher could experience the professional growth that this form of learning provides.

David Warlick then goes on to offer a number of other activities that can provide self-development for a teacher wishing to become a 21st Century literate educator. In our school division the small schools and large distances between schools makes it difficult to indulge in some of the face-to-face activities he suggests but it is certainly worth considering how we can use tools such as our blogsWizIQ and Skype to create a group of individuals interested in sharing and tackling some of the following activities:

  1. Find two or more other educators in your school [division] who are interested in learning and using emerging information and communication technologies. It would be of enormous advantage if you can include [a teacher-librarian from with the division]
  2. Identify the appropriate person in your school or district who can provide technical support and configuration for your increasingly utilized computers and network. Bake them some chocolate chip cookies. [food is always appreciated by our tech people!]
  3. Identify some edu-bloggers who are talking about the emerging ICTs you are considering. See the Bloggers to Learn From wiki, contributed to by a world community of educators. [and check out Alec Couros’ Canadian Edublogger’s list.]
  4. Delegate! Assign each member of your team some of the selected blogs to follow, and share specific posts with each other.
  5. Read, study, and discuss books about teaching and learning and the world we’re doing it in. See the Books to Learn From. wiki, contributed to by a world community of educators.[Some titles are available from my library]
  6. Schedule regular meetings (once or twice a month) at a local restaurant, coffee shop, or pizzeria (preferably with WiFi). Meet and discuss what you’ve learned and what you want to learn.
  7. Start a group del.icio.us (A social bookmarks service) account for organizing and sharing web resources. [this is a great way to share resources that we find]
  8. Start a wiki for posting notes, links, and step-by-step instructions.
  9. Join one or more of the Ning social networks, such as: School 2.0, Library 2.0, Classroom 2.0.
  10. Start your own blogs for sharing your reflections on what you are learning and how you are learning it.
  11. Start experimenting in your class and share the results.
  12. Share your results with other teachers in your school and Invite them into your conversation.

These are all great ideas that can be used to reduce the isolation felt by teachers separated by many miles in a large school division.  How do we begin?

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