It seems a long time ago that I wrote my first blog post I am a lurker…but I am changing… I was ready for some changes to my teaching practice however I did not anticipate the transformation that enrolling in COETAIL would allow me. Welcome to Joel 2.0!
COETAIL has opened my eyes to a vast array of possibilities in the classroom. I have enjoyed learning from and with so many brilliant people that I can not name them all. Some are local ( check out our COETAIL lunches at ISL, every Wednesday) some are more further afield. It has been a real roller-coaster of learning. And what has pulled me along? Pedagogy has been the driver. Technology has been the accelerator.
In the past year I have been sharing my thoughts regularly through my blog. I have blogged about the classroom, the learning that has been taking place, the good and sometimes bad. But the biggest thing behind blogging is the reflection element to it. It allows us as Educators time to think about what went well, what could be improved, and what could have been. You see blogging is our job.
I have a new role this year as Activator of Thinking and Learning. We are making our thinking visible and creating a culture of thinking with help from Ron Ritchcart and Project Zero at Harvard. I thought that a way of making our roles visible was to create a blog to show what we are doing and all the brilliant things that are happening in our school. Tanya gave me the spark to host it at COETAIL so that we could gain a bigger audience and create further conversations around the world. Welcome to Thinking at ISLux.
So now there are 2 blogs and 1 website that I am looking after. This is from someone who just over 14 months ago had never created/organised a blog/website. I think my thinking is becoming pretty visible!
Reading and commenting on other blogs also gives a greater understanding to our role. It is our job to model the correct behaviour to children. COETAIL has really set the tone for this. Starting commenting with a positive response, asking questions for further information, giving help and advice with links to other readings/ videos etc are all how we want to be spoken to in a conversation. And that is what blogging and commenting is. An Online Conversation. You see online and offline it is all the same.
Twitter has been a great source of information and a way of connecting with others around the world. I am connected to many educators around the world. Getting amazing ideas every single day. In fact I have become quite obsessed with Twitter. Currently I am using 4 different Twitter Accounts. This is from the person who previously used Twitter to check the latest football gossip. Twitter is like eating cake. Hard to stop!
All of the Twitter accounts are for different audiences and for different purposes.
@bevansjoel – a way of connecting and collaborating with other educators across the world, reading about current ideas, reading new articles, sharing what I am up to, Twitter chats, Professional Development, you name it…
@mrbevsclassroom – is an insight into what is happening in the classroom. Connecting with other Classes around the world, Giving children a voice/audience to their learning
@travellingtale – A Twitter Account to help my Course 5 Project. A way of connecting classes through Travelling Tale
@thinkingatISLux – A new Twitter Account to share what is happening at International School of Luxembourg as we strive to create a Culture of Thinking in the Lower School. This is to share good practice in our school, share ideas from others and current reading and ideas into visible thinking. #islthinks
There is such a variety of chats or conversations that you can really find what ever you want to. You can join in, lurk or do at bit of both. Personally I find the slow chats a fantastic way of being able to join the conversation when time allows. Lately I have been joining in with #AfricaED and #ITSEIntSch because of this reason. However I have taken part in a few others too including #COETAILchat. I recently came across #creativtychat that interests me too. Choose one that suits you. Join in the conversation.
I recently was also asked for my permission to use my tweets in a presentation that was made by Ryan Jenkins ( a Lego Tinkerer)
Screenshot from Twitter. CC J.Bevans
From Lurker to… Connector.
I think that biggest element of COETAIL to me is the connections that I have created along the way and continue to do so. I look forward to continuing this journey over the coming weeks, months and years after COETAIL. I am now applying this to my classroom and my class. That is why I decided to create Travelling Tales. So that they can connect and collaborate with others around the world to create a Travelling Tale.
Would these connections be possible without technology?