Tag Archives: Twitter

Back to School: Teacher Edition

2016.PNGAs the summer holidays come to an end, it won’t be long before we are back in the classroom with our new students. Take a look at the 7 tips below to give the best first impression and kick off 2016 to a great start.

#1 Clean out your emails

If you are anything like me, you probably have many unread emails sitting in your inbox. Take the time to sort through them and mark them as unread. It will help you to let go of last year and start fresh. Does anyone else love reaching inbox zero?? Click here for a useful article about keeping your inbox organised and here for a great Gmail tip   

#2 Organise your work space

Ensure your classroom is ready for the children and it feels welcoming, positive and inviting. There should be enough chairs and tables for the children and everything they will need should be there.

If you have a work space at home, clean it out and get everything ready for a new school year. Get rid of any clutter and dig out anything you need to start the year. Buy a pot plant or put up a motivational poster to brighten up the space and make it a nice place to be.

#3 Plan

Plan the first few days of school. Organise and plan all of the activities you are going to do in those first few days. Think about how you will set up the rules for the year, explain the behaviour management systems, set up a positive climate and what activities the students will complete.

#4 Buy a diary

Buy a diary and record important school dates to keep you organised. I just love the feeling of a brand new diary! Click herehere, here and here for some ideas.

#5 Rest!

Enjoy the holidays and truly rest. We all know that we could work forever and still never finish our work. Your students will know if you are rested and relaxed, so ensure that you take time for yourself, catch up with friends and family, read a book, take a bath, spend time with pets, go for a walk, go somewhere new – do whatever it is that you love to do!

#6 Get inspired

Learn something new! There are so many great books about education and a million interesting articles and blog posts on Twitter. Hop on and get reading to get inspired. I’m currently reading ‘Teach Like a Pirate’ – stay tuned for a blog post! Click here and here for more ideas.

#7 Set a goal and be positive

Were you feeling stressed last year? What wasn’t working? I always found myself feeling stressed on Sunday nights because I hadn’t prioritised well or organised my time very well over the weekend. This year I am aiming to set aside blocks of time during the weekend to get the important things done to avoid that horrible Sunday night panic.

I have also come across ‘Happify’. It has been scientifically designed to help people overcome negative thoughts and everyday stress through activities and games.  Click here or download the app today and give it a go!

Looking for more tips and tricks? Check out this fantastic article by Kris Carr – it’s a must read!

Enjoy the rest of your holidays and have a great 2016!

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Filed under Happiness, Teaching, Wellbeing

Technology Integration in Education #1: Twitter

BirdI am writing a series of blog posts related to the integration of technology in the classroom. Each blog post will include practical examples of how to use a specific tool and integrate it into your teaching.

We are living in revolutionary times. It is urgent that we think of education, children and teaching differently from the past. The classroom needs to be a place of innovation where students are able to connect with others, feel empowered and curious and have a say in their learning. Technology provides us with tools to expand our minds and extend our reach (Sir Ken Robinson, 2014).  

The first post of the series is: Technology Integration in Education #1: Twitter.

Twitter has 255 million monthly active users and 500 million Tweets are sent each day. It is used by people from all over the world to share and create ideas instantly. Our students aren’t growing up in the dark anymore; this is the world they live in. Hashtags are inescapable, they can be seen on advertisements, your favourite TV show and even the news! They will grow up to use Twitter for social purposes and more than likely, professional reasons as well, that’s if they don’t have an account already. As teachers, it is important that we plan to bring in the skills students are using at home. 

More than sharing what you had for dinner, Twitter can be highly beneficial for not only your students and their learning, but for your whole school community.

Twitter in the Classroom

  • Ask students a question and have them respond via a Tweet
  • All students are able to participate (even the quiet students) and they need to think carefully about what their answer will be.
  • Students can work together to create Tweets.
  • All students can be heard and are able to share their ideas.IMG_5791
  • It encourages them to reflect succinctly (140 characters).
  • Students are able to feel important as they can contribute and share links.
  • It allows students to build a positive digital footprint.
  • The teacher is a positive role model on social media.
  • Students are able to learn from each other – their learning isn’t hidden in their books.
  • Students need to think about their spelling.
  • As students tweet about their learning, they are encouraged to feel proud of themselves.
  • Begin slowly by creating a simple Twitter feed on a whiteboard to establish expectations.

Twitter and the Staff

  • Teachers could be encouraged to tweet during staff meetings and professional development courses.
  • Teachers are encouraged to share and collaborate.
  • Teachers are able to build their PLN (personal learning network).
  • Teachers are learning.
  • Teachers are able to share what is happening in their classroom using grade hashtags.

Twitter and Parents

  • Parents are able to follow the school account to receive important updates.
  • Parents gain an insight into what is happening in the classroom.
  • The school is able to share links to useful websites.
  • Parents are educated about social media.
  • Create a competition which encourages parents to sign up and follow the school Twitter account.

Twitter in Education

Take a look at the useful websites below for more information and ideas!

How do you use Twitter in your school?

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Filed under Technology Integration

The Benefits of Twitter and Blogging

I had the privilege of attending and presenting at the TeachMeet held at Australian Catholic University last night. Not only were the presentations incredibly inspiring, but the energy and enthusiasm felt in the entire room was unbelievably motivational.

Take a look at #tmsydney for some inspiring people to follow and to read about some interesting points made in the presentations.

Below is a brief overview of my presentation about the benefits of Twitter and Blogging.

We are teaching in the 21st century, which means we need to teach in a way that suits our 21st century students. We need to ensure our students are learning the skills they need. After all, the top ten jobs in 2010, didn’t even exist in 2004. We need to prepare our students for jobs that don’t yet exist, to use technologies hat haven’t been invented yet in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.

So how do we do this? We need to keep moving forward. We need to be 21st century teachers. We need to demonstrate bold digital age leadership and unconstrained vision. What is your vision for your students in the 21st century?

This is where Twitter and Blogging come in. I have connected with teachers from all over the world, including; Australia, America, Ireland, England and India. Principals, teachers, members of the CEO, ICT specialists, experts in education – these people can be hand picked by you to be in your PLN. Their knowledge, thoughts and advice are literally at your finger tips.

Twitter and my blog have become part of my daily routine. Whenever I see a tweet that I find interesting or useful, I save it on a document for future reference. That document is now pages and pages long, full of useful ideas.

Twitter has provided me with tips for my first year of teaching, ideas for each KLA, fantastic websites, behaviour management strategies, web 2.0 tools, teaching strategies, classroom decorating ideas, useful books, links to education news, lesson plan ideas  from highly regarded teachers, new resources for the classroom … the prospects are endless.

Have you ever felt unmotivated?

  • There are countless blogs that are amazing which are written by teachers who are enthusiastic and encouraging.
  • There are millions of ideas and resources shared every day.

Have you ever needed advice?

  • There will be something or someone out there who can help and share their thoughts and experiences.

Have you ever felt inspired?

  • Inspire other teachers with your great ideas that you are implementing in your classroom.

Have you ever felt alone?

  • With Twitter and blogging, you never have to feel alone. Your PLN can support you, they are all teachers who can relate to you, who understand the frustrations and who can help and support you. We can all work together, no matter where we are in the world.

If there is a new idea that is working, people will be talking about it.  

Every time you log onto twitter or read a blog post,  you will;

  • learn something new
  • meet people you wouldn’t ordinarily meet
  • read about something you may never have heard of

So what are you waiting for?  Sign up to Twitter and follow me to get you started. If you already have Twitter, start being an active participant. Sign up to other blogs and receive an email each time they write a new post. Maybe even start your own blog. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

What dreams will you create for yourself?

What will you learn tomorrow?

Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Filed under ICT & Technology, Professional Development