Learn about three communication tools that will help you to stay connected and grow.

Educators around the world are preparing students for THEIR futures! In doing so, they have discovered that classroom environments and instructional activities need to be adapted to the changing needs of their students.

Changing our practices is not an easy process. We need to allow ourselves time and the feeling of some discomfort in order to grow. Taking risks in the form small steps will provide help guide the process.

Three favorite tools include twitter, blogging and virtual platforms to connect with others. Let’s take a look are each one!

TWITTER: Twitter can open doors to the world for both teachers and students. Twitter helps us connect globally and learn new perspectives. Once teachers begin connecting with other educators professionally, many soon find ways to have classrooms of students connect via joint lessons, virtual meetings, etc… A great place to start is reviewing Twitter for Educators: A Beginner’s Guide. The ClassFlow Marketplace has several resources as well!

BLOGGING: Blogging can be very motivating for both educators and students! Blogging can provide a sense of accomplishment in both writing and publishing ideas on the Web. It can help us feel connected to broad audience of readers and writers when we share our contributions with the world. Edutopia’s article, 9 Reasons Teachers Should Blog, provides reasons to get started or keep blogging. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano shares a wide variety of ways to use blogging as a professional and with students on her blog.  Check out the ClassFlow Marketplace for a few other resources, especially to use with students.

SKYPE: Classrooms can be globally connected via Skype or other virtual platforms.  If you are new to using Skype one suggestion is to test out the platform with a classroom across the hall prior to using it to connect with others outside of your own school. This allows you to work out any technology questions you may encounter. Once you are familiar with how to use Skype – the possibilities are endless! Here are a few resources to get you started: Skype in the Classroom, Authors who Skype with Classes, and 50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom.

What would you add to this list? How do you connect with other educators? How do you open your classroom so that your students can connect with others beyond your classroom walls?

 

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Kathy Perret