Tag Archives: Twitter

Sharing: What’s the problem?

Educators have been creating amazing teaching tools and models for years and years and teachers have always been encouraged to share those materials and ideas with other educators.  Many school divisions now have online resources where they encourage teachers to share their ideas for instruction and assessment by posting them, an example being North East School Division’s Curriculum Corner

So why is it that some educators are so reluctant to participate in the active sharing of their ideas?  Is it because they don’t want to have their work critiqued by someone else? Are they afraid that what they have done isn’t good enough or interesting enough?  Because I would encourage those people to read this great blog post called What’s Obvious to You, is Amazing to Someone Else by Richard Byrne.  And if you don’t have time to read that article just yet, just take a couple of minutes and watch this YouTube video that is included in his post:

Or is the reluctance to share great ideas because teachers want to hold onto their OWN lessons so that they can look amazing, all on their own?  Is it a bit of selfishness?  Because for those people, I would wonder if all of their “own” fabulous lessons and plans were not borrowed or at least built upon an existing idea already.

A couple of weeks ago Dean Shareski gave a presentation on Sharing and the idea that it is our ethical duty to share and contribute to a larger community of educators.  This was his Slideshare presentation:

As a relative newbie to Twitter, I am constantly amazed and humbled by the sheer amount of brilliant sharing that goes on with resources, ideas, links and conversation. I am proud to be part of a community of learners who believe that collaboration is so incredibly important and I hope that more educators are encouraged to become connected and part of the global sharing that takes place.  As a substitute teacher I am fortunate that I am exposed to many, many different schools and I get to talk to many educators and administrators.  It actually surprises me how few of the educators in our area seem to be connected via Twitter.  I hope that as we continue talking to our colleagues and providing information, education and support, that we see more people get on-board.


At the risk of offending some Twitterites

I was recently “followed” by someone whose description said that he was a writer and an educator and a parent.  This is interesting to me, so I followed him back.  Instantly, I get a direct message from him saying, “Glad to meet you! Will you like me on Facebook, too?” with the link to his FB page.   It rubbed me the wrong way, kind of like meeting someone for the first time and have them say, “Glad to meet you! Can I borrow $20?”

So, he is clearly using a IFTTT – type application that automatically sends a DM when someone follows him, and that doesn’t bother me.  But it seemed awfully forward to send me a request to “Like” him anywhere when I haven’t even had a chance to read anything about him or by him to decide that I’ll continue to find him interesting enough to follow!

So, please, people.  If you want to publicize your FB page, blog, or whatever, that’s awesome.  I’m all over that and should do a better job of it myself.  But give me time to get to know you or your tweets or at least the time to check out your Twitter profile to look for links to your other ‘stuff.’

Maybe this makes me a snob.  I prefer ‘selective.’  I’m not about the quantity of people who I follow, it’s the quality.  And until I spend more time learning how to filter/group my twitter-feed, I will continue to be selective.  Tell me something I will learn from or laugh about or share with others.  I will try to do the same.

“Because we can learn from them.”

In Kathy Cassidy’s blog post “Global Learning: The Primary Way,” Kathy describes a 7-year-old student, Carson, who, when being introduced to the plan to use Skype to talk to people all over the world asked, “Why would we do that?”

This week in my ECMP355 class we had a presentation from Silvia Tolisano, on the topic of Global Education.  Using digital learning and digital media to connect and collaborate with people around the globe is an essential skill in learning about our global family which will lend itself to problem solving and sharing of ideas.  Looking at these problems and ideas from a global perspective, with all the differences that result from the wide variety of cultures and countries will enable us to see things both more individually and more connectedly, highlighting both differences and similarities.

I have been following Ms. Tolisano’s Twitter account, @langwitches, and have enjoyed the information and ideas that I have read from her.  I have seen references to two of her projects, Teddy Bears Around the World and Around the World with 80 Schools, but it was great to have her explain them in more detail.  Both are amazing projects that are based with sharing of information by using digital media.

One of the things that I secretly enjoy is when a student asks me a question and I can in all honestly answer with, “I don’t know!”  The answer, “I don’t know” opens up doors for us to learn together, to brainstorm how to find the answer and to go on the learning  journey together.  By using global education strategies and ideas, we are opening our resources to an infinite number of possibilities.  The words, “I don’t know” are exciting and full of potential, and when we can follow them up with, “Let’s find someone who can help us with the answer” we, as connected teachers, have the ability to reach out, globally to find an expert, or a motivator, or an inventor or a story-teller to help us find the answer.

I am excited to continue to build on my Personal Learning Network to continue to make connections which I will in turn hopefully pass onto a classroom of learners.

Back in Kathy Cassidy’s class, she has built a room full of connected students.  They have made an online presence and have connected globally, leaving the children sometimes awestruck by the locations from which they have received comments and replies.  And as Kathy says,

By the end of the school year, Carson and all of my students can answer his question about why we connect with others from around the world. The simple answer is because we can learn from them.


And I don’t use that ‘phrase’ lightly, mostly because I find it grating on the nerves.

But it may or may not have been the thought that went through my mind when I received a reply to a Tweet I made this afternoon retweeting something that Jann Arden tweeted.  (That’s a lot of ‘tweets’ in one sentence.  There’s gotta be a less annoying way to explain.)

Jann.  Arden.  Replied.  To.  Me.

I.  Know.

OhEmGee, right?!

And I may or may not have been dorky enough to get a screen capture to prove it remember it.

I’m kind of a fan.

(Also a fan of Dropbox, which I learned how to use to share my photo and document files to and from my smartphone and other computers.)

Follow, follow, follow, follow…

Blogs and Tweeters abound on the net.  Here are a few of each that I’ve started following:

Blogs I Heart

Cool Cat Teacher Blog


This blog by Vicki Davis is a site that has both inspirational and instructional information.  She covers a variety of topics and has a variety of experience and expertise.  She also publishes a daily Tweetpaper, as well. http://coolcatteacher.visibli.com/share/vqnN6K



This is a blog that contains many, many interesting articles about Digital Learning and Global Education.  She has reviewed sites, apps and shares step by step information when implementing different technologies, such as the iPad2 in schools.



Steven Anderson, who is the creator of this blog, is also a good guy to follow on Twitter.  He is constantly posting interesting new information and links to resources to use in becoming more digitally and globally connected in eduation.  His posts are sometimes light and funny, some are heavy and passionate.  I like it.

MindShift.  How We Will Learn.


This isn’t a blog but an exceptional website that I’ve been following for a while.  This website is a WEALTH of information, articles, links, interesting facts and has tons of links to other sites and articles.  A couple of really interesting articles that I’ve found there in the past couple of days have led me to include this site on my “MustFollow” list.  This one is to an article explaining YouTube’s new channel for Educators.  Awesome.  This one talks about how video games can contribute to learning.  Surprising. But Awesome.

And, finally for a non-educational blog that I follow, because there is more to life than work:

Beat and Lyric


This is a blog by two of my coolest imaginary (read: online, although I have met them once) friends and I am going to shamelessy promote them here. They search out and post new, sometimes undiscovered music along with amazing insight and humour. They create music-based lists that I love to read and discuss with them.   I love their posts and although their blog is still quite new, I know they will be around for a long time.  Need some new tunes?  Check ’em out.  You’re welcome, Lila and Betty. 🙂

Tweeters I Heart

I have started to follow quite a few educators and technology buffs. This is a short list of a few of them that I highly recommend to fellow educators:

@Edudemic – awesome links with tons of information about education and technology.  Also a great website to follow

@L_Hilt – an administrator, tech-forward educator and we share the love of coffee. 🙂

@thanks4teaching – links to a site where people can write short notes to teachers they have had to thank them for their impact on their lives.  Just a feel-good site.

@MrWejr – educator, principal.  Shares my views on the absurdity of rewarding children for expected behaviours.

And people who I follow for the pure entertainment value:

@ActuallyNPH – Neil Patrick Harris.  Big fan since the Doogie Houser Days (Young people, Google it.) Funny guy, wonderful family man.

@jannarden – Always been a huge fan.  Secretly wish we were BFFs.

@MayoTakeuchi – Imaginary (read: online) friend of mine.  Insanely intelligent.  One of the smartest people I know.  I enjoy her posts and especially love when she posts in Japanese.  Makes me feel all cultural. 🙂 I truly hope to meet her someday!  She’s got a very informative blog, too!

@SeamusORegan – Clever journalist but seems very down-to-earth.  Has an incredible Bio.

@mashable – Awesome resource for up-to-the-minute web culture articles and technology updates

@Oatmeal – Because where else could you get a grammar lesson like this?  Or an informative pie chart like this (LANGUAGE WARNING!).


It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, follow and LEARN FROM.

QR Code Treasure Hunt

I ran across this article on a Twitter feed this morning:

“How to Set Up a QR Code Treasure Hunt”  You can find it here:


I cannot WAIT to have a classroom to try this in.  I am really excited about the tons of great things you could use QR Codes for, including tracking kids’ progress, grades, assignments and such but this seems like it would be so. much. fun.

This is something I would LOVE to learn more about!

P.S.:  Don’t have a QR Decoder App?  Here’s the URL: http://www.activehistory.co.uk/Miscellaneous/menus/history_mystery/qr.php