No Time, No Funds by Tom Whitby

By Tom Whitby

This was a comment that I posted on a discussion that extended to this post.

Time and funding are becoming old chestnuts in the Tech ed discussions that have been going on for over 20 years now. With Web 2.0 tools available to teachers, funding is far less an issue as a software concern. Hardware has come down so much in price, that it is less of a factor than it has ever been. Consequently, funding should become less of an issue in the discussion.

A big stopping block for educators is always the time factor. It is a legitimate concern that must be considered. It also needs to be placed in perspective in regard to being a question of professionalism. We chose Education as a profession. As a profession we reap many benefits and experiences beyond that which a simple job would offer. There are also huge responsibilities that come with professions.

As educators the commodities we deal with are knowledge and learning. Neither of those commodities stopped being generated the day we received our degrees or teaching certificates. As long as knowledge and learning continue to grow, we, as professionals, have a responsibility to keep up or at least stay relevant.
I would not go to a cardiologist who has not kept up to date on procedures in the operating room. I would not employ a Lawyer who was not familiar with recent laws that might affect my standing. Why would I send my child to a teacher who has not stayed current with the world for 10 years, 5years. 2years, or even 6 months in this age of knowledge growing exponentially on an hourly basis.

Technology is a tool of education. As educators we do not teach computers, we use them. Our students learn from that modeling and also employ the tools to be lifelong learners. As knowledge doubles every six months we need to spend some time keeping up with what we can to maintain relevance. We must remember we are not teaching for our past or even for the present, but rather, for their future. That fact forces us as professionals to spend some time learning skills and developing competencies in areas that were not even a dream as we were younger students learning and growing. Time goes on as we continue to learn and grow, if we are truly educators teaching for the future needs of our students.

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Tom Whitby

Tom Whitby is a Professor of Education in Secondary English, Linkedin group founder and owner of Technology-Using Professors, TWITTER-Using Educators, as well as NING-Using Educators. Join over 1500 educators in several active groups and discussions in his newest ning, the Educator PLN!

Read Tom Whitby’s PLN Blueprint series to learn how to develop an effective PLN. Read Tom Whitby’s other thought-provoking posts on this blog!

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What Did They Tweet?

December 1st edition!

My guilty pleasure is…. Twitter… as you can tell by this weekly series, What Did They Tweet?

Kid’s Digital Stories

@JohnMikulski’s students have created beautiful digital stories using Storybird. Storybird is one of my favorite applications that you can read about here! John describes the project which has students write a short story in which the protagonist discovers something he/she would have been better off not knowing. Please read the stories and leave these students comments on their stories. Below was one of many of my favorites!

The Tower on Storybird

Using Scenarios in Your E-learning

This brilliant Slideshare presentation provides a wonderful reflection of how we design our instruction. Although the focus is on e-learning, this really relates to the instructional design of all courses. Cathy Moore challenges us to reflect on our instructional methods to answer the question, “Are we teaching our students to solve problems?” This presentation was tweeted by @EthanKuniyoshi.

View more documents from Cathy Moore.

Project Peace for Students

@ddeubel has created an international global project for students everywhere! If you are looking for an easy project to connect your students with other schools worldwide, then you may want to check out the details here. Join the ning, choose 1 of 8 songs about peace, download the song cards, have students decorate them, then make a video! Here’s an example of one of the video projects.


Find more videos like this on PROJECT PEACE

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference

One extremely valuable part of Second Life is the various free conferences you get to attend. @barbsaka, an amazing educator who has attended several Second Life conferences, tweeted about the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference taking place on March 12-13, 2010. Last year, over 3800 educators attended the event. Below is an example of what you can expect. If you feel comfortable with your Second Life skills, the conference is looking for volunteers, paper submissions, and presentation proposals. If you are new to Second Life, please join the SLife is Life ning where you will find educators like @barbsaka and me willing to show you around.

Dec. 4th Students Save the Rainforest!

This Friday, December 4th, at 12:25pm GMT, your students and you have the opportunity to ask Javier Dril Bustamente, a native of the rainforest, questions about saving the rainforest via twitcam. DM @chickensaltash to participate in the project. This will be a wonderful opportunity to get students involved in a project that helps them reflect about their responsibility to protect the planet.

Add the people in this post to your PLN by using this mass Twitter tool. Just copy and paste this list!

ddeubel, JohnMikulski, ethankuniyoshi, barbsaka, chickensaltash, larryferlazzo, kalinagoenglish

If you enjoy this series, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these posts with a more extensive list of favorite tweets:

Challenges:

Leave a comment for the children’s stories or have your students leave a comment! Join many of the other collaborative projects in this post! Attend the free Virtual Worlds Conference in March!

What do you think of these tweets? Leave a comment below!


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What Did They Tweet?

Thanksgiving edition!

Have you ever come across a tweet you wanted to share? Check out this weekly series, What Did They Tweet? to discover valuable resources! Once again I have changed the format to provide you with the best way to see the resources. Please leave a comment to let me know if you prefer this format!

Tweetsgiving

What better way to celebrate this tweet series and Thanksgiving than by participating in Tweetsgiving! For more information, read this post. Basically, you tweet what you are most grateful for between Nov. 24th through Nov. 26th and use the hashtag, #tweetsgiving. You can also donate to the Epic Change organization which puts the proceeds to helping underprivileged students around the world as the video shows below. This event shared by @willrich45.

TweetsGiving 2009 from LittlePurpleCow Productions on Vimeo.

Student Cyberbullying Project

A great way to teach students about cyberbullying was tweeted by @technologytoday who had his students create a Wetpaint website dedicated to cyberbullying resources. The students displayed several powerful images and videos dedicated to stopping cyberbullying. Additionally, the students included a discussion forum!

Creating Phrases in Wordle & Screen Capture

Wordle is an amazing educational tool and @cheimi10 shared an incredible tip via Twitter. Read his post to find out how to create phrases in Wordle. I’ve included his video tutorial on how to screen capture the Wordle, because it is one of the best video tutorials I have seen!


A Quote for Educators

I’m adding my own tweet to the mix, because it included an image from Anne Hodgson’s presentation at the BESIG conference in Poland. I have included Anne’s slide which includes this quote by her co-author, Carole Eilerton, “Break a lesson into pebbles that the teaching and learning stream washes over and polishes.”

Picture 5

Dilbert & Twitter

Simfin tweeted this hilarious Dilbert comic about Twitter!

Dilbert.com

New Father Alert!

Our great friend, @TamasLorincz, announced he became a new father to a baby girl, Sophie! Stay tuned for his Twitter pics and baby tweets! Don’t forget to congratulate him!

Add the people in this post to your PLN by using this mass Twitter tool. Just copy and paste this list!

willrich45, technologytoday, cheimi10, simfin, annehodg, tamaslorincz, larryferlazzo, kalinagoenglish

If you enjoy this series, you may want to subscribe for free to receive regular updates!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these posts with a more extensive list of favorite tweets:

Challenge:

What are you thankful for? Why not share on Twitter with #tweetsgiving?!

What do you think of these tweets? Leave a comment below!


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What Did They Tweet?

Third week of November edition!

Have you ever come across a tweet that you really wanted to discuss and share with others? Here are the ones that grabbed my attention this week. Check out the rest of this weekly series, What Did They Tweet? to discover some valuable resources and links! Go to the original mindmap!

Picture 14

Kids Videos to Help the Environment

Getting children involved in solving world problems is always a fantastic idea! Therefore, I really enjoyed these infomercials by first graders who list ways to help the environment. I discovered these videos through Stacy Bodin, a wonderful sharer of resources. Below is one video, but I recommend you watch the rest of the videos by visiting @grade1’s website.

10 Ways to be an Inspirational Teacher

In this brilliant post, Terry Freedman, delineates 10 ways to be inspirational. These are what Terry suggests, please read his post for an explanation of each!

  1. Throw out the syllabus, at least one lesson a week
  2. If throwing out the syllabus for a day is too risky, then throw it out for 10 minutes
  3. Use the pupils
  4. Use a photo
  5. Turn the tables
  6. Work with other teachers
  7. Invest time in reading
  8. Definitely visit other schools to see what they’re up to
  9. Go to conferences
  10. Join a club

Spoken Word Podcasts

Giselda dos Santos shared this link to Spoken Word podcasts. I am a proponent of podcast resources for learning, because a majority of students have Ipods. This makes this technology very accessible to a majority of our learners. Moreover, there are several free podcast resources available for education. Spoken Word is one of these databases that has a variety of podcasts, vodcasts (videos), and slidecasts available on various topics. I urge you to explore this website!

Video Games & Learning

Carl Dowse tweeted this slide show presentation, Video Games The Learning Revolution Tesol France, by Paul Maglione. One of the reasons I enjoyed this tweet so much was because I wasn’t able to make the presentation. I think gaming is growing as an accepted tool for learning. I have read various stances on the issue and think debate is warranted on the topic. Do you believe video games are useful learning tools? Look at Paul’s slide show and see if you feel any differently!

Stephen Fry’s Take on Social Media

Sue Lyon-Jones tweeted this post on Stephen Fry’s take on social media. Although Stephen Fry is an actor, I think he has a lot of insight on the new generation of students who will grow up with social media. Read the rest of the article to find out more and watch part two of the interview!

Add the people in this post to your PLN by using this mass Twitter tool. Just copy and paste this list!

stacybodin, terryfreedman, carldowse, paulmaglione, giseldasantos, esolcourses, larryferlazzo, kalinagoenglish

On the mindmap, click on the earth icons to follow the links to the Twitter profiles, blogs or websites! You can also make this mindmap smaller or larger and move it around. If you enjoy this series, you may want to subscribe for free to receive regular updates!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these posts with a more extensive list of favorite tweets:

Challenge:

Share the list of 10 ways to be inspirational with fellow teachers or have your students create their own infomercials to improve the environment!

Do you believe video games are useful educational tools? Leave a comment below!


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What Did They Tweet?

Second week of November edition!

Here are the tweets that grabbed my attention this week. Check out the rest of this weekly series, What Did They Tweet? to discover some valuable resources and links!

Picture 4

Videos to Bring Languages Alive

Ken Royal runs an incredible website which is updated daily with several interesting articles by various educators. In this piece, Isabelle Jones, shares advice on how to effectively use videos to motivate students to learn languages. Isabelle also lists many video search engines and video tools. Below is the video wall from one site mentioned, Blinkx, which is a highly visual search engine that allows students to view what world events are taking place in real time.

Skype an Author

Patrick Larkin is one of the most progressive principals I have met on Twitter. One way to motivate students to read is by allowing them to interview and speak with their favorite authors. This activity is possible if you follow Patrick’s link with instructions and a database to help you Skype an author in the classroom. Below is a video from the website that shows you a class’ interview with author, Mike Artell.

Online Safety Video for Students

During our #edchat discussion about teaching students how to make a positive digital footprint, Kyle Pace shared this video. In the video, a girl realizes that posting her picture on the Internet has consequences. This commercial could be used to spark a discussion with students on the implications of several online behaviors. This discussion should be a part of all schools!

The Iphone App that Makes a Difference

My Iphone is definitely helping me to stay on track of projects with the various apps that help me coordinate, organize, and collaborate. Now, my Iphone can help me make a difference. Neal Chambers shared this tweet about the Do Good app for the IPhone. Daily your Iphone will provide you with activities that several people are doing to make a difference for the day. One example has people using less water throughout the day.

Cooperative Learning VoiceThread

Paulo Simões and José Carlos, who are from Portugal, have created this collaborative Voicethread for anyone to join and leave comments! The topic they are exploring is “How can a microblog promote cooperative learning communities?” Please add a comment to the VoiceThread.

Add the people in this post to your PLN by using this mass Twitter tool. Just copy and paste this list!

kenroyal, icpjones, bhsprincipal, kylepace, nealchambers, pgsimoes, jctf, larryferlazzo, kalinagoenglish

On the mindmap, click on the earth icons to follow the links to the Twitter profiles, blogs or websites! You can also make this mindmap smaller or larger and move it around. If you enjoy this series, you may want to subscribe for free to receive regular updates!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these posts with a more extensive list of favorite tweets:

Challenge:

Leave a comment on the VoiceThread!

Which of these tweets really inspired you? Leave a comment below!


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