Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

So, I’ve been thinking about curious conversations with #CLMOOC. It’s been about close listening, digging into an idea, narrowing in some ways. I post about it. I plan to talk more with Scott Glass about what he does with his students so that I can maybe use it to improve my podcasting ideas, which so far have refused to take off despite serious and quality attention from me and others.

Then, everything turns upside down and I’m thinking about the big picture of connections and community rather than the small, one-one conversations. Here’s how it happened.

I headed over to my #CLMOOC column on Tweetdeck to reply to a few tweets and see what was happening before the day got away from me and I saw this.

Game over. No work is happening. (But it’s good. I mean it’s learning, right.)

I followed the link, read the brief post, and then went to the real data cloud. Go look at it now! The data cloud in action is amazing. It’s mesmerizing. I love the idea of making ideas, thinking, and connections visible. But then, to do something about it, to aim to make an introduction or pathway for someone on the edge to connect? Fantastic. This is what we as teachers try to do all the time with students. We want them to be able to connect with their classmates, connect deeply with ideas, listen to each other. But, do we have the data to know not just who talks, but with whom, who connects and who needs an introduction? I can look around my room, listen, and look and get a sense of who is participating and who isn’t. I try really hard to know how my students learn and to push and support them. But, this dynamic map of the conversation, it’s a game changer.

Here’s what I’m thinking about at the moment:

  • Similar kind of conversation mapping is done sometimes as part of formal observation or research and is time-consuming to do. What could I learn if I record my class and then go back and make a similar, but not dynamic, map. I’m sure I would discover something new.
  • What about in larger, community spaces? Which students have expansive social networks that go across sociocultural groups, and which don’t. For those who don’t, what does this mean in terms of the range of ideas and opinions they hear from peers? How many of our students are in idea bubbles? What data would we need to learn this and what could we do if we had that data?
  • Same for colleagues in the school. Who keeps the his or her department? How does that impact his or her greater understanding of the school, the curriculum, the student experience?

Since the world of classroom and teacher conversations do not happen on Twitter, I won’t be able to use tag explorer. And, classroom observation is not new. However, I do think that thinking about classroom observation not as an evaluative event, but as a way to gather data about connections is different.

Then, before I could even post this, I tweeted a little about how interesting the connection visualization is and wondered about classroom use and got a couple of replies including this one.

Read the post. It’s about seeing which student to student connections are there and seeing which student to student connections are NOT there. I saw it a while ago, and it does really connect to this connections puzzle.

So, what am I going to do about this? Well, first off, I am definitely going to do some conversation mapping of my own classes. In particular I am going to try to do this when we talk about non-controversial topics and then more controversial ones. I suspect there will be plenty to think about with that. Second, I am going to talk to a group within my school who was doing research on sociocultural identifiers and their connection to a lot of things. I think combining this with classroom conversation maps could be really interesting and important. Of course, all of this will take time, lots of time. I’m still looking for that extra hour in my day. I think it’s hiding with the cleaning fairy.

Oooh, I am so excited about this, which meant I had to talk about it. the first victims lucky winners to hear about these ideas were some colleagues at lunch on that very day.

Who should I talk to next?

So I’ve been thinking about public spaces. I listened to the Stories and Spaces HangOut on Air which provided a lot of food for thought.

I decided to make flyers which asked questions about public spaces and post them in public spaces. I sketched out several versions myself and made a list of where I might post them into neighborhood. Then I realized that quantity might be important and remembered I have free labor at my house. So I introduced the idea of poster making as a fun family project (insert eye rolling here).

Ultimately we ended up with these two flyers.

Then the staple gun jammed, and work got busy. I enlisted my free laborers again, and they posted a dozen of the first poster around here and there.

So far, a few of the tabs have been pulled off the poster closest to our house. Also, I saw someone take a picture of one of the posters, but no tweets from the poster.

On the bright side, Searching the #publicsspaces does produce some interesting images and discussion that I am happy to have found. And, I continue to be interested in this idea and may expand the area of the first poster to see if I can’t get some tweets before moving on to the next one. Once school is back in session I think I might see more tweets, given where we posted the flyers. I’m intrigued by the idea and hope I can keep rolling it around in my head for a while.


So, I’ve been thinking about Twitter again recently. During the school year, I felt pulled in too many directions to be doing much tweeting. However with summer schedule in effect, I’m back. (My position is 12 month, so I’m at school, but the pace is much more livable, and I have time to noodle around and actually find new things.)

One of the things I’m working on is a new English elective called “Truth and Fiction.” I have the book list pretty much set, but am looking for some podcasts. I read about the Mortified series and started listening. I’m hooked. And, now that I’m back to tweeting and have my summer learning hashtag to support, I tweeted this.

Next thing I know, I’m having a conversation with @Mortified.

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 1.22.35 PM

How great is that?

So, I’ve been thinking about and participating in conversations on Twitter as the school year has wound down. A few weeks ago I saw a tweet about having a school hashtag for students to share learning over the summer. I thought, what about teachers?

I tweeted that to a few colleagues and got a couple of takers. Here’s my first tweet:


I’m hoping that a few more people join in. I even sent an email to all the colleagues at my school hoping to get some more participation.

Hi everyone,

A few of colleagues have been tweeting summer learning with the hashtag #ShipleySummer. If you read something, see something, learn something, feel free to join in the tweeting. Also, search the hashtag or add it as a column on tweetdeck or hootsuite. Then, you can see what your colleagues are up to and take advantage of what they are learning. 

And, if you aren’t on the Twitter bandwagon yet and this has made you curious, I’m available to introduce you.

Happy summer and happy tweeting,


At the end of the month I’m going to send a collection of the things shared on the hashtag in the hopes of encouraging more participation. So far, there are a few enthusiastic tweeters, but I’m sure there are other colleagues out there learning.

Has anyone else tried something similar?


So, I’ve been thinking about professional development. One of the things I credit my participation in professional development through PLP for doing for me is reconnecting me to my profession by reconnecting me to professional development that works for my schedule. I am not opposed to going to conferences (I have written about the value I find in them, and I’ve also written about how I just want a day to think about all the information I’ve gotten at those conferences, here), it’s just not convenient to attend them all the time. Yet, I could always use some professional developing.I mean really, couldn’t we all? I don’t think I’m alone here. What I learned in my first year with PLP, oh so many years ago now, was the value and ease of connecting through social networks, both nings and Twitter. I developed a PLN (Personal Learning Network).

One of the many things I have learned about through my PLN lately is the Global Education Conference that is going on right now. (If you are an educator of any kind, seriously follow the link now. I dare you not to find something of interest to you.) I honestly can’t remember where I first heard about it– someone’s blog, an email I got as a member of a ning, or twitter. Anyway, I have listened to several sessions at this point. But, since it’s a global and virtual conference, there are sessions literally around the clock. This is super teacher-friendly and Wendy-friendly. My personal kids are still young, so they actually notice when I get home, and I notice because I pay the babysitter. I also feel that once I am home, I should pay some attention to them. My kids and I are in agreement on this, mostly. Therefore, that “right after work time” is not a good one for me to be in a class or webinar. Instead, for me after 8pm is a handy time, as long as I don’t have to leave my house. My backside and my couch have a serious thing for each other that is very hard to break up. I have tried.

Global Education Conference to the rescue! It’s 8pm, dinner had been made and eaten, kids in bed, time for some learning. I even got off the couch. . . and into the tub. I got out my Mr. Bubble, turned on the hot water, and set my computer on a chair near by. I logged into the Backboard Elluminate session and then listened and watched as I reclined in the bubbles.


(Nail polish notes: cobalt blue color, by Scotch Naturals, is not only a great color IMO, it is also chemical free!)

Twitter Tuesday Thumnail with Helvetica font

Photo by FreshAlex online used under creative commons license

So, I wasn’t thinking about having a super interesting evening when I got home from school on Tuesday. Honestly, I had a frustrating day and might have been ready to wallow in it, just a little. I figured I wouldn’t participate in #5thchat on Twitter because I just wasn’t in the mood. (If you are not familiar with Twitter chats, there is a hashtag, #5thchat or #edchat for example that all who are participating add to the end of their tweets. Then by using the search option in Twitter or columns in Tweetdeck one can follow all tweets with that hashtag and “have a conversation” with lots of folks you may or may not know.)

Well, I am so glad I did participate! What a chat it was! Sometimes Twitter chats are on topics that just don’t take off or just don’t grab me, and I can’t always guess which ones will be which. Tuesday’s topic was creative ideas for teaching novels. (Here is the archive.) So many great ideas you really will want to read it.

To be honest, I am a gatherer. I gather ideas as well as stuff. To me the gathering and input of ideas and images is energizing. I love a good conversation or brainstorming session where anything goes. One of my colleagues jokes that she like to “watch me think” because she can see the wheels start to turn. Now, she does not say that great ideas are always the result, just that it amuses her to watch my head spin. So, given that I love to gather, this chat was a particularly good one. I finished the hour not only with a renewed energy in general, but specifically with a more positive feeling about the rest of the week.

And finally, I may collaborate with another teacher on a project in January. I’d say for one hour of my time, that’s pretty good return.

So, I’ve been thinking about Educon, or trying to think about it anyway.

I saw this tweet on Monday morning:

kjarrett (@kjarrett)
1/31/11 10:59 AM
Back at school. Doing everything the way I always have. Dealing with massive guilt as a result. #educonshame

When I saw it, it was already a retweet, and I retweeted it as well.

But the thing is, I’m not really feeling bad about not making huge changes in what I do at school right away. First of all, there are plenty of things I do that while they could use tweaking, don’t need massive overhaul, and second of all, I am a thinker. Ok, that might sound all serious, but what I mean by that is that I like to think and rethink, plan and replan, talk and talk some more before I go and make a big change.

This may make it sound like I therefore don’t change what I do much. Actually, I do change things up a lot and with reasonable frequency. Once I’ve debated, maybe just with myself (I try to do that in my head not out loud), I’m totally willing to leap in and make a change on a random Tuesday. I totally support change and the idea that classrooms are vital places.

Now, a few days after Educon, I have lots of ideas in my head that are still in the swirling around phase. And that’s ok. I truly believe in the power of that part of the process. I consciously throw stuff in the back of my head just to let it swirl around in there for a while until I’ve smoothed it out a bit and am ready to make it into something. It’s like those rock tumblers that were big for a while. You know, you put in rocks, tumbled them around for days, and then hoped for a shiny treasure among the group.

I’m an excellent collector and so part of the process of change is tumbling those ideas to see which ones turn into pretty stones ready to be used in some great project and which ones should get tossed or set aside for another time. I know I work this way, always have, even before I realized it. And, I know it works for me.

So, while I share @kjarrett’s view that I’m still doing things the same way, I’m not really feeling any shame about it. I don’t think it will do my students any good for me to leap at change for the sake of change. It won’t do them any good for me not to at least look before I leap, taking them with me. Plus, I know that there are at least a couple of good rocks tumbling around that are on their way to being nice and shiny. All I have to do it keep them tumbling.