Very helpful starter kit for becoming a "connected educator"

Ramos, Tara

IL

Powerful Learning Practice.  (2015).  Connected educator starter kit.  Retrieved from https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/38904447/connected-educator-month-starter-kit-2015.pdf

Summary: This tool kit was designed to accompany the activities surrounding Connected Educators Month in 2015.  It provides an introduction to what a connected educator is and gives about thirty tools and ideas (one for each day os the month) that teachers can engage with to become more connected.  Examples include tips on using Twitter, building your Personal Learning Network, collaborating online, blogging, Wikis and more!  A favorite quote: “To become a connected educator, you must first become a connected learner.”

Evaluation:  I found this kit to be extremely useful as a budding teacher librarian.  It is exactly the introduction I needed to many tools and ideas that I have heard about surrounding 21st century learning and Web 2.0, but that have yet to become instrumental to my practice as an educator.  Just reading through the suggested activities and engaging with several of them, I am seeing a whole new world open to me before my eyes.  I highly recommend this kit to anyone who considers themselves to be at the beginning stages of becoming a 21st century educator.

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Use of Technology in Real Classrooms

By Terry Funk
CA 

Moreillon, J., Hunt, J. & Ewing, S. (2009). Learning and teaching in wanda wiki wonderland: Literature circles in the digital commons. Teacher Librarian 37(2), p. 23-28.

Summary: This article discusses the collaborative experience of teacher and teacher librarian (as well as student teacher and graduate information and library science students) designing 8th grade literature circles – allowing students to work in four small groups on books (selected by the students) for a period of 6 to 8 weeks each. Themes included 1) American Southwest 2) Fantasy and Science Fiction 3) Historical Fiction and 4) Author Study. The teachers encouraged self-directed learning while meeting predetermined standards, objectives and deadlines. Successful characteristics of online collaboration includes openness, integrity and self-organization which the teachers modeled, taught through lessons in content, netiquette, design, Web. 2.0 tools, assessed with rubrics and checklists and then faded from as students took more ownership of the process. The students made the most progress in the fourth literature circle, and became more aware of their own thinking and learning processes during the year.

Evaluation: This is a good example of using both traditional print materials (books in literature circles) and Web 2.0 tools to collaborate and create new products digitally. The teachers adjusted teaching to help students become more sophisticated over the course of a year-long project – that is so that they would become better users of fair use, and copyrighted materials (citing when needed), and try new tools rather than leave it to students to learn on their own (self-directed learning). Going to the actual wikis, I see that students were able to participate and share new tech tools, teaching each other how they were able to use them, as well as discuss content (characters, plot summary, setting, defining and using vocabulary) and share original creations (such as artwork).