Tag Archives: twitter

Serendipity Strikes Again

Sometimes you get lucky and happen to be in the right place at the right time. For me the place was Twitter and the time was this morning right about 8am Pacific time. It was there I saw this message…

I clicked on the link and there I was, watching the Discovery Pre-Conference Event live from the FETC Conference in Florida. Problem was it didn’t look like anything was happening. People were just sitting at tables talking and working on their laptops. Maybe they were taking a break and the real session would be starting in a few more minutes.

I decided to check out the chat and see who I might be able to “talk” with while I waited for something to happen. I saw my friend Jen Wagner (JenW in the chat) and tapped out a quick “Hey Jen!”. Funny thing is, where Jen would normally respond quickly with a greeting and a “smiles”, I got nothing. Strange. I read backward through the chat and noticed JenW, nsharoff, derrallg, pgeorge, dduray, and a few others were all busy chatting about gathering pictures, adding slides to a presentation, and posting links on Twitter. In a few moments it was clear what was going on. I had just dropped in right in the middle of a…

Virtual Project

All those people at the tables in Florida were not just having conversations. They were working on a project for the DEN Pre Conference. And so were we. Before I knew it I was part of Virtual Table #7. Our project was about the weather. An appropriate topic considering the blizzard that was crippling most of the country right now. Jen had created a Twitter form asking for your location, the temperature, and whether or not schools were closed in your area because of the weather.

At the same time, the group was collecting pictures uploaded to Flickr from around the country and bringing those images and weather information into a Google Presentation.

I quickly got to my Google Docs, opened the presentation, and observed a presentation forming right before my eyes. I SO wanted to be a part of this. Grabbing a camera from our library media center I quickly ran out front and snapped a picture of the front of my building being sure to frame the shot so it showed off the warm California sunshine. A quick Google search gave me the current local temperature and daily forecast. I added an new slide to the presentation and alerted the chat room that I was claiming slide #13 for myself.

Over the next 30 minutes we worked to build resource pages, links to Discovery content, weather maps, links to the survey results and more. Nancy Sharoff even linked to a Youtube video of snow falling right outside her house. She had just shot and uploaded it a few minutes earlier. I put my own creative touch on the title slide.

By 9:15 am we were just about done and pretty proud of what we had accomplished. About 2 hours later the projects were shared. Even though I had 4th graders in the computer lab with me, I watched live as groups presented their projects. Then Porter Palmer, who was running the live feed for us in the room in Orlando, shared the project that Virtual Table #7 had created. What a thrill to see our work displayed on the screen in Florida and to hear the Oooohs and Aaahhhs from the pre-conference attendees. I think my self-esteem just went up a few notches.

Thanks to all who participated in the virtual project and to Porter Palmer and the rest of the DEN Team at FETC for making something like this possible. It was a blast.

CLICK HERE to see our presentation.

ISTE 2010 Snapshots

It seems just about everyone has posted blogs of their thoughts and reflections from the ISTE 2010 Conference in Denver, Colorado. Now it’s my turn. Since it’s difficult to weave all the events, sessions, and conversations into one coherent stream of wisdom or insight, I’m not going to try.  For me, ISTE feels a lot like Twitter in real life.  There is so much to see and so much to do and everything and everyone seems to be coming and going at such a fast pace, it’s like most of my ISTE experiences seemed to happen in short “140 character” bursts.  So instead of a long narrative detailing my experiences, here is a list of  imaginary “tweets” that will hopefully paint a picture of my ISTE experience.

As you can see, for me at least, ISTE is mostly about the people and the conversations.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I depend on these connections to help me learn and grow as a teacher. I love attending a conference that puts so many wonderful educators, tool creators, and subject matter experts in one place.  Don’t get me wrong, the conference sessions were wonderful and packed with information too, but I made it a priority to meet, talk, and learn from those around me. That’s why I spent so much time at the Bloggers Cafe, the poster sessions, and just around the conference and exhibit hall talking with people. I did attend some amazing sessions, and I’m also thankful that many of the ones I missed are archived on ISTEVision. Even though the conference is over, my learning continues.

What I Learned From Twitter This Week

A while back, someone posted a message asking about my favorite teacher. I’m wondering if Twitter might be an acceptable answer. Now I’ve had some amazing teachers in my past and I mean no dishonor or disrespect to them, but when I stop and think about where I’m getting much of what I’m learning right now, I’d have to say that Twitter has been an excellent teacher – or more accurately the group brain of all those I follow on Twitter.

For example, here is just a sample of what I’ve learned this week…

From @imcguy

Thanks Chad. I too really need to take a look at my privacy settings and share this slideshow with others.

From @jgriffith2

I learned that Glogster is a great way to create and share workshop flyers. This sounds much more fun than a plain old Word document or PDF.

From a retweet by @jasonschmidt123

Will definately have to forward this list to my teachers. Okay, sometimes I’m guilty of a few of these myself.

Busy with meetings and student projects. Didn’t have much time to check Twitter today. It’s sad when I think about all the learning I probably missed. 🙁

From @kditzler

I spent way too much time this morning squashing flies with this little math game.

Direct Message from @rjacklin

Thanks to Twitter, our 3rd grade was able to video chat with another 3rd grade at Rob’s school near St. Louis. We shared information about our schools and communities. It was a first skype for both classes – and it won’t be the last.

From @wfryer

I know Steve Jobs says that iPods and iPads will not support Flash, but that didn’t stop a few people from figuring out a way to make it work. Thanks for sharing this. Although until I know for sure that my confidential info was safe, I’d limit use to flash sites that don’t require you enter your username and password.

If Oprah Can Do It…

This might just be my shortest blog post ever, but sometimes a good idea doesn’t have to be complicated. At the San Gabriel Valley CUE Technology Fair last Saturday, Jen Wagner passed on this idea she heard from Hall Davidson. Now I’m passing it on to you. (Care to keep the thread going?)

If you’re looking for a free way send a message blast out to parents, rather than pay for an expensive phone/text message system, why not do what they do at Forsyth County Schools in Georgia and use Twitter? Just create a Twitter account (FREE) for your school and encourage all parents to follow it. Parents can use a Twitter app on their computer or phone or set up their account to alert them via SMS text message whenever your office sends out a message.

Parents follow the school’s Twitter updates, but the school does not follow or reply to anyone. It’s simply used as a way to broadcast events and emergencies.

I’m sure Twitter messages from your school would be much more useful and meaningful than those from Oprah or Ashton Kutcher.

Did I mention it’s free?