Be a Guest Blogger, Moderator, or Expert

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 7.43.04 PMGoal 25: Be a Guest Blogger, Moderator, or Expert of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators

“In vain have you acquired knowledge if you have not imparted it to others.” ~ Deuteronomy Rabbah

This year’s 30 Goals Challenge theme is, “This is MY Moment.” Each goal focuses on getting educators to believe their plans of action now will lead to positive changes and transformation in their teaching and learning environments. Join our our 30 Goals Facebook community to vote on goals and receive support.

My Reflection

This goal is a revisit and extension of Goal 9 in 2010, Be a Guest Blogger. One way to connect and learn with others is to share your passion, an idea, or lesson. Consider sharing your ideas by being a guest blogger, hosting a Twitter or Facebook chat, or being a guest on a podcast. Many of the  30 Goals Participants have websites, blogs, or projects that we gladly welcome guests. Often, you can repost a blog you wrote a long time ago that needs a few updates. When you are a guest on another site, it improves your writing in numerous ways, because naturally many of us hold ourselves to higher standards when we are guests. Also, doing this allows others to get to know about your websites and projects.  You do not even have to be a blogger or have a podcast to be a guest expert. Some of the most prominent members of our Personal Learning Network (PLN) started as guest bloggers for Teacher Reboot Camp (@nmhs_principal and @tomwhitby). This goal will help you gain a positive web presence, help distinguish you as a subject matter expert (SME), help you gain exposure to a wider audience, and boost your portfolio.

Tips

Here are some useful tips, I learned from my experience:

  • Have a short bio prepared- In your bio you may want to include your job position, related experience, a link to your portfolio or website, and a link to your Twitter or LinkedIn accounts.
  • Have a nice profile picture prepared- Most people recommend having a picture of your likeness versus an avatar or logo.
  • Grammar check your posts!
  • Ask the guest blogger, podcaster, or Twitter moderator for specific guidelines and keep to these guidelines- format, length, and what types of topics are desired
  • Engage your audience! Reply to those who comment or ask questions. If you guest blog, at the end of all the comments you should be able to see a button that gives you the option to subscribe to comments so you are notified each time a person comments. If you moderate a chat, respond to some of the audience questions. If you can’t respond to all of them, leave a message letting them know where to place their questions that you can answer at a later date. This will also get the audience to visit your blog or connect with you after the chat.
  • Study the audience! Look at other posts, chats, or podcasts and see which have the most comments or audience participation. Study the way in which that guest expert engaged the audience or see how they presented themselves. You can get a lot of ideas and know what the audience expects from previous experts.

Where to be a Guest

Here are a few places that welcome posts from guest bloggers.

If you are a podcaster or blogger who welcomes guests, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll add you to this list.

Challenge:

Volunteer to be a subject matter expert or guest on a podcast, Twitter Chat, Facebook Chat, or blog.

Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEdu, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, or adding a comment below! All goals are organized in this 30 Goals Livebinder.

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Please fill out this Google Form if you reflected on at least 1 goal so you will be listed in a 30 Goals blog list and on a 30 Goals Twitter list.

*Image above adapted.  CC, Flickr

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Participate in a New Community

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 9.21.13 PMGoal 22: Participate in a New Community! of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators

“Things keep going on, they overlap and blur, your story is part of many other stories, and there is no telling where any of them may lead.” ~ Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

This year’s 30 Goals Challenge theme is, “This is MY Moment.” Each goal focuses on getting educators to believe their plans of action now will lead to positive changes and transformation in their teaching and learning environments. Join our our 30 Goals Facebook community to vote on goals and receive support.

My Reflection

One of the most exciting moments when developing our Personal/Passionate Learning Networks is finding communities in which we belong. You begin to exchange resources, ideas, support and experiences with each other and learn from each other. These conversations and experiences often grow into online friendships that sometimes result in face to face meetings or collaborative projects. Not all online communities are active and engaging. Finding the one that makes you feel at home can take time and you might have to explore many communities and social networks. Personally, I find communities that have developed around Twitter chats and Facebook groups are some of the most active, close-knit, and supportive. This year I am testing Google Communities since I think the platform offers valuable resources for engaging and sharing.

Many of the 30 Goals participants this year have been incredible at making our new 30 Goals Facebook community feel like a home. We are active daily and the teachers there are very supportive. They also offer encouragement, help, and valuable feedback. I have been very blessed to have such great teachers join this new 30 Goals community. They help me feel inspired.

Starting the Facebook group and finding this new community this year has motivated me to explore other communities online. I think visiting other communities, even for a short time, helps expose me to different thoughts and experiences. I also meet new people to add to my PLN. I don’t make each of these online communities my home, but I do enjoy seeing what other communities are doing and how they engage with each other and create a welcoming environment. I also enjoy testing the various social networks and platforms to see how they contribute or hinder the process of developing a community.

You can find educators online and interact with them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Edmodo, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, Nings, Wikis, and many other areas. This year I have noticed the use of  badges to encourage participation and engagement.  I am curious to see how this impacts the growth and engagement of online educator communities.

Do you feel like you have an online community you regularly visit and have made your home or center for professional development? What makes the engagement and interaction so enriching?

For this goal:

Short-term goal- Visit a new community this year. This can be online or face-to-face. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Participate in a Twitter Chat you’ve never participated in before. I recently have participated in the #EdchatDE conversations that are both in German and English. Hootsuite app translates my tweets for me! Here’s a Quick Start to Twitter Chats and a compiled list of Twitter chats and times!
  • Participate in an online project
  • Join a Massive Open Online Course. We are hosting the ELT Techniques free course which is taking place now till December. You get a certificate for completing at least 4 sessions.
  • You can also participate in the upcoming EVO sessions that take place in January 2014, 5 weeks covering a variety of topics. You can join me and over 10 other tutors who will host the Creating the ePerfect eTextbook session. Find out more here, ebookevo.pbworks.com
  • Join an Open Online Conference. The Global Education Conference just took place and we just finished with the Reform Symposium Online Conference in October. We will be starting a #RSCONChat in the next few weeks that hosts conversations led by the presenters. Our first guest is our past keynote, John Spencer, who is also the author of Wendell the Worst Wizard.

I’ve also participated in new communities locally. 2 years ago I moved back to the US from Germany and wanted to meet new friends. I joined Meetup.com and got together with a monthly pug community, writing groups, and event groups. It’s been a fun experience and I have had many great adventures. Rosco, my pug, has met some new friends as well.

Long-term goal- Make it a point to participate in different communities, especially if you feel that you are in a rut or need inspiration. Changing our environment and the people we surround ourselves with can lead to new ideas or projects.

Challenge:

Visit a new online community and let us know how you enjoyed the experience.

Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEdu, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, or adding a comment below! All goals are organized in this 30 Goals Livebinder.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Please fill out this Google Form if you reflected on at least 1 goal so you will be listed in a 30 Goals blog list and on a 30 Goals Twitter list.

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Nudges We Create & Watch Breathe New Life

“We get to make things. Things that make the world nudge a little bit in what we hope is the right direction.” Wilson Miner, Webstock 2012

recite-16031--930386081-1ayn6lrI’ve been thinking a lot about our ability to create and the impact of what we leave behind when we no longer exist. As an educator,  speaker, writer, human being I plant daily. I plant thoughts, ideas, emotions, inspiration, energy, passion, etc. I don’t always plant positive seeds, especially when I take for granted my interactions, choices and actions. Sometimes, we just don’t think about these things. Life and its slumps get in the way. We need to create, be a part of something, or do something that makes us reflect on our actions and choices. We need books to read, music that inspires us, podcasts to digest, conversations to reflect on, and so forth.

Recently, the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators began and now I’m surrounded daily with inspiration and already I have seen the positive change it has made in my life. My blog is no longer empty. My presence in my social networks is more positive. I am visiting and reading more blogs. I’m listening to friend’s podcasts, asking friends how they are doing, participating in more projects, writing more creatively and enjoying life more. I wake up with a smile, a glow, a jump as if I have been ignited again.

What do we do when our creation is in danger of dying?

It’s funny how we don’t think about the impact of our creations. I created the 30 Goals. It’s my baby, but in 4 years it has taken a life of its own and others have become a part of it and made it into something beyond what I could ever do alone. Last year, I thought it would die. It was too much for me to do alone. I felt overwhelmed. This year I decided to make it less about me and more about the community. I contemplated for months how I could make it more collaborative and highlight the creations that are inspired by the 200+ educators who are taking part now.

Allowing our PLN to revive us….

We need people and we need to allow their creativity and inspiration to breathe new life into our creations. I think educators sometimes have a problem with allowing others to take over. We create so much in our lives. We create lesson plans, lectures, PowerPoints, worksheets, posters, documents, learning stations, bulletin boards, curriculums, instructional plans, etc. We invest so much of ourselves that it is difficult to let it go and allow our students to take that from us and contribute to it. Maybe we feel it will be vandalized or we won’t be able to direct the outcome. I like to be surprised by the outcome. I like to think that the various projects I’ve helped create- #Edchat, The Reform Symposium, and The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators- will still be around inspiring others long after I am gone. If these projects do continue to live and inspire it is only because my PLN (passionate learning network) has kept them alive. For that I am blessed and extremely grateful.

This reflection was inspired by Wilson Miner’s When We Build Talk, which was shared by @ILOTimo. I’ve made the following quotes from his 43 min presentation using Recite This. Maybe you don’t have 43minutes but if you have 6 minutes catch the presentation from 36:40 on up. I hope you are as inspired as I was.

Wilson Miner’s Talk

Webstock ’12: Wilson Miner – When we build from Webstock on Vimeo.

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 9.32.45 PM

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20+ Free Professional Development Opportunities for 2013

Part of the Cool Sites series

2013 is here and educators worldwide are thinking about how they can better support their students’ learning journeys. One way is by exemplifying what continuous learning is and learning from other experienced teachers. Educators have various free quality professional development opportunities online with various online educator communities popping up in recent months and years, such as Nings, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), SMOOCs (Small Open Online Courses), Google Plus Communities, free LMS platforms, Facebook groups, and more.  With free social media platforms you can begin to develop and harness the power of your Personal/ Passionate Learning Network (PLN) to accomplish goals. Social media provides us with incredible opportunities to choose the way we want to develop professionally. You can choose the topic, the medium, and who you want to learn from. Moreover, online professional development is packed with various types of multimedia experiences, such as webinars, virtual learning environments, discussion forums, live video, podcasts, web 2.0 creation tools, and more. The experience is usually dynamic and motivating because you are learning with others around the world! Below is a list of courses, programs, and webinars that offer you the opportunity to continue growing and developing as an educator in 2013. I am proud to be a curator/founder/moderator of several of these free professional development opportunities for teachers ranging from giving free webinars, organizing free e-conferences, moderating a weekly Twitter chat/free podcast, and moderating/designing a free SMOOC.

Upcoming Free Professional Development

  • The 30 Goals Challenge- Over 10000 educators have participated in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cycles of this global challenge for educators with the premise of getting you to complete 30 professional development goals in one year. These are short-term goals, such as guest posting, changing your classroom environment, providing effective feedback, establishing an online presence, and engaging with parents. We begin the 2013 cycle this month. To keep up to date, please join the 30 Goals Facebook group or you can easily follow through Twitter by checking out the #30goalsEdu hashtag. You don’t even have to have a Twitter account to get the tweets. You can easily subscribe through RSS.
  • Free Friday Webinars- Thanks to the American TESOL Institute, I conduct free 30 minute online webinars every Friday at 4pm EST (New York), 3pm Texas, 1pm LA, 7pm Brasilia, 9pm London, 10pm Paris, 11pm Athens/Istanbul, Sat 8am Sydney, and Sat. 6am Tokyo. We have covered 100s of topics in a multimedia platform (chat, video, audio, presentation), post free recordings, collect 100s of bookmarks, and you receive a certificate of completion from American TESOL. We have won Edublog Awards for the last 2 years.
  • TESOL’s free Electronic Village Online (EVO) sessions- These are free online 5 week courses that start January 14th and end February 17th. You can choose from several courses including the Digital Storytelling one I am moderating with a dream team of Young Learner teachers/authors (Özge Karaoglu, Marisa Constantinides, Esra Girgin, Jennifer Verschoor, David Dodgson, Michelle Worgan, Juan Uribe, Eva Buyuksimkesyan, and our EVO Mentor- Elizabeth Anne). We have over 130 educators already from 20+ countries worldwide. Join the Edmodo group and begin completing digital storytelling projects.
  • Feb. 9th & 10th Free Online Story Sharing Conference featuring various speakers worldwide. I will be doing the closing keynote- Sharing Stories: Powerful Lessons in Language Learning. I will also be doing a free 30minute preconference webinar on digital storytelling. Register here for free, http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/4839702681/est
  • Simple K12 webinars- Attend free webinars with experts on various topics. In 2013, I will be hosting many of these webinars! Simple K12 was the winner of the Edublogs Award for Best Webinar Series in 2011.
  • Free Webinars by the IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG- Learn about various technologies and how to integrate them effectively in the classroom.
  • Edublogs Live Events- Every week, attend a free webinar on various topics. Usually, Jo and Phil Hart hosts these free webinars that cover effective use of web 2.0 tools or instructional methodologies.
  • Future of Education- Steve Hargadon will be hosting various free online interviews and webinars with some of the greatest authors, inspirational speakers, and minds in education. Also, check out his various Nings for free online conferences.
  • Classroom 2.0 Live Events- Every week, attend a free webinar with an expert in a field or listen to some great authors speak live and ask them questions.
  • Teach English Webinars- Learn from various educators/authors/teacher trainers in a webinar format.
  • Vital is free professional development offered by the Open University and offers free monthly webinars on various educational technology topics each month. Find more info check here, http://www.vital.ac.uk/events?tid=18. Find free resources here, http://www.vital.ac.uk
  • CO13- Connecting Online for Instruction and Learning free online conference is Feb. 1-3.
  • Attend Second Life Live Events- Second Life has several educational groups that meet weekly for free conferences, talks, workshops, and more. Download the software and register for free. Visit the Edunation Island- a safe place for educators that hosts the free SLanguages Conference.
  • #Edchat- Join over 2000 educators every Tuesday to discuss various topics you get to vote for and suggest. We began the year with a PBS Frontline event and now have the weekly free #EDCHAT Radio on iTunes.
  • Education Chats on Twitter- Find out the dates and times of educational conversations that occur on Twitter
  • SEETA Courses- The South Eastern Europe Teachers Association offers several week courses with a guest author or expert in the field. You will have to register, but the courses are free!
  • MOOC- Massive Open Online Courses where 1000s attend for free through discussion forums and free webinars. Follow the hashtag #MOOC for the latest MOOC. University professors, TED speakers, and notable educational theorists moderate these courses. You learn from the very best in our field! Topics range from Personal Learning Networks to Mobile Learning! Join communities like Coursera with over 2million participants or the new Teach2013 event by Udemy. Various MOOCs and providers are listed here as well as a history and explanation.
  • MIT Open Course Ware offers over 1900 free online courses in over 20 subjects. You can subscribe by RSS or get e-mail updates.
  • Stanford on iTunes- Download courses, faculty lectures, interviews, music and sports that will play on your iPod, iPad, iPhone, Mac or PC.
  • 17 Universities with free online courses- Find out how to access these free courses from some of the most respected universities in the world! This article also describes the experience of learning through these online classes.
  • 250 Free Online Courses- Find a list of several more free online courses from the top universities categorized by subject.

Challenge:

Try any of these professional development opportunities and blog about your experience.

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What are your favorite ways to learn online? Did I miss any other great professional development opportunities?

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11 of ’11 Projects Transforming Education

Adam Simpson, an educator in Turkey, recently challenged bloggers to reflect on and post 11 of their best blog posts of 2011 (11 of 11). Reading several of the blogger’s posts and different takes on it has spurred me to reflect on my past year blogging and collaborating with my passionate/personal learning network (PLN) who inspire me and support me daily. I am a better person and educator because they share and believe in me. Daily, I am grateful for being blessed with such an incredible Passionate Learning Network.

My 2011 Journey

I will take a spin and post 11 projects I take part in that I believe are transforming education. These projects are the reason why I haven’t blogged as much as I would like to, because I believe that part of transformation is taking that bold step to act upon what you believe. I believe a quality education improves the world because it opens minds, breaks generational cycles, and perpetuates new positive cycles. Every child to adult I help realize their potential means they are helping the world become a better place. I am helping them stay away from poverty and crime. I take that job very seriously and whenever anyone tells me it can’t be done, I just do it. I don’t worry about the criticisms and I don’t even look at any obstacles. As Henry Ford says, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”

Over 11 of ’11 Projects

I hope by sharing these projects you will be able to see the potential of what you can do when you collaborate with others to activate your passion. With the support and collaboration of my PLN, I have been able to be a part of projects that have impacted tens of thousands of people worldwide. I have been collaborating with educators online for less than 3 years. Imagine the possibilites of every person activating their passion with the support of their PLN.

  • The 30 Goals Challenge- Over 7000 educators worldwide have participated in accomplishing goals to transform their classrooms and impact their students. Educators who join receive a free ebook and have access to several videos and podcasts to help them achieve their goals. More importantly they get to reflect upon these goals on Twitter (#30Goals), Facebook, or on their blogs and receive the support of 1000s of educators also accomplishing these goals.
  • The Reform Symposium Free E-Conference- This past August we had 80 presenters and 12 keynote speakers that impacted over 4100 educators worldwide in 100 countries! Organised by educators for educators, it was FREE but offered more valuable and inspiring Professional Development than money could buy! If you didn’t manage to attend you can catch up by viewing the Recordings.
  • The Virtual Round Table E-Conference- ELTon nominated free online conference focusing on language and technology. Unique in that participants can attend via a live video conference or in Second Life.
  • #Edchat- Join over 2000 educators on Twitter every Tuesday at 12pm EST/6pm EST to discuss various educational topics you get to vote for and suggest.
  • #ELTChat- Join English language teaching educators worldwide on Twitter every Wednesday at 12:00 pm London time, at 21:00 pm London time to discuss various educational topics you get to vote for and suggest.
  • TESOL’s free Electronic Village Online (EVO) sessions- These are free online 5 week courses that start January 9th and end February 12th. You can choose from several courses including the Digital Storytelling for Young Learners one I am moderating with a dream team (Esra Girgin, Barbara Sakamoto, Özge Karaoglu, Jennifer Verschoor, David Dodgson, Michelle Worgan, and Sabrina De Vita)
  • 140 Character Conferences- Jeff Pulver has been amazing in getting celebrities, educators, and leaders in various fields to speak passionately about how social media is revolutionizing their fields. If you cannot attend physically, then attend virtually. I help organize the educational panels so if you hear of one coming to your city and would like to take part, please let me know. Jeff live streams the talks! Follow the hashtag, #140Conf for continuous updates.
  • Cooperative Catalyst Blog- Read about the projects and ways educators are transforming education daily. Several bloggers challenge readers to rethink traditional education models. I have enjoyed adding a few posts to the mix.
  • Free Friday Webinars- Thanks to the American TESOL Institute, I conduct free 30 minute online webinars on the Adobe Connect platform every Friday at 4pm EST (New York Time), 3pm Austin, TX, 1pm LA, California, 9pm London Time, 10pm Paris Time, 11pm Athens/Istanbul Time, Sat 8am Sydney time, and Sat. 6am Tokyo time. This is the Adobe Room to join! http://americantesol.adobeconnect.com/terrell/,  Check out the Livebinder resources and past recordings-  http://americantesol.com/tesol-lectures.htm
  • Simple K12 webinars- Attend free webinars with experts on various topics. I often present for Simple K12 and they won a 2011 Edublogs Award!
  • The Educators’ PLN Ning- The Educator’s PLN is a great place to interact and learn from other educators. We have hosted free live chats with various educational leaders. In the past we featured Alfie Kohn, Howard Rheingold, Diane Ravitch, Chris Lehmann, Steve Hargadon, Jim Burke, and others.
  • The Horizon Report, K-12- This amazing free e-report was curated by education thought leaders worldwide. We identified 6 technology trends to transform education and show examples of them in schools worldwide.

Challenge:

Try activating your passion project in 2012! Let us know about it so we can help you get the support you need.

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What 2012 passion project will you activate?


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