The live, real-time professional development that I attended over the last few weeks was excellent. I have participated in a few twitter chats before but not with tweetdeck. Tweetdeck certainly updated more quickly and made chatting much easier. A challenge I found with the twitter chats was the 140 character limit because it sometimes would take long to condense my thoughts and respond in a timely manor. I’m guessing with time and practice that is something that I will get used to. The webinars I attended were outstanding. I was very impressed by RSCON5 and so glad it fell during this coursework. I have never participated in live webinars before, and it was very neat connecting with people from all around the world. I contributed to the twitter chats by engaging with other participants and answering the questions. I contributed in the webinars by engaging in the back channel chats.
Twitter Chats and Key Learnings
1. #TedEdChat – I liked how everyone participating in this chat watched a TED Talk before and then we discussed different quotes from it. This particular chat was on grit and how the more grit a student possesses the more successful they will be. It was an interesting discussion and I will be saving the TED talk to share with colleagues.
2. #EdChat – The chat topic was if authentic learning can take place within the common core. This ended up being more of a discussion of how authentic learning should be defined. I wasn’t as interested in this discussion but found it very interesting the variety of opinions and diversity of definitions for authentic learning.
3. #EdTechChat- This chat was extremely fast paced, wow! It was hard to follow at times, but I learned a good tip to keep the moderators in a separate column as to not miss the questions. We discussed using social media in schools, and I connected with edtech colleagues from NJ.
4. #MusEdChat- We discussed balancing new music with old classics. I liked the discussion and it was cool hearing the similarities in programs around the US. I also learned about some new composers that I hadn’t heard of before.
Webinars (RSCON5) and Key Learnings
1. Whatever Happened to Joy? – This webinar discussed how joy is important and made the argument that it should be included in daily learning. I found this inspiring because as a music teacher my goals are to make the students love music and have fun with music. It was very refreshing hearing someone discuss the importance of joy and fun rather than data and assessment. I really liked how he would pause, have us watch a video and then discuss. I also learned a lot from the back channel chat. It was fun being able to engage with other participants during the presentation rather than just sitting dormant like a classroom lecture. He also posed a question on twitter before the presentation and included the results in his discussion. I thought that was an excellent use of social media.
2. Be a Maker, not a Taker: Hacking (Music) Education – This was presented from Germany which I found interesting. I enjoyed hearing the educational similarities between cultures. The presenter focused on technology use in the classroom. It was a good overview of educational technology.
3. Tech & App Swapalooza – This was a cool experience. Multiple people shared their favorite web tools and apps. I also learned a lot about Blackboard Collaborate because the moderator began with an overview of the features. I have many new apps to check out from this session.
4. Connecting Beyond the Classroom – This session presented ways to connect with other educators and classrooms. We learned about mystery skype calls, virtual field trips, the global read aloud, the global digital scrapbook, epals, iearn.org, international dot day and more. It was a very informative and smoothly run webinar.
I plan to continue checking out live webinars and participating in twitter chats.