Friday, July 12, 2013

My 11+1 Essential Tools for using Social Networking as Professional Development

"Real PD starts with wanting 2 learn Not with learning something once for one hour once a year Take control of your profession" Tim Charleston (@MrCsays)

In May, I presented at the iPARA Expo in Los Gatos, CA.  My topic was the opportunity that social media and networking provides for educators. I started with what I know...after some thought I realized I use at a minimum 9 different social media tools every week day!  I sure thought computers were supposed to simplify our lives!  Here is a screen shot of just the apps I use, not to mention the websites.

  1. edmodo - In addition to using +Edmodo to communicate with students and parents, I also use communities and groups to connect with other educators and learn about new ways to integrate technology with curriculum.
  2. Twitter - I read twitter like some people read the news. I check it daily to see what new things are going on with education and technology (#edchat).. In his post, Twitterati: Progressive EDU leaders or outliers?  Tom Whitby writes Today’s technological tools for collaboration now enable it globally, timelessly, and virtually endlessly. The key factor in good and effective collaboration is connecting with right sources. 
  3. Youtube is a great resource for teachers and students. I have not yet begun to tap into its vastness of instructional and professional development videos.
  4. Blogs - Not only do I write for reflection but I also follow several other bloggers in the field of education.  Grace from Teacher Learning Community suggests: Reflect on your work from time to time by blogging about your experiences. Decide what has worked and what hasn’t? What should you do different next time? You can always draw from other people’s expertise as well. Social media is all about collaboration, and what better way to do that then by teaching and learning from other passionate educators?  Then share your blog with your colleagues. Build a list of blogs to read for professional development purposes…and make sure you subscribe to them so you know when they’ve posted new content. There are many teaching related blogs out there.
  5. Wikis - I use wikispaces as a repository of information. Our current wiki is managed by a group of us involved in a 1:1 iPad pilot. 
  6. facebook -I do not use this yet for professional purposes but this year plan to use a professional page/profile for parent communications
  7. google + -   I find this a better source of professional information than facebook.
  8. diigo - social bookmarking -   Not only can I save my bookmarks for use from any machine, bt I can also see what others are bookmarking and find new and interesting 
  9.  Pinterest  Simply a great source of ideas!
  10. LinkedIn and Tioki, which is kind of like a linkedin for educators, connects users with job opportunities. 
  11. Edshelf -  -Find the right educational tools for your needs - Reviews and recommendations of tools for education
  12. This just in - Graphite, a recently launched resource from +Common Sense Educators, provides curated recommendations and reviews of educational apps and tools.

Jason Tomassini from Education Week  suggests via the Huffington Post that teachers check Twitter for hashtags related to education technology, elementary education, and 1-to-1 computing initiatives featuring iPads. He found what is certainly true for this teacher, that we use Facebook in our personal life but we aren't on Facebook with our "teacher hats on."  I know for me I am more likely to use a designed for teachers and not likely one frequented by my students, current or past.  I don't even accept friend requests from parents of my current students. I know they can see my posts in a roundabout way, but it is just a line I have drawn for myself.

Eric Sheninger, "online idea-sharing tools like RSS feeds, digital discussion forums, and blogs have the power to expand PLNs to previously unimaginable sizes. By using social media tools such as Twitter, social bookmarking sites, and social networks, educators can participate in the new era of professional development—an era of idea exchange that is accessible anywhere, anytime and that connects the field’s brightest minds. These tools are real-time, cost-effective, and accessible around the world, and they are driven by practitioners, not just consultants. 

Social media–facilitated idea sharing and online personal learning networks also bypass the challenges of traditional professional development, including time and money constraints, uninterested participants, and an overemphasis on irrelevant or boring content. 

 George Couros ‏@gcouros  "Connecting on Twitter has not only created higher expectations for myself in education, but for people in general. So much awesome out there"


1 comment:

  1. These tools are real-time, cost-effective, and accessible around the world, and they are driven by practitioners, not just consultants.

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