We are better when we swim together! 🐟
In my position, in East Bridgewater, I am alone. There is only one Technology Integration Facilitator, and I’m it. I would say I feel more alone than most being the only one, but I don’t think that’s true. Often, as teachers, we don’t get past our classroom walls or out of our own hallways during our teaching day. At one time the copy room is where we would chat, but with increased technology, the line at the copy machine has significantly decreased. Our time is valuable and I see teachers choosing to eat in their classrooms and use their valuable minutes to get things done, rather than chat and eat together. Teaching can be isolating, so how can we connect? We truly are better, together…and two minds are better than one, but where and when do we find the time?
I have to truly make an effort to not feel alone, but the effort is worth it. Twitter has been the answer for me, but different tools work for different people. You may be on Instagram following other teachers, Facebook, Snapchat, Reddit, or even the new (highly recommended) Wakelet. Maybe you make time with colleagues and schedule face-to-face time together. You’re lucky if your schedule allows that! If you’re feeling alone, or you just don’t know where to find new ideas, try one of these tools to connect with other educators. You don’t always have to spend a million dollars on Teachers Pay Teachers, there are many teachers out there willing to share FOR FREE. I especially recommend a social networking tool it if you’re in a solo position like me, or feel like you are. You’d be surprised how many others are out there who think exactly like you do. They will lift you up, inspire you, and encourage you. You will feel excited to try a new idea they may share with you. Let’s take a look at where we can find these people and what great ideas transpire 😉 🌍
Twitter Chats are AMAZING! There are many chats in education happening every week. ISTE has a list of some of the top Twitter Chats for educators that are national. You can see that list here. I find that I like more local Twitter Chats and I usually find those by following @MassCUE. You don’t have to be a member of a group to participate in the Twitter Chat. For instance, Massachusetts Administrators have a regular Twitter Chat and they welcome anyone who wants to participate. The questions usually center around leadership topics.
In addition to having a great discussion on a Twitter Chat, it is also a way to network with other educators and administrators around the state. Recently, we had a MassCUE Twitter chat that focused on NEW IDEAS. I was able to use Wakelet to record the chat. Take a look at the chat here and you can get an idea of how a Twitter Chat runs, you may also find some new ideas! Take a look at one of the Q & A’s below. Please reach out if you would like to find a Twitter Chat to try, I will gladly help you!
This is the third week in a row I’ve mentioned this tool, but each week I find another great use! This week, I’ve seen how I can use it to connect with other educators. They post content, or collections, that provide ideas that inspire me! They even invite me to participate in the collections as well. Together, we are better! Take a look at this great collection on Choice Boards by Rachael Mann (which provides links to make copies of each one, FREE) and also this great collection on top education bloggers! You do not need a Wakelet account to view these collections and there are MANY great ideas within the collections! You can even share a collection with students or colleagues and they don’t even need an account to collaborate on the Wake! It also records the username of the person posting the activity!! WOOHOO!!! Check it out below:
What’s for Dinner?
Sometimes, email is the way to connect. Recently, I emailed colleagues and asked for their great ideas. I’ve started putting together a curation document of all of the learning menus various teachers have sent me. Have a good one and want to include it? Send it my way. Check out this Doc of all-stars in our own district and the learning menus they’ve created!
Sharing is Caring
Together, we are better and as a result, I get many resources sent to me via email, Twitter, my Google Trainer’s group, my job-alike group, MassCUE etc. Below, I’ve included a few of the Fish Bits that piqued my interest this week:
- Eric Curts (who tweeted me this week, OMG, I am such a Fan Girl!) posted this great article on Tech for K-2.
- Wendy Dameron sent me this AWESOME resource as an alternative to Remind and it even TRANSLATES for you!
- A pal from my MassCue committee group and awesome tech director Jen Judkins sent me this cool resource by Tony Vincent on YouTube – it shows how to translate videos, get the transcriptions, blur faces – it’s NEAT!
Do you have something cool to share? Send it my way and I’ll happily put it out there!
Tip of the Week: PrePEAR to Share! 🍐
This week Pear Deck released a new feature, making it EASIER than ever to share decks or Pear Deck vocabulary lists for flashcard factory with colleagues, or anyone really! Take a look at the video below! 🍐
I hope you have a moment to connect with those you love this weekend and please always feel free to connect with me, reach out! You are not alone!
Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟