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Second session is over. Wow! So much useful information. It needs time to familiarize with. Ahead are countless hours of practice and research, but it will pay back. Value of tools presented tonight is obvious. For example, sharing documents, questionnaires, and quizzes can help in my classroom. Attendance is a serious problem in many northern schools; absences produce luck of knowledge and skills and that spirals into absence… Hopefully, connecting students to the class from their homes can break this cycle. One of my goals during this course will be to create course (subject) sites or pages and use appropriate tools to make process of education easier and more effective.

About some other tools:

Google reader and docs might be great timesavers. Delicious hmmm … don’t know yet, needs practice.

Tweeter doesn’t look that hot, sounds like chat site or celebrity following site, but I never used it, all information is coming from secondary sources. Will try and see.

What are your thoughts?   If you have links to good high school courses WebPages, or you have an idea where to start, Please Help, and do not hesitate to ask for any help or advise.

Let’s start practicing…

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14 Comments

  1. Just thought that I would let you know that Twitter is quite the tool when it comes to news and education. For example, had it not been for @courosa (Alec) tweeting his followers to “please comment on this post,” I wouldn’t have really known that you wanted feedback.

    One of the things that I appreciate most about Twitter is the fact that news can become viral in just a few seconds – granted, this can be both a good and bad thing.

    I use Twitter to find out all of the news that is pertinent to my field (Business Education, and Business in general), and I feel as though if it were not for Twitter – with its ability to re-tweet things – I would essentially be lost, and my job as Communications Co-ordinator for the U of R Students’ Union would not be quite as valuable.

  2. Tweeter doesn’t look that hot…all information is coming from secondary sources

    In my opinion, that is what makes Twitter sohot! All of the information is coming from individuals in my PLN that I trust: if they think it is worth forwarding, then it is probably worth me reading! Think of it as a personalized filter for your gReader. My Twitter peeps also introduce to me a lot of new sources of information that I haven’t had the opportunity to find myself, such as your blog! (Thanks @courosa!)

    Yes, a lot of people use Twitter to follow Ashton Kutcher or Oprah Winfrey. But that doesn’t mean that you need to. If you choose who you follow carefully, it can be the most productive and worthwhile tool in your aresenal.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts as you continue to tinker.

  3. Hi Stepan!

    I was in Dr. Couros’ ECMP class last winter semester. I know the options for navigating the web and all of its tools can at first seem overwhelming. I would suggest giving Twitter a try…but the only way to be impressed with the results is to really go for it. Tweet lots, and reply to other Tweeters. Follow the links people post and post your own links. I became connected to some very helpful educators all over the world through Twitter because I decided to give it an honest shot. Rather than a chat site or celebrity following site, consider it a community or network of professional learners. If you take the right perspective, it can really help you. Good luck with everything!

    @mbayda

  4. Hello Stetul
    Twitter has been great to enable me to stay connected to experts in learning technology. I’ve gathered ideas to improve my teaching methods, and also connected with colleagues I’ve worked with on projects in Wales. The small number of characters means I get the key message quickly.
    Enjoy your course. Bore da! (good morning in Welsh)

  5. Stepan,

    My preference is for a class wiki for a long term documentation of class activities including all forms of media and that is created and edited by students in a collaborative fashion. Google docs are great for when you want a limited number of people (3 max) to document a discussion. Twitter is brilliant for getting an endless stream of resources sent to you (if you follow) wisely. Some people seem to manage to use twitter to get immediate feedback (just as i was used!) but in my experience creating and maintaining that kind of audience is not easy.

    Check out my blog for more details if you are interested in anything i have said and good luck!

  6. The doubt surrounding twitter comes largely from the media who focus on the celebrity tweets and its biggest critics are often people who have not even peaked at what it offers. I first heard Dr. Couros speak about twitter in the spring of 2008 – I was immediately captivated and vowed to crack into that world. My first forays into twitter were bewildering – I didn’t get it. But I didn’t give up. I started following people that Alec followed to expand my contacts and it started to make more and more sense to me, but it wasn’t until I downloaded tweetdeck that I really got going!

    I’ve attached a couple of links to blogs I wrote about twitter as a beginner – maybe they will help you understand the power of twitter. Try it – give it time – remember it is okay to lurk, but its real power comes when you participate. I’m kicode on twitter – check me out!

    Here are the links to my blogs posts on twitter:

    http://cbmasters.blogspot.com/2009/02/good-reason-to-twitter.html

    http://cbmasters.blogspot.com/2009/04/curse-you-twitter.html

  7. While I have to admit, I follow a few “celebs” on Twitter, it has also been the single most impactful professional learning experience in my entire teaching career. The list resources and strategies that I learn about are endless. I have connected with colleagues from other parts of North America through Twitter and then connected with them offline to to continue learning from each other. Through Twitter, I ended up participating in and presenting at a worldwide online conference with thousands of attendees.

    I have also found Delicious to be a great way to quickly save links, categorize them and provide direction for staff I work with, when they are looking for ideas. I often find more specific, relevant material searching on Delicious than with Google.

  8. I felt the same way about Twitter not so long ago. Anything that brings any more attention to Britney Spears or Ashton Kutcher wasn’t worth my time. I really didn’t think people cared about me eating toast this morning or when I was headed to the john. For many, this is what Twitter is, or at least, what it has become.

    Mike, I’m hear to tell you otherwise. Now I don’t plan on convincing you in a blog post comment, but I do hope that I can at least motivate you to try it out for a good month or so.

    Twitter has truly opened my eyes, my mind and my understanding to a whole new world of collaboration. On Twitter you can find all walks of life–from trekkies to international economists to a simpleton. But by far the most relevant and meaningful discussion is that of education and education reform. I have never known, or even knew existed, such a passionate group of educators.

    Twitter can provide you with unique insight (almost instantly). It allows you to find relevant, current information from people that that care about what you care about (almost instantly). Twitter is a way to collaborate (almost instantly) with an audience that probably could never be assembled had it not been for such social arena (probable, but not plausible otherwise).

    You made a comment that the information is coming from a secondary source. Often people paraphrase, quote, or even share opinions that reflect another’s, but most (relevant Twitter-ers, or Tweeters, or Tweeps, or Twits, whatever) also post links to the original sources of their tweet or idea. And that is what makes Twitter so great–you can take from it what YOU want.

    I won’t lie to you either Mike, I tweet nonsensical stuff from time to time. It’s fun, and others enjoy it too. Heck, your teacher (@courosa) likes to enjoy himself on Twitter occasionally as well. Twitter allows you to find others like you, whether it be for professional purposes or for lazy evenings online. It’s what you make of it.

    Give it a try. At least a month. You don’t have to actually tweet each day, but at least check what others are tweeting. Take a look at my tweets, @MrMacnology. Nothing to write home about, but I do what I can. Look at some of the people that your professor follows. When you feel comfortable after a couple weeks, throw something out there. Ask a question. Engage someone in a conversation.

    I hope to see you on Twitter soon. Let me know when you’re on and I’ll make sure “everyone” says hi.

  9. Hi Stephan,
    I had the same reservations about Twitter, but I love it. I just started using it at the beginning of the school year on the advice of my principal. What are some of the advantages?
    1. If I need some help, I send out a Tweet and instantly have feedback from educators from around the world. I have an example of this from last night. I had my students create their own blogs and last night on Twitter, I asked people in my network to help me out by commenting. This morning when I checked, each student had at least two comments from people all over the globe including Hawaii and Thailand.
    2. I have access to blogs from educators across the globe. I am able to read about the issues they face in their own schools as well as about research they are doing. Almost everyone in my network is an educator, so I learn a lot from reading their thoughts.
    3. People in my network post websites that are helpful. Some that I have learned of from Twitter include glogster, wordle and kidblog.org.
    You made some comments about celebrity gossip and that was my original though about Twitter as well, but the only way you get that is if you following celebrities. I follow celebrities, but more of the educational variety.
    I would give Twitter a chance before you shrug it off. This comes from a former pessimist who now uses Twitter on a daily basis to advance my own professional development. It takes a while to get used to, but people are patient and offer advice along the way!

    Have a great day!

    Angela

  10. Hi there,
    I see twitter as “on demand” PD and support. Create an account and pick about 10 -20 people to follow (educators from Canada). Watch for a week or so and see how they use twitter. I’ve quickly become a “go to” person because of my access to invaluable tools, resources and people via twitter. Granted, it is not for everyone, but I think everyone should give it a try for a bit! Good luck with it! 🙂

  11. You will make or break Twitter’s usefulness based on who you follow. If you follow your fellow educators, you’ll have a network to bounce ideas off of. You can also listen as they bounce ideas and share things.
    Google Reader and Docs are my lifesavers for their simplicity and collaborative properties.
    As for Delicious, “set it and forget it” so when you need to save a bookmark, save it there with the appropriate tags and a decsription. Then, when you need something, search there first!
    Good luck!

  12. Twitter can connect you to whoever you want. Consider starting by following Alec and your colleagues from this class. No need to follow celebrities!

  13. I think you will come to love both Delicious and Twitter. The two may go hand in hand. As you learn about more and more resources that people share in their blogs and on Twitter, you are going to want a place to organize it. Delicious gives you that place!
    I thought the same about Twitter when I joined in 2007…all I can say is give it a chance to wow you. You will not believe the passion and learning that is available there!

  14. I too second many of the comments above. I had a Twitter account for over a year before I actually began using it. I thought it was ridiculous that you had 140 characters in which to post. I also thought it was silly, who wants to know about your day, etc. That was until a co-worker of mine showed me the power it had in helping to create, build even, my professional learning network. I have gotten so many ideas to share with teachers I work with. I admit, I seldom post my own insight. I follow so many incredible educators/professionals that most times I just re-Tweet the amazing things they Tweet. I then use packrati.us that sends all my re-Tweeted links to my Delicious account. I changed my mind about Twitter and hope you consider it too.


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