I was able to give my students choice in their next journal writing assignment due to the generosity of a teacher who has already created a resource that required me to do nothing more than copy and paste. (If you are interested in seeing the visual prompts, CLICK HERE) I was truly astounded to see that within less than a minute of posting the prompt on Edmodo, SIX STUDENTS were already viewing the prompt choices! On a SUNDAY! I think I felt the endorphin rush.
When I read my educator feed on Edmodo, I was directed to an outstanding interview with Lois Lowry, author of our next novel. In addition to having a new resource for my students, I learned that Ms. Lowry lost her own son and that this book, The Giver, contains a more personal connection for her than I ever knew before. I am once again excited to teach this novel to my students, and know that I will be passionate about its message. My passion is critical for the students to have a personal connection with the novel. Those who connect with our class novels will read more.
Finally, my Twitter PLN has amassed a catalogue of resources for adult learning that astonishes me. Just today, I learned that Google has an electronic library (of course, it does) which can be utilized for research. To learn more, follow this link: Free Tech for Teachers. This evening, I directed my husband to Teachercast.net so he can learn more about his favorite app, Evernote. In the PD class I am leading on creativity, I learned about a resource the participants are currently using via the CLMOOC.
For those who have not yet dipped a toe in the water, know that you can wade in, dive in, or scuba in deep water. The braver you are with connectivity and collaboration, the more you will find yourself improving as an educator and a human being contrary to the notion of disconnectedness in the electronic age. The people I choose to connect to and with are those who want to make a difference in their own communities...and mine. It is my goal to reciprocate the favor by leading others. Need help? Have a question? Don't hesitate to ask. I'm a patient person. I teach middle schoolers, after all!