Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tips for Overwhelmed Teachers

I'm at the Heartland eLearning Conference. We just heard a VERY inspiring lecture by Dr. Michael Wesch on digital citizenship, critical thinking, and how our learning must change http://www.speedofcreativity.org/2011/03/08/michael-wesch-keynote-at-2011-heartland-elearning-conference-heartlandconf11/ good stuff here - read the notes, watch the videos -

I saw a lot of university professors and IT directors glaze over with all the info and no idea where to start... So maybe I can help!

In order to be "Up to date" with technology, you have to be engrossed in it with the knowledge that you are NOT EVER going to be "up to date".
There, that should take away some pressure, right? What I'm saying is, JUST START!  sooooooo

A.) Sign up for an account.
5.) Follow a celebrity you are interested in. (I followed film directors so that it would bring me back to Twitter every day to see what was happening on set - maybe you'd rather follow a professional athlete instead. These are ideas)
IVX.) stop worrying about formality. Twitter is social! It does not matter if you spell it "great" or "gr8", whatever it takes to get your point across in 140 characters works. Most of the web is social,

Hence my ridiculous formatting and complete lack of numeracy skills above - you want to keep reading this, you would probably just save link to read later if it looked like a white paper.

Here's one of my latest tweets we can break down:
highlighted is an example of bad grammar. but did you read it? did you get confused as to what I meant? did you have an issue with understanding if I was trying to say, "it is a good" or whether it was a possessive pronoun with a made up word "agood"? No, and I had to do it to get in 140 characters. And guess what else? A pretty smart guy responded that I made an "excellent point". So apparently it's cool... right?

Speaking of responding:
the "@" symbol in front of a user name is a way to call out to a person on twitter and keep the conversation open. jcraig23 got an alert that I was talking specifically to him or about him because I tagged him with the "at tag".

And while on "tagging":
the "#" symbol is called a "hash tag". It is a way to jump into a conversation with a group of people and keep it open for anyone to follow along. So everyone at the conference is taking notes and making observations with the hashtag, and I can see what's going on and who is here.

and this brings me to Purpose:
How and Why is this important? I can do things like follow other session notes while I'm in a different session. At the end of the day I can go back and look at links, blogs, and ideas from the conference. I can encourage others to follow along or even join the conversation. I can do things like figure out where the certificate table is or even find out where I can get a free hug (at the registration table apparently).

Quit worrying about privacy. Use your twitter account as an extension of yourself, not to present your "professorship". Again, it's social. You are a person. A person who is interested in Troy Aikman, occasionally adds pepper jack cheese to random foods, is a lifelong learner, and a good teacher. So be that on twitter. There's no need for two twitter accounts.

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