Category Archives: EdTech

Twitter for Teachers: Tweet Chats

Last night, I participated in a Twitter (or tweet chat) hosted by educators in Ohio under the hashtag #OCIRA.

What is a Twitter or tweet chat, you may ask?

According to Forbes.com:

A tweet chat is a live Twitter event, usually moderated and focused around a general topic. To filter all the chatter on Twitter into a single conversation a hashtag is used. A set time is also established so that the moderator, guest or host is available to engage in the conversation.

 

This #OCIRA Twitter chat was hosted by none other than noted literacy author, Tanny McGregor.

Twitter is a powerful tool for teachers searching for unique and vibrant professional learning. In this case, I was able to interact with other educators, including Tanny herself, in real time on the topic of reading comprehension.

 As McGregor was the moderator, she steered the discussion by way of 7 or so questions, all focusing on reading comprehension and literacy, the subject of her work as a speaker and as a teacher.

Over the course of the hour-long discussion – which flies by, I might add – I had the opportunity to contribute my own ideas and experiences, and then read about the ideas and experiences of other educators.tanny mcgregor twitter chatAnd what a thrilling (yes, thrilling) experience to have other educators from another part of the world acknowledge and even affirm my ideas and experiences. Indeed, how thrilling it was to have Tanny McGregor herself like and retweet some of my posts. Amazing.

Where else could I exchange ideas and learn with an edu-guru such as Tanny McGregor?

For educators, Twitter can be a powerful tool for learning, connecting, and sharing professional ideas and experiences.

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If you would like to participate in a tweet chat, searching “tweet chats education” will bring up this list and schedule of tweet chats as well as this web page from Cybrarman.

If you want to explore other ways teachers are using Twitter, then type “Twitter for Teachers” into Google.

Plus: Twitter Cheat Sheet for Educators

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Toddlers with tablets will force a change in education – The Globe and Mail

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/wielding-tablets-toddlers-will-force-change-in-education/article13079482/?service=mobile

Digital Differentiation: QR Codes

RT @pgsimoes Digital Differentiation – QR Codes on the iPad http://t.co/hLpmadrGZ3 (@soxnevad) #elearning #edtech

Opinion: Learning faster without teachers

http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/27/opinion/ted-prize-students-teach-themselves?c=&page=1

Salman Khan Describes Future Classrooms with Blended Learning

Interesting video from the mind behind the Khan Academy. Here he discusses how online learning is meant to mesh with — not replace — classroom learning. For me, this echoes Karen Hume’s discussion of balancing tradition with innovation. “Salman Khan Describes Future Classrooms with Blended Learning” on YouTube:

Laptop Spying to Combat Digital Distraction?

I stumbled upon this article this morning, which is another interesting piece to add to the puzzle of the role of digital devices in the classroom and the articles I posted yesterday.

By Louise Brown of the Toronto Star:

York University prof enlists student snitches to battle digital distraction

When professor Henry Kim noticed a student this week paying more attention to his laptop than the class discussion, he asked another student to check out the suspect’s screen.

Twitter.

Busted.

The business professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business quietly asked the tweeter to leave for the rest of the 90-minute class for breaking the pledge his students must take not to use laptops for anything but class work.

And it meant using another new pledge this frustrated teacher had students take this fall; to spy on a classmate’s screen, if asked, and report truthfully what they see.

By recruiting this new breed of screen snitches, Kim hopes to make digital distraction so socially awkward that students will close forbidden windows — Facebook, email, Sikh field hockey matches — and plug into class…

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Digital Classroom: Good Idea?

Here’s a trio of articles I have come across recently which explore the idea of increasing the digital presence in the classroom:

7 Solutions for Educators Who Want 21st Century Students to Tune In

From http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.ca

“If your target audience isn’t listening to you, it’s not their fault, it’s yours” Seth Godin

More and more I am reading articles like this one Colleges worry about always-plugged-in students. In it they talk about college professors and administrators who have or are considering unplugging student’s access to the internet or banning technology altogether so students will focus. These learning institutions are moving in the wrong direction!

When we blame or ban the technology,  we solve our issue temporarily, but we are ignoring the root of the problem.When it comes to learning, many educators know banning is the easy way out, but there are a number of reasons behind why students are not paying attention. Rather than taking away student rights and the freedom to use the tools they want, we must address the root of the issue that is causing the problem. My advice comes from someone who teaches adults and students in a “no ban zone.” These ideas work for me and they will work for you…
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Let’s unplug the digital classroom

By Doug Mann, The Toronto Star,
Saturday October 06, 2012

We are entering an age when the “digital delivery of course content can free faculty in traditional institutions to engage in direct dialogue and mentorship with students.”

So says the Ontario government’s 2012 white paper on education, “Strengthening Ontario’s Centres of Creativity, Innovation and Knowledge.” Professors muse that the classroom must “evolve or die” to become more “fun and engaging” for the modern student.

Such views are misinformed at best, crude propaganda for Apple and Microsoft at worst. The use of digital technology in higher education has promoted ignorance, not knowledge, and severely degraded basic reading, writing and thinking skills. It’s time to hit the off button.

One problem with the most enthusiastic futurists is that too many of them haven’t spent any time in the classroom in the last decade.
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School 2.0: teachers will be liberated from the classroom

Somewhere, this year, a university hired its last tenured professor. That’s because of the economic pressures on higher education. Next year, a university will hire its last faculty member expected to teach in a classroom. And that’s because of the technological pressures on higher education.

Technology won’t kill university education any more than television killed radio, but it will transform it. While your kids will still go to college, and it will still cost a fortune, their study time will look radically different than it does today. Even though our university classroom teachers may be replaced with robots, websites or direct-to-brain Ethernet jacks, on-campus higher education will still have a place that no Massive Open Online Course will supplant in our lifetime.

To understand why the future won’t kill college, it helps to remember how technology has already transformed education.

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