Friday, July 27, 2012

Fabulous Finds Friday: Pinterest, Partying, and Teaching Strategies

My Fabulous Finds this Friday all revolve around connecting with others, specifically fellow educators.  Gems include hosting a Pinterest Party, sharing pinteresting ideas on an "analog board", and reaching and teaching through a variety of strategies.

Last month, I read The Clever Pink Pirate's post about hosting a real life Pinterest party.  She invited crafters, bloggers and friends for an informal gathering to try Pinterest inspired recipes and crafts.  I loved the party theme.  I thought this might be fun to try at work, maybe before school starts, where colleagues could get together and make the teacher binder or bulletin board that was pinned in early June:) For me it is not so much about getting more stuff done, but spending time with friends I haven't seen all summer! 

Analog Pinterest Board
Second idea...more Pinterest, more connecting.  Mr. D, blogger and future Pinterest user, posted a picture of his idea of an "analog pinterest board".  The picture cracked me up, but reaffirmed an idea I had for creating a real "analog board" for our faculty lounge.  There are several teachers at our school who are pinning and while we enjoy finding inspiration for our homes or our next party, we also are busy pinning ideas for our classrooms, educational technology tips, and helpful sites for implementation of the Common Core.  After a summer of prolific pinning, I wanted to share some of our best ideas with my non-techy friends. So, of course I had to create a board that would be Pinterest worthy (okay, maybe that's a stretch, but it had to be more than a chalkboard with scotch tape:).  As we find new ideas, games and activities, I am adding them to a Publisher document.  So far, I have one page (for Week 1) with four pictures on the page. I've printed the pictures along with a blurb about the "pin" and posted pics on the "analog board". I've invited others to share their finds too.  Hopefully, this will foster collaboration and communication  among many faculty members, not just those who are already online.  I am hoping to continue adding at least four pictures a week to the Publisher file.  At the end of the year, I will print the 36 page document (1 page representing 1 week of the school year) and place the collection in a binder for our teacher resource center.

My last find is a fantastic post on Edutopia by Monique Flickinger filled with 10 great ideas for sharing with others.  While Monique is responsible for teaching almost 1500 teachers technology, most of her strategies could be employed by any educator.  She suggests:
1) Show, don't tell. Create a 3 minute video that shows teachers in action using a new technology (or classroom management strategy, or teaching technique).  Teachers could create videos starring students who are solving challenges, explaining content, or demonstrating a procedure.
2) Teach with TV. Produce a 20 minute monthly show to be broadcast on your district, school, or class website.  This could feature any teaching strategy for PD purposes or in the classroom, serve as a longer review for students who need to see things explained in a variety of formats or multiple times.  No TV station to host your broadcast? Use U-Stream to broadcast your own online show. 
3)  Be "liked". Monique's department has created a Facebook page where they post weekly updates on new technology, pictures of classes in action, and share updates.  This would be a perfect way to connect with teachers or parents after hours.
4)  Chirp about your accomplishments. Twitter has become an invaluable tool for me to connect with others and learn from them.  I call it PD in my pocket, because all I have to do is open the app on my phone to learn something new.   @TeachTechPSD tweets twice a week to inform teachers of timely information. Teachers might invite parents to follow a class account on back to school night.  It would be an easy way to remind families of upcoming assessments, project due dates, or changes in the schedule.
5) Blog about it.  Monique suggests sharing teacher tips twice a week in short posts that can be processed quickly by readers .  For her team, their posts are about technology, but a content coach might share about the Frayer model or a foldable idea for a specific unit; a student might update the class blog with a reflection on current content.
All of the ideas are wonderful and could be implemented by anyone wishing to make content accessible anytime and any place. Want to know the rest?  Check out the complete article on Edutopia!

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