OETC Day One – Afternoon

My first day at the 2014 OETC is coming to a close, and it’s been an overall motivational and uplifting experience.

I can’t praise Kevin Honeycutt enough for his keynote (and his afternoon session that was a continuation of it).  I think his tagline on his website (kevinhoneycutt.org) explains his overall theme the best:

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He celebrates the natural curiosity and entrepreneurship of kids, and how we as teachers and/or parents should celebrate these things.  We should encourage students to develop skills and talents that they do well, but also teach them things that may not come as naturally to them.

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More specifically, he repeatedly iterated the idea that students need to be aware of the “digital legacies” they continuously are adding to and modifying as they interact online.   Along with digital literacy and netiquette skills, Kevin offered multiple free resources that are available to teachers and students to develop 21st century skills.  (Link available here to his list of tools and resources)

He is a great advocate for students and their development, and believes that students should be able to utilize their strengths to develop their own creative ideas that they can use to create their own businesses.  While I’m sure his background in art and music may influence this a great deal, it is a mindset that is fresh in the K-12 education realm and is somewhat rare.

Thank you Mr. Honeycutt for encouraging me to continue doing things that challenge students and motivate them to be creative, innovative, and responsible in today’s digital world.

A Teacher’s Guide to Social Media

A Teacher’s Guide to Social Media

A great overview of the “dos and don’ts” of social networking for teachers to follow.  While most of this article pertains to things to avoid doing yourself on social networks, points number 5 and 6 are geared towards ways to use social networking in positive ways to encourage, motivate, and communicate with your students.

Edmodo is one of many social networks that are intended primarily for student and teacher communication in an online space.  Edmodo has adopted a visual style very similar to that of facebook, which would allow students who are familiar with its layout to be more comfortable and engaged in communication and collaboration.  Schoology, a hybrid social network/LMS for students and teachers, also has a facebook-esque feel that most users are accustomed to.

As I read through this article, TED Ed was a service that I was not currently familiar with, but extremely excited about upon discovering.  I have tried using other services to easily create content for students to access on their own (Learnist, Khan Academy, other services that I have forgotten the names of) but TED-Ed shows great promise.

Like Khan Academy, TED-Ed allows teachers to assign students videos to watch to teach/reinforce concepts and then answer questions demonstrating mastery.  However, TED-Ed breaks the mold by allowing teachers to create context specific to what they are teaching, and customize the lesson as they see fit (not to mention that Khan Academy primarily focused on Math concepts).

After reading the article, check both of these services out to see how you could implement them in your own classroom.