The Social Life

  • Learning is Social: Finding an Audience Online

    Social media can serve as the conduit between what we do in the classroom and why we do it. Learning is social.
  • Collaborative Storytelling and More With Instagram

    As residents of Alabama, my students and I rarely experience much in the way of snow. In the midst of the snow days resulting from last week’s wintry weather, a colleague suggested via Twitter that students would likely have stories to share from their snow-and-ice-capades. Other teachers joined the online conversation, and a few tweets later we had a plan for collecting and sharing their experiences with each other and with the world.

    We spread the word through Edmodo, Twitter, text messages, and Instagram itself, asking our school community—students, teachers, and parents alike—to share their stories through a photo and a six-word memoir. Our chosen storytelling platform: Instagram.
  • A Digital Toolbox: Demystifying Google+

    Over the past couple of years I have been increasingly using online technologies to allow my students to learn, create, and communicate in hybrid learning spaces. In working with pre-service and veteran teachers in graduate level classes, or in professional development workshops, I try to provide an online learning resource that individuals can use after the day is over and they are back home.

    I build these online learning resources and communities to be as device agnostic and location agnostic as possible. This means that you can learn, create, and communicate at work on a PC, on your couch on an iPad, or in line at the coffee shop on your mobile device. In my humble opinion, the best of these online technologies over the past year or two is Google+.
  • A Guide to Goodreads

    As a teacher, it is essential to share your reading life with your students. It's important to lead by example, showing students that reading is fun and an important aspect of daily life. It's about creating a reading culture in the classroom that extends beyond the four walls. And, it's crucial that students learn that reading is a social activity too.

    I wish I could eat, breathe, and smell books all day long. I seem to know a few friends who enjoy this lifestyle. But how in the world can a busy mom/teacher keep up with the latest and greatest books? And what about keeping track of all the books I read or the books I can't wait to read?

    Social networking sites are taking over the Internet and I will admit, I spend the majority of my online time checking Twitter, Pinterest, and educator blogs. Several times a day, I also visit Goodreads: the next best thing to chatting with your friends about the latest book that you read and you're dying to share!
  • Do You Have Any 'Pinterest' in Learning More?

    Teaching is hard. Really hard. There is not one teacher that will deny it. Of course, I love it—most days. I love the kids. I love the daily challenges. And I’m constantly learning to be the best me in the classroom to push through those challenges and meet the needs of the students.

    But why try to do it alone?

    There are a number of engaging social media sites that can connect us with educators and literacy experts. I’ve learned that there are MANY smart teachers across the world that I can connect with and learn from daily. Building my personal learning network (PLN) has been a goal of mine this last year and I have found a fun way to do it!
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