I know @colonelB (David Britten) asked us to post our action steps the last week of 2010, but we began our winter break early this year with two snow days right at the beginning of it–so I spent those two days sleeping and rejuvenating and I’m now solidly in the “catch up all the thinking and reflecting I haven’t had time to do” stage of my vacation–and looking forward to another two weeks of enjoying family and friends and having time to breathe and reflect!
So, here’s my first post on MY action steps. In an effort to raise the consciousness of my staff to see learning networks as a place where learning occurs in powerful ways, I intend to make my own learning in those arenas more transparent to those around me.
This is an email I sent my staff on the first Saturday of our Winter break. We have 16 days officially off this year, so tell me–how would you feel if someone sent you this on your first day of break? Do you read an invitation in here, or an expectation? How would your teachers react if you sent this to your staff?
I hope you all have a blessed season and enjoy your time off—and use it as I plan to , to rest, rejuvenate myself, and take time to breathe and get to some of that list of “things to do” I never seem to get to when school is racing along at breakneck speed.
In this time of such open information available everywhere we go online (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yammer, ASCD, NCTM, etc.), and the many blogs that are out there, this one came across Twitter this morning, speaking to the ability for DIY (do it yourself) PD.
It’s chock full of links to follow and explanations of the thinking she is doing, so feel free to explore it as much or as little as you want.
The idea of transparent learning is intriguing to me. Sheryl (the author of this particular blog post) says, “We teach others by transparently sharing what we are learning ourselves.”
I do that with my kids—when I am at a conference, I always look for something to bring back to share that they will enjoy—might be a movie about schools today, or a new tool, or a youtube video, but I let them know what I am learning. I am constantly telling them things I learn from the many educators I learn from daily on the web.
What I don’t do well is make my learning transparent to you, as a community of learners in our building, and I believe we all need to do that more. I learn something almost every time I get in a conversation with any of you, and I like that sharing and learning together.
I know many of you have no interest in using Twitter or Facebook professionally, or mixing the use you already make of one or the other between personal and professional. I use both professionally and am just beginning to use Facebook for personal connections. Some of you are way ahead of me in that arena!
But I thought I’d share one way you can learn from the same folks I do without joining Twitter and that is to look at my Twittertimes. . . .that’s an app that synopsizes the tweets from the many global educators–and people who think about education– I follow on Twitter and it highlights the most retweeted ones, and the ones that generate the most interest on Twitter.
Simply go to http://twittertim.es/paulawhite and read away. I believe it changes daily based on my Twitterstream. I don’t check it that often, so am not sure. :-)
So, to answer the question asked in Seth Godin’s email quoted in Sheryl’s blog, “What am I working on?” I’m telling you one of my New Year’s goals is to make my learning more transparent to those around me.
One thing I am working on is blogging with 4th grade. We have two blogs set up—http://kidblog.org/crozet4thgrade andhttp://kidblog.org/MaterialWorld . Please feel free to go check it out and respond to them if you want. Some of the kids have been blogging since we’ve been out of school on the 4th grade one—the top six blogs have been done SINCE our snow days began.
Each 4th grade teacher has at least one prolific blogger—Abby, Jordan and Jessica. Enjoy reading their blog posts!! I had to laugh when Jordan responded to Abby Friday and said, “That’s cool you blog on your own time. It’s Friday. We have no school today because of snow. That’s awesome.” when she had written two posts herself on the snow days!
Again, I hope everyone has fun on your time off! Enjoy!
So it’s been two days since I sent that email and I have gotten not one response. I wonder about the timing. I wonder about whether it was too early in the break for some, or how it was seen. I wish time for PLN work was built into our schedules just as PLC work is. I wonder how to make my learning more transparent and actually have my teachers see all the potential of the web today for connections and deep learning–and actually use it with kids. I’m looking forward to when we get back and I get to have some face to face conversations with my folks about this!