The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

Featured Blog Posts (161)

How Do We Connect Educators?

I am participating in the national plan to promote Connected Educators’ Month (CEM) for this year. I was very honored to even be asked to participate on this committee, because I am committed to collaborative learning for all educators. I believe that social media and technology afford our profession the best opportunity to date in order to connect educators for collaboration and exchanging ideas to develop and maintain relevance as professional educators. Technology offers our best tools to…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on July 30, 2013 at 2:18pm — 1 Comment

The Big Lie in Education.

“Preparing kids for the Real World” is a phrase that many educators and schools use without regard for the consequence of what they selectively choose as reality for their students. Both educators and institutions in many cases are still choosing for students by educating them traditionally, or more progressively using technology tools for learning. This probably begins with educators’ misconception of the real world.

We cannot prepare kids for the Real World when we still have a…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on July 16, 2013 at 11:53am — 3 Comments

"Just" a Teacher?: The Perception of our Profession!

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As I prepared dinner the other night, my son and I talked. Somehow, our conversation turned to my level of intelligence. In order to prove my point, I shared with him that I was enrolled in gifted programs all my life, in fact, I had even skipped a grade. 



He laughed…

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Added by Lisa Mims on July 6, 2013 at 11:30pm — No Comments

A Rock Star, not by choice.

Rock Star is a term attributed not only to Rock and Roll luminaries, but also to anyone who is an exceptional standout in a profession or a skill area. One cannot claim Rock Star status. Usually, others proclaim it, for you. One needs to be recognized by others in order to attain Rock Star status. It is more fan recognition of accomplishment than any real certified proclamation.

Recently, there…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on July 10, 2013 at 10:50am — No Comments

Twitterati: Progressive EDU leaders or outliers?

The title of this post probably carries more weight with educators who use Twitter as a key component of a professional learning network than those who don’t. At this point in time there are more educators not using Twitter professionally, than those who do. The “why” of that is what perplexes me to no end.

I recently watched an interview with Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers. His book sits unread on my shelf, but, inspired by what I saw in the…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on July 10, 2013 at 10:52am — 1 Comment

If Twitter Is Not PD, What Is It?

I was recently contacted by Barbara Madden, a Missouri educator with a Mississippi dialect, who is conducting a survey of educators, who use Twitter for Professional Development asking for some feedback. Barbara had been in contact with a college professor who wanted to know the effect of Twitter as PD and it’s effect on student outcomes. That really got me thinking about PD and Twitter. I have heard many, many educators claiming that Twitter is the best PD…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on April 3, 2013 at 5:11pm — 1 Comment

Innovation hates silos



Silos.

Educators live in them largely because of the pedagogical walls built individually over the years to teach children narrowly focused content using textbooks.  Even within a school there is little communication between educators leading to closed practices.  Further complicating this is the unwillingness to reframe…

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Added by Scott Kinkoph on March 29, 2013 at 8:58am — No Comments

Fostering A Continuous Gap Between What We Know and What We Do

As we already know, a gap exists between what we know and what we do.  Successful educators work to narrow this gap between new ideas and implementation.  However, I believe the size of this gap does not necessarily indicate one’s success.  Some educators are terrific at executing what all they know how.   The problem is, their pedagogy is…

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Added by Shawn Blankenship on February 21, 2013 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Twitter vs. Education or Women vs. Men

Every Friday on Twitter, Tweeters will make recommendations based on their personal experience of exceptional people to follow on Twitter. As an educator, if I follow those recommendations I will almost certainly improve the quality and quantity of tweets I get on education since educators are the people who I follow for my own Personal Learning Network. Each of these tweets of recommendation will be tagged with the telltale hashtag #FF. This identifies them as such a recommendation and…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on February 22, 2013 at 1:44pm — No Comments

A Digital worksheet is still a worksheet.

I have read what seems like several, but in reality is probably a few blog posts recently that have claimed to have examined technology in schools and found that it has made little difference in learning. Of course many of these speak in generalities lacking specifics other than there is technology and there is a classroom and they observed stuff. When it comes to technology too many believe that by dropping it into a classroom magic happens. Even the most…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on February 6, 2013 at 10:31am — No Comments

The New Pedagogy - Learnership

In my last post I coined a term called learnership which I don't believe has been used before but came to me as a way of expressing educational leadership combined with educators needing to show learners how to learn, thus learnership.

"We cannot do things the same way." was said to me by a veteran teacher who is seeing how technology can change learning. Mind you, this has come after one foray into using the power of the Web to change student productivity and learning. She sees the…

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Added by Scott Kinkoph on February 3, 2013 at 8:28am — No Comments

What Box?

I just read a post by John Spencer, “Why Aren't Teachers More Innovative?“ I was struck by a comment from a reader. The comment was a question; “What box? That prompted me to think about what “the box” was that so…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on February 1, 2013 at 8:48pm — No Comments

Our Experience of an EdCamp

Let me begin by giving full credit to this blog post to Andrea Hernandez, our Director of  Teaching & Learning, not only for most of the ideas, but the links as well.  We are finishing up planning for next Friday's scheduled "Professional Development" Day - an annual day of school without students, dedicated to…

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Added by Jon Mitzmacher on January 23, 2013 at 6:21pm — No Comments

Why Twitter is the hub of my personal learning network

A few days ago a teacher in our district asked me about different online publishing platforms for her students. She explained that her students are working on writing mystery stories and she was looking for a way for them to share their writing with others, get feedback and publish their work. 

In the days B.T. (Before Twitter), I would have headed right for Google and dug in. But I didn't. Instead, I sent out the following tweet:…

blog.tweet

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Added by Jennie Snyder on January 23, 2013 at 10:44pm — 1 Comment

How do I go about Blogging?

If there is one thing that Social Media in education has taught me it is: Never answer for someone else’s need to know! In a world of discussions using tweets and posts there is an audience for discussion on any level of experience on any given subject. The subjects that I deal with most often involve Education, Social Media, or Social Media in Education.

The Posts and Tweets I ponder the most are those that deal with the very basics of these…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on January 23, 2013 at 1:43pm — No Comments

Relevant learning experiences

I just had a conversation with a teacher in which the fundamental question that has to be asked and answered is: How do students engage in relevant learning experiences? We already know the answer.

Compulsory learning does nothing for the student. In fact, it demeans the entire goal of learning and the intrinsic motivation to do so. Going through my preservice teaching classes, much discussion revolved around intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation to learn. Extrinsic, from my point of…

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Added by Scott Kinkoph on January 14, 2013 at 4:15pm — No Comments

Building a professional learning network on Twitter

For those who do not know, here are two basic Twitter principles: 1. If you only follow 10 people you will only see the general tweets of those 10 people. 2. If only 10 people follow you, only those 10 people will see your general tweets. Although some might argue that the right ten people might be enough, I would argue that ten educators is a…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on January 12, 2013 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Confidence Through Connectedness

Confidence, as an educator, is something that is not a skill to be taught. It is not a method to be memorized. It is an attitude. It is a state of mind. It is also elusive to many educators. How do we foster confidence? How do we enable educators to be confident in their profession?

To answer the question of confidence, I rely on my understanding of what I know of my own struggles with confidence. I am only confident in areas that I have a proven knowledge of the subject. I think most…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on January 9, 2013 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

Welcoming the New Year with a Slow and Steady Fire

I’m a big fan of Carly Simon. I have been for many years. I love her music, admire her talent and have been stunned by the honest ways she’s shared her life’s journey.

On this new year’s eve, I was feeling nostalgic and was searching for music on my iPod that would suit my mood.

I found it.

This song by Simon spoke to me and I knew I had to share it…

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Added by Lisa Michelle Dabbs on December 31, 2012 at 6:00pm — No Comments

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