Digital Communication & Collaboration Weeks 12-13



Week 12: Communication and Collaboration with Parents and Students 

Essential Questions

What are communication and collaboration technologies? 
As a teacher, how can I use communication and collaboration technologies to improve student learning in my classroom?

Assignment

Log into the OneNote Class Notebook for your section to access the Peer Team Teaching Planning Guide for this week.


Whether it is teacher-to-parent, teacher-to-student, student-to-student, or parent-to-parent communication, you will want to have the best possible options available when you are a teacher. Undoubtedly, the school district you work for will provide you with an email account, which should be kept professional and totally separate from your personal email account. You might ask parents for their email addresses and create a mailing group or listserv. Many people prefer to communicate via text, and you may want to check out a free service that allows you to send and receive texts with parents and students but neither your actual number nor theirs will be shared. These services (see Remind 101KikuTextCelly, GroupMe, or SendHub) typically allow you to send messages from your phone, email, or a website.
A teacher might also maintain a website for parents to stay up-to-date with what is going on in their students' classroom. Many schools have a content management system in place for teachers to maintain a website for which he/she is the sole editor and changes are not made often. A blog could be used in a situation where the teacher plans to update information often and allows for parents and students to comment. A wiki is used when the web-based writing is done collaboratively. For example, a group of teachers at a particular grade level might want one site they all can contribute to.

Classroom Blog Examples:

InfoTech with Mr. Losik http://mrlosik.blogspot.com/
Patterson's Pack 1st Grade Blog http://mrspatterson.edublogs.org/
The Year 3/4 Smarties 
http://thesmarties2.blogspot.com/
Mrs. Cornejo's Class Blog http://mrscornejosclassblog.blogspot.com/
Mrs. Caudill's Classroom Connection http://mrsccc.edublogs.org/
Mr. Mansour's Classroom Blog http://mrmansour.edublogs.org/
Mrs. Watson's K/1/2/3 Class http://mrswatson.ca/
Mr. Robbo, The P.E. Geek http://thepegeek.com/
Fairview Physical Education - Be Heart Healthy! http://fairviewpe.blogspot.com/

Classroom Wiki Examples:

Mrs. Anderson's Grade 2 Wiki http://mrsanderson10.pbworks.com/w/page/33263525/FrontPage
Mr. Armstrong's U.S. History Wiki http://delmarhistory8.wikispaces.com/home
The Caves of Mull (student-written choose your own adventure story) https://thecavesofmull.wikispaces.com/home
Healigan's House http://healigan.blogspot.com/

Classroom Website Examples:

ScholasTech: Integrated Instruction http://www.scholastech.net/index.html
Memorable Math with Ms. Napolitano http://cnapolitano.weebly.com/
Mr. Williams Science & Social Studies http://roccowilliams.wix.com/homepage
Ms. Avila's 2nd Grade http://adriana455.wix.com/teachers-website-2
Quest Ion VI http://swarkc.wix.com/question6 Explanation:
  • In my case, my classroom is centered around the imaginary kingdom of Cognosco, so the main page of the website is a map of the kingdom. Each location on the map links to a different area of the website:
  • The docks take you to links (cause you're setting out on an online voyage).
  • Ignarus is the enemy kingdom, so it leads to links and assignments (challenges to defeat King Nocens).
  • The Cathedral (which is the one part of the site I haven't set up yet) leads to bonus assignments and webquests (for no real reason, to be honest).
  • The inn leads to our class moodle, where students can meet in forums (as they might in an inn).
  • Cognosco Castle leads to our classroom blog (our online "home").
  • The Scrivener's Hut leads to suggested and educational apps (again, to be honest: no real logic).
  • And, the camp link takes you to current homework and events (our current location in the quest).

Instagram in the Classroom

10 Surprising Ways to Use Instagram in the Classroom https://www.weareteachers.com/10-surprising-ways-to-use-instagram-in-the-classroom-2/

Three Reasons Your Students Should Own Your Classroom's Instagram and Twitter Accounts https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-02-03-three-reasons-students-should-own-your-classroom-s-twitter-and-instagram-accounts

Using Instagram as a Classroom Tool http://www.nerdynerdynerdy.com/2014/06/using-instagram-as-classroom-tool.html

Instagram in the Classroom Pinterest Board https://www.pinterest.com/uhighlibrary/instagram-in-the-classroom/


Collaboration Tools

Collaboration goes beyond just communication. Collaboration tools allow you to share, or work together on, different types of media. Many of these tools function like the course management systems you have experienced (D2L, Blackboard, Moodle, etc.). You might create an online space for your students to get homework help online, participate in discussion, share documents, or engage in research with other classrooms around the world. The following tools allow you do these types of activities:
Collaborize Classroom http://www.collaborizeclassroom.com
EdModo http://edmodo.com Similar to Facebook, but create passworded classroom areas.
Gooru http://www.goorulearning.org Create collections of web resources and quizzes for your students or use collections created by other teachers. 
Google Apps for Education http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/education/
Skype in the Classroom https://education.skype.com/
Wiggio http://wiggio.com/ Tools like discussion, chat, videoconferencing, and file sharing for groups.


ISTE-T Standards

3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning
  • Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.
    • a. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations
    • b. Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation
    • c. Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital age media and formats
    • d. Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning

Resources

Weebly http://education.weebly.com
Wix http://wix.com
Wiggio http://wiggio.com
EdModo http://edmodo.com

PLN

follow https://twitter.com/LiveFromRoom5
follow https://twitter.com/googledrive
follow https://twitter.com/edmodo
follow https://twitter.com/weebly
follow https://twitter.com/wiggio
follow https://twitter.com/wix


Week 13: Learning with and from Others

Essential Questions

What is a PLN?
In what ways can teachers use PLNs for professional development?
Why should teachers connect with each other via social media?
How would a PLN benefit you as a preservice teacher?

Assignment

Log into the OneNote Class Notebook for your section to access the Peer Team Teaching Planning Guide for this week.


Professional Learning Networks

The cartoon below reminds us that we've always had networks of contacts to communicate and collaborate with. Think of how quickly you can answer a question like, "Who would you call for advice on fashion?" or "Who is the first person you would call when you need encouragement?" We want to help you develop a professional network so you'll know exactly where to go for answers to enhance your own professional learning and performance. 

Cartoon by John Atkinson at Wrong Hands (http://wronghands1.wordpress.com/)

The video below provides an overall explanation of what a PLN is and why you need one:

YouTube Video



Read the journal article Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age (http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm) by George Siemens, who is considered to be one of the original "founders" of the PLN movement.

In essence, you probably already have a network you rely on for personal questions, help, and sharing ideas and stuff! Think in terms of your professional life. When you have your own classroom and run into an issue you have a question about, who will you contact? Undoubtedly, your first step will be the seasoned teacher assigned to mentor you, colleagues, and/or the principal of your school. Technology provides access to innumerable opportunities to connect and collaborate with experts in all fields at any time. So, cultivating a network of professionals who you can continue learning and sharing with is definitely in your best interest.

PLNs are all about joining conversations. As instructors, we were thinking of ways to give you an idea of what a PLN is. Here are two different perspectives: one a digital book made with ToonDoo BookMaker (http://toondoo.com) and the other an infographic made with Piktochart (http://piktochart.com).

Embed gadget




Using Twitter for Professional Development

Note: The section below is used by permission from Brumley, M. (2012). Twitter for Professional Development: Ultra Beginner Edition. http://teachamazing.com/twitter-for-professional-development-ultra-beginner-edition/

What is a Tweet?
A tweet is a short message that can have up to 140 characters. It is sent from a person’s Twitter account which can be accessed in numerous ways. Strangely, most people don’t send tweets from the Twitter.com website; they use third party applications which offer more functionality.
Anatomy of a Tweet
A tweet can certainly only contain text such as, “I just ate pizza for lunch.” However, tweets relevant for professional development have three main parts.
  1. Short message such as, “I just found a great language arts lesson plan!”
  2. Link to the main content. Since a tweet can only have 140 characters, most tweeters include a link to the main content. In the example above, a link would be provided to take you to the lesson plan. In addition, links are almost always shortened using a URL shortening service such as bit.ly. These services take a long website address and squash it down to as few characters as possible. When you only have 140 characters to work with, you don’t want the majority to be a used for a link.
  3. Hashtags. See Hashtags below.
So, a typical tweet contains: short message, link, hashtag

Hashtags

Hashtags provide a way to search millions of tweets and find content relevant to you. Here’s how it works. In the tweet message, the author types # plus a key search word. An example would be #edtech. Then, users around the world can search Twitter for “#edtech.” All recent tweets with #edtech will be found.
Hashtags are the key to finding relevant content. Over the years, educators have started using common hashtags to help build a learning network. It’s important to know anyone can create a hashtag by typing # and then any word. So, in theory, I could type, “#thisismyveryownhashtag.” However, remember, a hashtag is a search tool and unless someone is searching for #thisismyveryownhashtag, they won’t find my tweet.
Over the years, common educational hashtags have emerged to help teachers find relevant content. Example are #elemchat for elementary teachers, #mathchat for math teachers and #ntchat for new teachers.

The Complete Guide to Twitter Hashtags for Education http://www.teachthought.com/twitter-hashtags-for-teacher/

A word of caution--hashtags can be overused. Jimmy Kimmel & Justin Timberlake-"hashtags"

YouTube Video


Twitter for Professional Development
Twitter for Professional Development

Easiest Way to Find Content without Joining Twitter

Advanced Twitter users utilize third party applications such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. You can easily search specific hashtags within these programs. However, if you want to start out slow, go to TweetChat.com. Then, in the URL address bar, type “room/hashtag". For example, the full URL will look like this: http://tweetchat/room/elemchat orhttp://tweetchat.com/room/edtech (Note: you do not include the # symbol). Press ENTER and a steady stream of tweets will appear. Make sure you bookmark this page so you can return to it easily.

Finding Good Stuff

Now that TweetChat is working away, searching for your chosen hashtag, what do you do? Notice that most tweets have the three parts discussed above: short message, link, hashtag. Scan the page to find an interesting message. Then, click the link and see what you find. Sure, some of the content will be duds. Don’t get discouraged… you are sure to find some gems.

Create Your Professional Twitter Account


By this time, you may have seen enough quality resources and ideas that you'd like to go ahead and join the conversation. Twitter's Help page (https://support.twitter.com/groups/50-welcome-to-twitter) has all the tutorials you will need to get your professional account started. You may already have a personal twitter account; we encourage you to create a professional account as a preservice teacher. This will be the account you share with prospective employers and professional organizations. 

Twitterchats

You can hold conversations via twitter in real time. Many teachers tweet about their experiences and current trends & issues in grade level- and subject area- specific chats on twitter (add columns in hootsuite or tweetdeck to easily follow these conversations). These chats usually last an hour and tend to progress rapidly. It's perfectly fine to lurk during these chats until you feel comfortable sharing! Be sure to introduce yourself and what you teach (in the first 5 minutes of chats, usually) to start making connections. A main benefit of using twitter for professional development is that you can follow the chats live and refer to the archives that many of the chat moderators post after the conclusion of the chat...this means you can pick up loose ends and continue conversations with your colleagues after the chat is over. Most chats post topics ahead of time; this can help you decide which chats will be most beneficial to you. This is a handy chart of the majority of education-related twitterchats https://sites.google.com/site/twittereducationchats/education-chat-calendar.

25 Ways To Use Twitter to Improve Your Professional Development


The Edudemic website offers a list of 25 ways to use Twitter for professional development. Try these out as part of your PLN assignment!

Where to find scholars to connect with


ISTE-T Standards

3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning
  • Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.
    • a. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations
    • b. Collaborate with students, peers, parents,and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation
    • c. Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital age media and formats
    • d. Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning

4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
  • Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices.
    • d. Develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures using digital age communication and collaboration tools

Key Terms

Professional Learning Network
social media
web 2.0
teacher professional development

Resources

The Educators' PLN http://edupln.ning.com/
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