If you are like me and unable to attend the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE & C), then you are probably looking to keep up with what’s going on via the social networks. @misterlamb has a CoverItLive going on via his blog. Head over to http://misterlamb.blogspot.com to keep up in real time. Thanks Jimbo!!
If you can’t make it to the PMEA Conference in person this year (like me), you are in luck! Undergraduate students from Grove City College will be live-blogging many of the sessions presented at the Conference next week. The students will be using Twitter and Cover It Live among other sources to live blog the event. Check out Joe Pisano’s post over at MusTech.net for all of the details!! A big thanks to Joe for doing this!
While listening to one of my favorite podcasts on the drive home the other day, I was thinking that I should do some more regular blog posts. Initially, I was thinking that I would try to write one post every day, but I am afraid that the content would not always be of quality. Instead, what I think I may do is set a goal to write maybe 2-3 times weekly. I don’t think the posts have to be long – sometimes, they could just be to share a link or something interesting that happened during the day. I think the main aspect that I am missing is the interaction with my readers. By making more regular posts, I hope that I can stir some conversation with my colleagues and have some more regular contact with them (you). On the other hand, I do not want to just put out meaningless stuff that no one reads. I know I personally have a ton of stuff in my RSS reader right now…I haven’t looked at it in ages! So, hopefully, here’s to a new beginning in my writing and conversation with all of you!
I have been an avid Twitter user for about two years now. When I first starting using it, I really wasn’t sure how it could benefit me in an educational way. In fact, I don’t think I was even considering using it as a vehicle for professional development. Nor did I envision that I would actually meet face-to-face with some of the folks I had met on Twitter! That was in May of 2008.
I don’t remember using it a lot in the first few months for anything productive at all. It was only after I went to a summer conference for our state music education association that I realized the potential of the medium. I don’t remember a specific point at which this happened, but around this same time I began to become more interested in educational technology. I also slowly began to realize that there were a lot of educators out there using Twitter as a personal professional development tool.
For me, Twitter has become one of the single most important professional development tools. Because I am not a “core subject” teacher, much of the professional development provided by my school district does not immediately relate to me. Twitter helps me to fill that gap and allows me to stay informed on the latest developments in educational technology and music education. Through Twitter, I have constant 24/7 contact with a wonderful group of educators from around the world who are always willing to share information and encouragement. It is like having a teachers lounge with you at all times where you can share ideas with your colleagues and get immediate feedback.
What I love about using Twitter is that I can use it any time, anywhere. I may have just tried something new in class that went really well. After class, I may tweet about it and share it with my Twitter PLN. Maybe the new concept didn’t go so well. So, I may tweet about it and get instant feedback from my PLN with suggestions and tips. Sometimes, I may just have a question about how other teachers present a given topic. I can tweet about that and instantly receive many ideas!
Aside from the outstanding professional resource that Twitter has been for me, it has also been a really wonderful personal social networking tool! I have made friends with several folks on Twitter, and we keep in touch regularly through the medium, even though we may live thousands of miles away. We talk about our families and children, work, vacations, frustrations, and successes! I have even been lucky enough to meet some of my Twitter friends in person at conferences and workshops. There is really something special about meeting someone in person that you have only known online first. When you meet them for them first time, it is like meeting up with an old friend!
Over the last few years, I have really fallen in love with Twitter. I use it every day, and have grown so much as a person and an educator because I have a wonderful network of professionals and friends that I can be in touch with constantly. For me, it truly is one of the best professional development tools I have ever used!
After checking my email today, I found out that I had been chosen as a 2010 DENny Award Winner! For the second year in a row, the Discovery Educator Network presented awards to 28 educators from around the country, and I am truly honored and humbled to be nominated for an award in the “community choice” category! Special thanks to Erin Misegadis for the extremely kind words and the nomination! I am so lucky to have such a great PLN that I can talk to every day and get inspired to do what I love! Thanks to you all!
I found the following video over at Shelly Terrell’s blog (teacherbootcamp.edublogs.org), and thought it was so good, that I wanted to share it here. With her permission, here is a video that she created for her PLN video project. I have included her narrative as well. I think this is a powerful message – Enjoy!
Passion, a funny creature…..
Perhaps, you will understand what passion does to you? It makes you do crazy things like poor your heart and soul into ambitious tasks. I love what I am doing and I may only persuade less than 10 teachers this year to gain a PLN, but in my mind that is 10 more who will persuade maybe another 10 more. I believe in starting movements even if they are small in nature, because a ripple can have an enormous impact. I have been fortunate that many of you have helped transform my ripples into incredible endeavors. First, over 1200 educators followed the 30 Goals Challenge and shared your experiences. Then I received over 60 video clip entries in less than a week on this PLN video project that is continuously evolving. I will continue to make more videos so please do not feel your entry will not be included. If you send one, I will make it part of the project. Perhaps, a video series that we can each decide to share with our schools?
At this time of year, it seems everyone is reflecting on “a years worth of tweets/status updates.” So, of course that got me thinking about doing the same. I really enjoy using Wordle, so I decided to make two – one of my most used words on twitter (from TweetStats) and from this blog. Here are the results. First from Twitter:
It’s no surprise that some of the largest words involve “band”, “music”, and “students.”
Here’s the wordle from this blog:
Again, very similar.
I’m pleased with the results, and it’s fun to reflect back on what I have been tweeting/writing about. Try it out for yourself! I’d be interested in seeing what you come up with!
Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2010!