Why sharing is the key to learning!
This week I have been reminded why sharing is important, mostly because Ingunn Weka from Sogndal vgs visited our school the whole week. The reason for the visit was that she had applied for a grant from her county to visit and learn from another school. It was an honor for us that she our school was on her list! I think many would aim for a more distant exotic place to visit! She had a busy agenda and a lot of questions for us this week, and as always when you exchange ideas with other administrators or teachers, both parties learn a lot. Since she reminded me of the importance of sharing and how much easier it is to share if you use technology, I will try to answer some of her questions in this post.
Strategies for a networked teacher/school leader
Seek – Go, Explore, Discover!
For this I use Twitter, Facebook, Skype and Scoop-it. The result of this is that I read a lot more articles and books than I used to 5 years ago.
Sense – Understand, Do, Create, Remix
When I find information I usually share it back on Twitter or Facebook. If the information is relevant to my work I will write about it on my blog and if I’m lucky comments from other educators will result in reflections and new learning for those involved. Sometimes what I find can be used in my class and I write about this on my blog and use the category “Lesson plans”. That way I can use my blog for reflections, professional development and in as an activity starter in my class.
Share – Pay It Forward
Creating and sharing are connected and the point is to give back to the community. When doing a presentation or workshop I always share my slides on Dropbox or Slideshare. If you like comments on your blog, you should be sure to comment back and thank those who provide the information. That way you take part of the sharing culture.
(list found on Lyn Hilts page and moderated to suit the purpose!)
How I plan my lessons
Another question Ingunn had was how I plan my lessons. I do not operate with strict plans for the year and I have chosen to use the Competence aims as a guideline. By the end of the school year it is up to the student to make sure all are completed and approved. The list is found here competancy aims international English. I ask my students to share their document with me using Google docs. That way I can see the changes as they occur. After that I introduce blogging and Twitter. Most of what I do can be found here. Don’t forget to show your students how to use clustrmaps, it is very motivating! You can read about it here. I use Twitter for quick mesaging with my students and we share information using this hashtag, #2eng. When the students start blogging you need a way to keep up with their writing. I use Feedly to keep me up to speed. Remember if you think this seems complicated you most likely have at least 3 experts in your class who can help you! Every week I post a to do list on our learning management page. It could look something like this:
To do week 15
- In groups of 3 read 3 in-depth projects and prepare 3 questions each for the oral presentations
- Prepare your oral presentation, Follow these guidelines; present topic and thesis question that you answer. No notes and no writing on presentation, only pictures, graphs, statistics, video (short) key words. Presentation no more than 11 minutes. Time for questions 10 minutes.
- Activity: Write what you know about Edward Snowden here. Watch this video interview with Edward Snowden and take notes, write a blog post about the interview. Title; Why I agree/disagree with Snowden’s actions
Some results from those articles can be found here: Victor, Khadi, Sindre, Dimitrije.
I know they would appreciate your comments!
Remember to let your students ask the questions! When writing on their blogs, have them ask the questions they end up answering. This makes it so much more interesting for the students writing and the teacher reading!
Hi Ann, I tried to reply to you (via Skype in the Classroom). I would love one of my classes to connect with you and your students via Skype on Earth Day (April 22nd). Our second class period is from 8:20 – 9:00 EST. Is that o.k. for you? If so, we can chat about the collaboration prior to the 22nd.
Thank you so much.
Lindenhurst High School, New York
Hi Linda! Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. We would love to Skype with your class. We will work on Earth Day research and prepare some questions for your students. Why don’t you do the same and then we will see what we can get out of it. Do you want to try several computers or one? Could make some good conversations if we did more computers in smaller groups. I have 17 students in my class.