The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

Thomas Whitby's Blog (128)

PD: Same Old, Same Old.

On January 15, 2014 my Blog will be three years old. With this post included I have written 223 posts just for my blog. In addition, I have done several dozen guest posts for other blogs. On a week-to-week basis I strive to write something new about education, or at least a new take on an old subject, but there are some subjects that linger with very little change.

Social media’s influence in education is a great example of…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on January 8, 2014 at 12:44pm — 2 Comments

Learning Without Technology

As long as I have been involved with education there has been a discussion of whether or not technology is making a difference in learning, and whether or not we should use it in schools. This discussion takes place on a teacher-to-teacher level, as well as an administrative level. It occurs on primary, secondary and higher education levels. It may be time to shift the discussions to what we need our kids to learn and how they will implement that learning in our…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on January 8, 2014 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

The Poor have no Bootstraps to pull up

I just finished an #Edchat that I left me with a feeling of not being able to add any authority to the discussion. For those unfamiliar, #Edchat is a weekly Twitter discussion on Education topics. This week’s discussion was based on this statement:There is a strong belief among some educators that poverty is the biggest factor in a failing education system.…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on September 12, 2013 at 8:39pm — No Comments

Why Blogs, and Who Needs Them Anyway?

Most professions have professional journals that address the current methods and innovations of that profession. They are used as way to announce to the profession what is going on in that profession, what is working, and what is not. Traditionally, these have been printed media coming out on a periodic basis. Many of the …

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Added by Thomas Whitby on August 9, 2013 at 1:32pm — No Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My 2012 @tomwhitby

It has come to that time of year that we all sit back and reflect on what went on in our lives over the last 365 days. For some of us older folk this yearly indulgence has become more of a legacy measurement than just a checklist of what was done last year.  At this stage of my life I find myself in a unique position to help connect and engage educators in huge numbers and using methods that were not imagined a few years ago. I might say that this is an assessment of my digital footprint. I…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on January 1, 2013 at 2:51pm — No Comments

My 2012 @tomwhitby

It has come to that time of year that we all sit back and reflect on what went on in our lives over the last 365 days. For some of us older folk this yearly indulgence has become more of a legacy measurement than just a checklist of what was done last year.  At this stage of my life I find myself in a unique position to help connect and engage educators in huge numbers and using methods that were not imagined a few years ago. I might say that this is an assessment of my digital footprint. I…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on January 1, 2013 at 2:51pm — No Comments

Arm Teachers?

I hate the fact that this country has been thrown into this discussion the way that it has. The events leading to this discussion were costly and horrific. As I have stated before we need to discuss the facts and not propaganda or demagogy. We should also examine the facts without emotion which, in light of events and the victims, seems an impossible task. Educators have now been thrust into the discussion as a result of so many schools being victimized. There is also a consideration by some…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on December 21, 2012 at 5:21pm — No Comments

Trying to make sense of a senseless act

This is probably the wrong time to sit down and address what has just happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. All of the details are not yet out, but the news media has made many statements and assumptions that seem to hold up myths about schools that we continue to hear each time another of this growing number of horrendous incidents explodes on the TV screen. Reporters continue to ask the question, “Were all of the security and safety measures in place and adhered…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on December 14, 2012 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Are we preparing students for life?

We are preparing our students for life. I hear so many educators use this sentence when asked, what is the purpose of education? Many years ago I believed that to be true as well. Maybe many generation s back it may have been true. In consideration of all that I observe, even with some great innovation,  and a whole bunch of technology integration that is taking place in so many schools across the country, I don’t believe “preparing our students for life” is the focus or goal of education…

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Added by Thomas Whitby on December 12, 2012 at 11:14am — No Comments

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Edchat

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Tuesday
John Maker commented on Regina Adams's blog post To let or not to let your children to play gambling games?
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John Maker commented on Veronica Hunt's blog post 10 Top Essay Writing Tools To Ease Your Students’ Lives
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Sunday
John Maker commented on Jennifer Broflowski's blog post Symptoms You Should Never Ignore.
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John Maker commented on Thomas Whitby's video
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Dan Pink on Motivation in Business.

"Great video! I also want to ask question about accounting for business. I read that modern companies prefer to hire remote accountants for tax filing and other work. Is it good variant? I have small business in Singapore and I want to try services…"
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Ruth Herman Wells posted an event

Portland OR Teacher Classroom Management Course at Courtyard by Marriott

October 8, 2020 to October 9, 2020
Management problems in the classroom ends here. This Teacher Classroom Management Course delivers hundreds of strategies for students who struggle with motivation, depression, work refusal, violence and more. Visit our website https://www.youthchg.com for more information, or via email (dwells@youthchg.com) or call toll-free to 1-800-545-5736See More
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