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Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Edition: Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration

Believe it or not, I'm actually taking a couple of days off from going online. I know that not everyone celebrates the same holidays that I do so I am reposting some of the most popular posts of the last two years. This is one of them.


The guide is embedded below.


RSS readers may need to click through to view the guide.
It is by no means comprehensive, but it is a good starting place for those teachers who need advice on taking their first steps toward integrating technology into their classrooms. I welcome any and all feedback. If you like it and know a teacher or teachers who would benefit from it, please feel free to print it and distribute it.

Holiday Edition: Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter

Believe it or not, I'm actually taking a couple of days off from going online. I know that not everyone celebrates the same holidays that I do so I am reposting some of the most popular posts of the last two years. This is one of them, but it does have a "holiday bonus at the end."

As I've mentioned numerous times in the past (this marks the 35th time I've written about Twitter), not a day goes by that I don't learn something from my network of Twitter contacts. My network now includes 5300+ followers and I'm also following 4300+ Twitter users. As the size of my network increases so too my learning opportunities increase. Having a Twitter network is a great way to learn about new resources for teaching. A Twitter network is also a great place to exchange ideas about teaching. If you're not familiar with how Twitter works, this short video from Common Craft offers a great explanation. If you're a Twitter user looking to expand your network the following are seven ways to find other teachers on Twitter.

1. Twitter 4 Teachers wiki. The Twitter 4 Teachers PB Wiki was started by ed tech specialist Gina Hartman. This wiki is organized content teaching area so that visitors can connect with Twitter users who teach the same subject(s).

2. Educators on Twitter is a Google Docs Spreadsheet started by Liz B. Davis. The list is constantly growing as new additions are added almost daily.

3. Twitter for Teachers is a wiki started by Rodd Lucier with the purpose of educating teachers about the use of Twitter as an educational tool and as a professional development tool. You may want to check out who the contributors to the wiki are and follow them. Rodd has also produced a great video demonstrating how to use Twitter, Delicious, and Google Reader to find more Twitter users of interest to you.

4. Jane Hart, founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, has compiled a list of nearly 800 educators on Twitter. Each entry is accompanied by a short summary about the Twitter user.

5. Twitter search. Located at the bottom of the Twitter page is a search link. Try searching for key words commonly used in educational technology. Then follow the Twitter users who are writing messages containing those key terms.

6. Look at who others follow and who others send "@" messages to. One of the ways that I've built up my network is to look at who the "popular" people follow and follow them. If someone you currently follow sends an "@" reply that appears in your Twitter stream, check out who that "@" message was sent to. Chances are good that the recipient of that message is also interested in the same topics you're interested in.

7. Start engaging conversations. There are a couple of ways to do this, you start a conversation around a resource that you've discovered. Another way to start a conversation is to pose a question or problem that you would like help solving. People are generally willing to offer feedback. If someone sends you an "@" message try to acknowledge it (you may not always be able to do this because of time lapse) people seem to appreciate acknowledgement.

One last place to start finding other teachers on Twitter is to check out my blog post 10 Teachers to Follow on Twitter.

If you have additional suggestions about ways to connect with other teachers on Twitter or you would like to promote your own Twitter account, please leave a comment.

Update:
Shortly after this post went live Twitter changed their UI just a bit. The search box is now at the top of the screen and you can now see "trends" based on the most popular words and tags of the moment.

Update #2:
Two weeks after writing this blog post, We Follow was launched. We Follow makes it very easy to find other teachers and educators on Twitter. You can read more about We Follow here.

Update #3 for December 25 readers:
Twitter lists are a great way to make find other teachers. Check out some of my lists to see the people that I interact with most often. Lists, as I noted here, make it possible to follow a lot of people and learn more efficiently.

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas to all of you who are celebrating Christmas today. I hope you all have a great time with your loved ones today. And if by chance you are reading this blog today, I have posted a couple of "classic" posts from the last two years for you to enjoy.

The Twelve Days of Christmas performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Battles of Trenton and Princeton Animated

233 years ago George Washington led his men across the Delaware River to a decisive victory against Hessian soldiers in Trenton, New Jersey. That victory followed by a victory at the Battle of Princeton is generally credited for boosting the morale of Washington's men and encouraging re-enlistments. Without those victories the Revolutionary War may have ended differently.

History Animated has produced animations of the Battles of Trenton and Princeton. The animations show the movements of the armies during the Revolutionary War.

Applications for Education
History Animated is a fantastic resource for teachers of US History. The animations will make great supplements to classroom instruction. The animations are a significant improvement over drawing or pointing to places on a map.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Timelines.com - Multimedia Timelines, Wiki-style
Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms
A Brief History of US Border Expansion 1763-Present

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