I have always had doubts about the value of Twitter in education.

Is it because I am a digital immigrant and  I am slow to embrace social media in general?   Is it because I fear no one will care what I tweet out into the world?  Or is it because I don’t really need it or see the value of it in my teaching?

I simply have not found the rush of excitement with Twitter  like I have with other applications.

But I DO love infographics and posters.  So when I found this Twitter for Teachers  infographic  from USC, I thought it might be “the one” to give me that rush of adrenaline I feel when I come across a tip that I can’t wait to incorporate right away.  I love this infographic.  There’s lots of great information presented in a very readable manner.  Check it out.

What do YOU think about Twitter?  Let me know.  Maybe your thoughts will help me see the value of this application.

It seems like every year we update EDU 701, and this year is no different.  We are moving EDU 701 from a F2F to a blended course.  So, naturally,  the course requirements and agenda are needed a lot of tweaking this year to make that happen.  We are saying goodbye to some favorite projects and adding some new ones.

One component new to EDU 70 this year is the COLLABORATION that will be possible between students enrolled in EDU 701 and EDU 615.  This will allow ‘veteran’ educators to partner with those who are soon to be licensed.  The two groups of students will collaborate on the development of a telecommunication lesson as well as on an interactive whiteboard lesson.  It will be exciting to hear about the outcomes of this endeavor!

Here’s to an exciting summer session!

JMG

This week we started the six-week summer course Power Tools for Educators.  Although this course has become known as “the technology course,” it was actually designed to provide prospective educators with a variety of professional tools that could empower them to become effective teachers.  Three years ago, in  what was then an introductory course, we focused on lesson planning tools, including Universal Design for Learningproductivity tools such as spreadsheet and data bases, social bookmarking tools  such as Diigo and Delicious, presentation tools such as Prezi and Powerpoint, and collaboration tools such as wikis.  We also introduced students to professional tools such as  the Professional Teaching Standards, Ethics for Educators, FERPA, and copyright laws.

This summer marks the launch of an updated version of the course–a version that is more focused upon a portion of the Skills for 21st Century Studentsthe “skills, knowledge & expertise students should master to succeed in work and life in the 21st century” (from website).  In particular, the course has been re-conceptualized to help prospective teachers develop the skills that will help them provide their own students with learning experiences that develop COLLABORATION, COMMUNICATION, CRITICAL THINKING, & CREATIVITY in a global context.  

We could not have had a better first week of class.  Professor Curt Bonk, the author of one of our textbooks, The World is Openwas a guest speaker  for us after conducting 3 ‘master classes’ for faculty earlier in the day.  Bonk’s optimism regarding the promise of technology to engage learners in global learning energized us to harness technological power as a means to  understanding.

Professor Bonk is also to thank for suggesting we consider using the work of Julie Lindsey and Vicki Davis in the course to help us & our students become more powerful global collaborators.  Their book Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds (2013, Pearson) will serve as our guide for our culminating course project–a collaboratively developed, multi-media pitch to administrators for support for school-based Flat Classroom projects.  Groups will ‘compete’ for “funding” before a panel of educators and business people in the community.

So stay tuned as we POWER UP, OPEN UP, and FLATTEN OUR WORLD!

 

 

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