Here are my thoughts after attending #AuthorSpeak Day 2.
Motivating Students with Carolyn Chapman and Nicole Vagle
This was a very high energy session that made me think about student motivation, but my motivation. The feelings I carry into a lesson can easily be transferred to students and even other staff members. I like the idea of letting students have more of a say in the lesson building process and that will help increase motivation if students feel a sense of ownership. Connecting with students on a personal level also will motivate students. That sounds weird, but their is some truth to that. Students want to work with teachers they know are invested in them. Lastly, there are many factors that are out of the control of teachers, but its important to focus on the factors teachers do have control over. If the focus is on the other issues, it is energy sapping and everyone loses.
Communicating and Connecting with Social Media with William M. Ferriter (@plugusin), Jason T. Ramsden (@Raventech) and Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal)
This was a great session with the amazing presenters Eric, Bill and Jason. I am a better teacher for having been to this session. Every person should follow them on Twitter and read their blogs. They are simply awesome. (Was that a good shout out Eric?)
In all seriousness, this was a great session that focused on the value of Social Media in the school system. The news tends to focus on the bad side of education. Social media allows schools to control their PR and highlight the amazing things students and staff do every day. Being in charge of the message is key in today's world and Social Media allows schools to do that. People do not travel to websites to search for information. They want Facebook pages where the important information is right there.
Social Media can allow people to grow and expand their PLN in ways that will challenge their thinking and help them grow as professionals. Learning and growing should be the goal of every educator and Social Media plays a valuable role in accomplishing those tasks.
Twitter, in particular, is a great tool to connect with educators from all over the world. I think it is important to interact with people and share ideas. I have had so many great interactions on Twitter that I cannot imagine not having it in my teacher toolbox. Twitter allows me access to some of the most amazing minds in education. My ideas on teaching have been challenged and I'm better off because of it. Long story short, get on Twitter.
Creating a Digital-Rich Classroom with Meg Ormiston (@MegOrmi)
I love Meg! She is just a ball of energy. She has a passion for integrating technology into the classroom. This was one of the those had to be there session because she was sharing great idea after great idea. She shared some web-tools (Jing being one of my favorites) that can help any teacher create exciting lessons. She really showed how important it is to start to create lessons that focus on how kids learn not how we want them to learn. Brining digital tools into the classroom will engage students and allow them to take ownership of their learning in new and exciting ways. I recommend you pick up her book.
Personal Learning Networks with Will Richardson (@WillRich45) and Rob Mancabelli
This was an excellent session. Here are some quotes I tweeted during the session.
Learning is more than walking around the living room trying to memorize facts for a random test.
Teachers are everywhere!
Information is not for kids, it's for everyone.
Schools still act like the majority of people on the internet are predators.
Transparency is key in 21st Century Learning
It was a great session where my fingers could not keep up with the greats bits of wisdom shared by Will and Rob. Making connections with educators is how we are going to change education. The more voices that speak up, the better the chance we have to make an impact on education reform. PLNs are a great way and making positive steps toward changing education and I think Will and Rob did a great job sharing their ideas.
Thursday is the last day for #AuthorSpeak and I will be sad to go, but I have met some great people, made some new friends and will know that the learn will not stop at the end of the day.
See you later.