Dare to Care

construct, create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically

28/Aug/2012
by Denise Krebs
6 Comments

First Three to Being a Connected Educator

Today I had the fun of being a guest tweeter. (That was a first!) I was the connected educator of the day at @ConnectedEd thanks to Karen Fasimpaur‘s appeal on Sunday.  It’s weird…I’m usually a little more shy on Twitter, but today I tweeted and RTed like a maniac.

One thing I tweeted was:

I guess I wasn’t surprised to hear what topped the list–Twitter. (The list below is in order by how many times each was mentioned. Twitter and blogging were by far mentioned most often. The others were mentioned 1-3 times each.)

So, if you are a future connected educator, jump in and use one of these tools to join or extend your connections!

If you are already a connected educator, what tools and communities did you use to get connected?

Thanks to @CoughlinLaura, @JoyKirr, @NCarroll24, @KTVee, @Gallit_Z , @HughtheTeacher, @tdallen5, @Desjaras for sharing what helped them become connected.

10/Mar/2012
by Denise Krebs
6 Comments

Twitter Chat for #geniushour

What a wonderful surprise I got from Gallit Zvi when she asked me to co-moderate a Twitter chat about #geniushour. We have both experienced this transformational approach to learning with our students, so we were excited to see if others wanted to talk about their experiences or had questions about genius hour.

We chose a day–March 7, the first Wednesday of the month–and a time–6 p.m. Pacific Time and 8 p.m. Central Time, Gallit’s and my timezone, respectively. Then we advertised a bit, and waited for the time to roll around.

We wondered if anyone but us would come.

We sat for a minute or two and wondered some more. Hugh, a committed genius hour teacher, wasn’t able to be there, but he had submitted his thoughts about genius hour an hour or two before the chat. It was nice to have something to get us started.

Then, we were pleasantly surprised to find that others DID come, passionate educators who are committed to student-centered  constructivist learning. (Here is a Twitter List of participants in the first #geniushour chat.)

A few contributions from our first #geniushour chat:

Gallit created a #geniushour wiki for all of us to share information and archive our tweets.

Based on the feedback at the end of the chat, I think we all learned from and enjoyed it!

I enthusiastically learned and enjoyed. I had two significant takeaways, which will change the course of my school year.

  1. In my classes we will now be having genius hour once a week, quite possibly due to this question Gallit posed. 
  2. I will let students continue working on projects until completed, as Joy does with her students. Instead of presenting after every genius hour, which has been my practice, now each person can determine when s/he is ready and present at that time (or once a month).

Simple ideas, but on my own thinking I had not figured these out. When I talked to others in this chat, I was challenged, inspired and empowered. My thoughts about this important idea were strengthened. If you want to read more of the tweets from our first chat, visit GeniusHour.Wikispaces.com for the archive.

My students are happy I participated in #geniushour chat because coming up next Monday is our first weekly genius hour!

I’m already looking forward to the next #geniushour chat on April 4 at 9:00 pm ET. Who knows what I’ll take away from that one? I hope you will join us!

16/Jul/2011
by Denise Krebs
14 Comments

My First Chat

Last week I entered into my first chat on Twitter. Here’s how it went. Since I’m teaching Children’s Literature right now to undergraduate future teachers, I wanted to add Twitter as part of our curriculum. I made it optional, but I was pleased that each of them was interested. I was looking for a chat that we might participate in together, so I sent out this tweet hoping to hear from librarians or teachers who were discussing children’s literature.

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 11.00.57 PM

Within a few minutes I received a reply from Greg Pincus:

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 11.04.19 PM“Great!” I told him, “I’ll be there.” Or something like that, in a tweet. I didn’t have enough time to forget or get too nervous because it was within the hour. I set the timer on my computer, so I wouldn’t work right through it.

The participants were authors of children’s literature, and the topic was “Why kidlit?” They were celebrating the second anniversary of the #kidlitchats. There were wonderful inspiring messages in 140 characters or less, like:

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 11.11.32 PMand

Screen shot 2011-07-16 at 8.24.34 PM

and

Screen shot 2011-07-16 at 8.42.14 PM

and

Screen shot 2011-07-16 at 8.24.52 PMand

Screen shot 2011-07-16 at 8.26.52 PM

And somewhere in there Jennifer Prescott added this tweet.

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 11.12.04 PMThat was fun! After the chat I signed up for the drawing, and I was surprised to find out a couple days later that I won, along with two others of her blog followers. How fun is that?

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 11.19.07 PMShe does this with some regularity, so check out her blog, The Party Pony, for the August giveaway.

Anyway, that was a long introduction to say that I had waited all this time to really get involved in a chat, and it was worth it! The writers were gracious and interactive. I learned some things, hopefully contributed a bit, and won some books for my classroom. All in one hour, sitting in my jammies.

Another great example of 21st century learning and growing that can happen on Twitter!

08/Jun/2011
by Denise Krebs
5 Comments

Thanks, eltpics!

krebssmaller

All these images were taken by @mk_elt and shared on #eltpics.

The more I learn about being part of the 21st century digital world we live in, the more I firmly believe it is about creating, contributing, connecting, collaborating and curating. It is so fun to learn something new and to join with others who are doing and sharing these things, as well.

This morning I learned about a resource that dedicated ELT educators are contributing to the world! Thanks to others who were willing to join the conversation, those of us involved in the June, July and August Project (Twitter hashtag #JJAProject) learned about eltpics today. I had never heard of the eltpics Flickr Photostream for teachers until I saw these tweets come by this morning:

eltpics tweets

Thank you to Sandy and Chiew for telling us about the wonderful photos available for educational use from eltpics.

I created the image at the top of this post with photos in a set called “Things Shaped Like Letters” by eltpics shared on Flickr with a Creative Commons BY-NC-2.0 License. I used Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker to put them all together to spell my name with these lovely organic images. Can you read it?

I’d like to learn how to contribute my own educational photos to the eltpics. Can anyone help me get started?

12/Feb/2011
by Denise Krebs
22 Comments

Twitter Non-Guidebook: What NOT to Do

Have you ever wondered how NOT to use Twitter? Probably not, but I’m here to tell you. According to HowLongHaveYouBeenTweeting.com I have been tweeting for 1 year, 2 weeks, 3 days, 16 hours, 16 minutes, 46 seconds. Little do they know that I was really incubating in my tweetless nest for most of that time. My first tweet came out last October after two colleagues went to an education conference. They came back and told me that educators were using Twitter to stay connected and share resources. Oh, yeah?  I love to learn new things, so I hatched right out of my Tweet shell and chirped a message to  the whole world. To the world? Maybe not. Actually, it went out to my one friend who had become my follower. She probably didn’t even have her TweetDeck open.

My First Tweet
In the past three months, I have made some important Twitter mistakes. So, without further ado, here are my top unlearnings about Twitter. What NOT to do!

1.  Don’t tell anyone when you are talking to them.

No audience for this Tweet!

In the above tweet, in my make-believe world, I was part of a conversation with my NaNoWriMo novel-writing friends following @nanowordsprints, but I forgot to mention it in my tweet. At this point in my Twitter history, I still had one follower, and since she was not writing a novel with me, she didn’t know what I was talking about. After a few tweets like this and noticing mine were not showing up in the Twitter stream, I did finally catch on and began to reply back so my voice could become part of the conversation.

2.  Write about questionable activities.

Family of skinny dippers? Really?

Yes, one of my very first tweets was about skinny dipping. I may have used the dare machine on NaNoWriMo. I honestly don’t remember why I wrote a skinny dipping family into my novel and reported it during a word sprint. Anyway, after I had sent just a handful of tweets I went to Mrsdkrebs’TwitterWeighsATon.com. Here you can see my top five tweeted words, one includes someone I was word sprinting with–Jonny Boy. Since you can only weigh your twitter stream on this site once, that’s what is out there for all time. It’s pretty lightweight, actually–my Twitter didn’t weigh a ton at all, maybe just a shekel.  If I started over today, I probably wouldn’t go to MyTwitterWeighsATon and I may have thought twice about admitting I wrote about a skinny dipping hippie family.* Not such a proud moment in my profile building, or brand, as Angela Maiers calls it.  (*11-4-11 — I outlasted MyTwitterWeighsATon, but I still wouldn’t recommend tweeting about questionable activities.)

3.  Don’t properly use the four symbols in the Twitter language. RT, d, @, #

Misuse of the Hashtags

This tweet was sent when I first started to get it. I was so excited to say something to the people in the room with me as Angela Maiers spoke to us at a Digital Literacy Conference. “Brenda, Mary, Eileen, Stacy, Erin and Angela!” Here I come, world! I tweeted out. Stacy sweetly explained to me that using the hashtag in that tweet probably wouldn’t get all of my friends to see it. I needed the @ or mention symbol. Thanks, Stacy!

4.  Don’t leave any room for Retweeting.

Flickr CC Search Toy - So much to say, ran out of characters!

Yes, once in a while I have something valuable to offer. Like the tweets about word clouds, NEH Landmarks in History free with stipend summer workshops, and my new favorite the Flickr CC search toy. However, when you use every single one of your 140 characters to tell about the wonderful resource you are sharing AND put the URL at the end of the message, it’s a hassle for others to RT your great find. Especially when they are novices like me.

Now, not only did I want to share my What Not to Do Twitter Non-Guidebook. I do want to conclude with two more things that you should do. I’ve learned from the best of them…

Do Be Gracious to Others

So many people are out there to help us newbie Twitterers. They are playing nice in the digital world. Thanks for everyone who is patient with us when we make mistakes. (Number 7 on our class netiquette list.) Also, a big thanks to those who are teaching me good etiquette in a new medium. So, for those of you who haven’t started yet, go ahead and get an account.  Have fun, because even though I do the things in my Non-Guidebook, people are forgiving and kind.

NEH Landmarks Worshop

Ron retweeted this announcement about NEH Landmarks of American History workshop,  changing my hashtag to a more useful one. (Notice it had to be continued on deck.ly because I had hogged the 140 characters. Non-rule #4 above.)

Thanks from a fellow teacher!

Beverly offering thanks and reciprocation for our students’ blogging efforts.

A retweet from a new friend in my PLN

Nancy retweeting my blog post. How nice is that? I was nervous because it was my first attempt after the Kick Start Your Blogging Challenge ended. Not only did she read it, but she retweeted it. I receive other messages thanking me for following or commenting on student or teacher’s creative work. I’m learning from others in the Twitter community how to be patient and kind with others.

Do Read a Bit About Twitter

Usually, I’m pretty confident to just dig in and figure things out, but, for me, Twitter is one of those things that has a steeper and more slippery learning curve than some of the other tools I’ve used. Here are helpful posts that I finally read about three months after I got started. In the past few days, I’ve learned so much that I probably wouldn’t have had to write this post had I done the reading earlier.

Hashtags.org – To follow trends and figure out hashtags.
Twitter Wiki
Mashable Twitter Guidebook
Follow the links for Tons of Twitter How-to Posts – By Jon M. Reid
Topsy.com – An archive of all your tweets – even on skinny dipping
Angela Maiers’ Twitter Resources Library
Make graphs of all your Twitter stats.

Create a word cloud of your Twitter account with MyTweetCloud.
http://mytweetcloud.com/
Jessica Hische’s “mom, this is how twitter works” – Not just for moms!
http://tweetcloud.com/

What about you? Do you have other things to add to my What Not To Do Non-Guidebook for Twitter? What other important things are on your DO List for Twitter? I’m learning, so I’d love to hear more!

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