When I did my teacher training my fantastic lecturer, Lorna Smith, instilled in us an appreciation of how technology can be used to assist in teaching and learning. At the time I understood this to just mean things like using IWBs properly and using wordle to make nifty resources.
However, as I gain more experience and enter the 6th year of teaching, I realise that technology actually makes more of an impact on my teaching outside the classroom. I began this blog earlier in the year and it was created mainly as a way of recording my efforts to engage more with the issues facing teaching and learning. But it’s difficult to keep a blog and not get swept up in the world of Twitter and other educational bloggers. I never used to take much work home with me, but these days I’m often perusing ideas on Twitter late into the night. This sounds like a potentially damaging thing, but in fact it’s because I love doing it. It took me diving head first into the world of education online to rekindle my love of all things pedagogical. (I hate that word too).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not living and breathing school 24/7, but I’m certainly more on the pulse than I used to be. Thanks to making an online presence for myself.
The purpose of this entry was to try and inspire others to create their own Twitter account; sign up to make their own blog; or even just to occasionally google something they’d like to know more of in education. The irony of doing this via a medium that requires people to already have done this is not wasted on me. No, I want you to share what we’ve found with people. Show people @teachertoolkit, @LearningSpy et al.
If we can create a generation of teachers that can share good practice in a heartbeat, surely that would be the best generation yet?
Here are my top tips for getting involved in education online:
- Use hashtags. In the search bar on Twitter try entering #teaching, #learning or even #lessonplan. You’ll be surprised what you find.
- Initially follow maybe 5 or 6 of the more famous teachers on Twitter. Before long you’ll see who they talk to regularly and your network will grow. Eventually you’ll start to make ‘lists’ to categorise people you follow into specific areas.
- ‘Favouriting’ tweets is a good way to record ideas and suggestions that others share.
- If you have a personal Twitter account keep it separate to your education one. Believe me, most muggles aren’t interested in the latest development from the DfE.
- Start a blog and try and post at least once a month. More if you can. It’s a good way to keep a record of your development and may even be useful if you’re in the market for a new job and need to showcase your ideas.
I’m @teachtohisown. Feel free to follow!