Tag Archives: edchat

Twitter

If Educators aren’t using Twitter by now, are they likely to use it in the Future?

What had started as a small, one-sentence question has stayed on my mind for longer than I thought. Benjamin Stewart originally asked the question that makes the title of this post on Google+ and it actually turns out to be not that easy to answer. My first reaction was, it depends on how far Twitter has become an essential part in the day to day life of the average person whether it had established itself in the mainstream.

For example, if you don’t use a telephone today you probably have good reasons not to and therefore you probably won’t use it in the future. Sure, it makes you look a bit weird but that’s a personal choice. I don’t think that Twitter is that far as there are enough people left who have not even heard about it though this number is surely shrinking thanks to the embedding of Twitter in popular news and entertainment shows on TV.

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#Edchat 06-22-2010 In what ways, if any, are PLNs having an effect on the education system?

Yesterday a self reflecting topic for the #edchat members: can a PLN have an effect on education in general. As always I’d say: it depends.

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#Edchat 06-15-2010 How do we assess whether a student can critically think?

Another interesting topic choice for the weekly #Edchat event on Twitter. But before we can answer the question how we can assess students we might have to assess if we as teachers are still in the position to think critical.

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#Edchat 06-09-2010 – How do we get from a “Tech Tool” mentality to a ”Learning Tool” mentality?

Yesterday, I had the time to participate in the weekly edchat after a long time. Luckily the topic “How to turn the Tech Tool mentality into a Learning Tool mentality” was one I had one or two cents to chip in, so it was a lot of fun and I had a great break out chat with Doctor Jeff Goldstein of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education which stands for what I appreciate the #edchat for. It gets you in contact with people from out of your field of expertise through a common interest, changing education.

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The Edublog Awards 2009 – My Nominees

The Edublog Awards are in their sixth year already. And 2009 is my first time to set up a nomination list. Exciting!

And my nominees for the 2009 Edublog Awards are:

Best individual blog: Mixergy.com
Best individual tweeter: Seth Godin
Best new blog: JonBischke.com
Best resource sharing blog: Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day
Most influential blog post: A Manifesto for EduChange
Most influential tweet / series of tweets / tweet based discussion: #Edchat
Best teacher blog: LearnOverIP.com
Best educational use of video / visual: eduFire Videos
Best educational use of a social networking service: Classroom 2.0
Best educational use of a virtual world: LanguageLab.com

I would like to thank everyone on my nominee’s list for inspiring me through the year.

#Edchat Founders at the #140conf

edchat

As you all might know, @web20classroom, @tomwhitby and @shellterrell the three founders of #Edchat where characters on the #140conf in Los Angeles.

Here are three short interviews with them after the conference.

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#Edchat 10-20 How do we make Parents aware of Benefits / Risks of Web 2.0?

edchat

Seems like a big question but I think the answer is rather simple: show them the benefits and risks of web 2.0.

In Germany we have a big discussion about so called “Killer Spiele – Killer Games” as our conservative political parties see the reason for the killing sprees we had at a couple of schools in the last years in these. They basically blame ego shooters like Counter Strike and others to motivate kids to kill other kids.

And as we all know, this does not stop if politicians get once started. So other games with similar options get on the radar, too. Basically games like World of Warcraft get on the list for their possible addiction risks and so on and so forth. Problem is: the people who are discussing and deciding about these issues never ever saw a game like this, not talking of playing one.

But then some young politicians of the bavarian CSU (Christ Socialist Party) had a brilliant idea. Their party “fights” on the front to ban “killer games” in Germany. As they knew that basically all of their party friends of a certain age never had contact to no matter what kind of modern computer game they organized the first “Parlamentarischer Spieleabend” – parlamentary gamer evening.

They invited their colleagues to play a wide range of games covering “harmless” ones on the Nintendo Wii but also those famous killer games. They also invited professional esport players, so young guys who earn money playing in world wide leagues. Basically like football but on the PC and including Counterstrike and other tactical shooters. They explained to the politicians why they play killer games and so on.

Of course, this did not change the minds by 180° but it was the first time a real dialogue took place and also the first time politicians tried out what they were talking about for months.

Back to Social Media. I think schools should do the same with parents. Instead of letting them alone with their imagination and assumptions teachers should invite parents in the school and give some little seminars about what their kids are doing and why it is all so fascinating.

This would set free various synergy effects, I think. First of all the whole Social Media world would be demystified as I don’t think the kids will sit down with their parents and explain them Facebook and Twitter.

Parents will listen to the risks and if they get an objective overview from the teachers and they finally know what is going on behind “closed doors” parents can guide their children more effectively.

And in the end it will also help the teachers to implement the use of Social Media in the classroom. If everyone knows what is happening there is no need to ban it anymore, right?

If it is done right this could be the beginning of something big. All you need is to print out some invites to the parents and get the ball rolling.

#Edchat 10-06 Engaging and Preparing Students through Technology

edchat

There are again two topics for tonight’s #Edchat which are very close on the votes but also very close from the topic itself.

If lessons aren’t engaging students, shouldn’t we address that, as opposed to blaming the Internet or Technology for being a distraction?

How are we as educators preparing our students for a technology rich & technology competitive society?

For all of you who visit my blog for the first time a little bit about myself and the perspective I will approach this topic from. Beside this education 2.0 blog of mine where I try to cover most of the things happening on the business sector of online education I am an independent language coach. For about 3 years I teach about 90% of my lessons online. I am specialized in conversational lessons with adults from around the globe. I used to teach children and teenagers offline for about 4 years, too.

Therefore my view on the #Edchat topic is from the edupreneurial point, the view of an independent language coach who uses the internet as teaching platform 7/7.

So with no further ado here are my thoughts on the two topics. I hope you get something out of it.

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#Edchat 09-22 Social Media in our Society and Education

edchat

Today on the #Edchat poll there are two topics rivalring closely in popularity and votes . The good thing is that I think they are related to one another, so I would like to cover both questions in this post.

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#Edchat 09-01 How to prevent Social Media Burnout

edchat

First of all, for every guest on my blog who is not familiar with my background yet: I am, amongst other, an independent language coach who works only with adults.

My point of view is therefore from the business side. I am not a classic school teacher, in fact I started my career from a legal background specialized in European law as well as the history of law and legal systems. But I always had a big interest in languages so after my studies I took this road.

I just wanted to let you know as many of you will be refered by Twitter and I think most of you will be classic school teachers. Nevertheless, I hope you will find some interesting points in my post :).

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#Edchat 08-25 Does homework raise attainment?

edchat

As I am not a classic school teacher I would like to cover this topic from a business point of view.

Being an independent language teacher homework is a very effective tool for me and for my students it definitely raises attainment. The reason for this is simple: homework is outsourcing.

Outsourcing works great for the economy so there is no reason why teachers should not use it themselves. Of course outsourcing / homeworks must offer a benefit for the student.

If you have a look on the report that is now circulating for the past couple of days on Twitter and several blogs you know that blended learning is the most effective way of learning these days. Homework is a part of it.

For me as language coach this means that I am completely outsourcing vocabulary and grammar learning to web services. Why? First of all the student is paying for my attention. To my mind learning vocabulary during a lesson is a waste of time and money. Of course I answer questions that might come up during the asynchronous learning part but web services like Livemocha are getting constantly better so most of the questions can be answered there.

So if you are delivering a good assignment  you are left with more time in your classroom. That means you can focus on things you could not have done before. More conversation, more interaction, more creativity. Simply delivering a better lesson because you as a teacher are the most important person in the room. Students want to learn from you, not from books or slides or videos. They want your knowledge, your point of view.

More time means also better preparation. I can search for new texts, new exercises and as my courses are conversation driven I can spend more time to prepare interesting and actual topics for each single student.

Like Don Tapscott is saying in his blog Grown Up Digital:

The moral of the story: Students would be better served with much of the curriculum being online. And to repeat what I said in the book, this does not mean a diminished role for teachers. Their time would be freed up to give extremely valuable one-on-one teaching.

I will write a longer post about outsourcing for teachers hopefully later this week after the ETCon.

Taking this to school teaching, I think homework must not be boring anymore as this is still the label attached to it. Students could do research via the internet, work together on wikis or blogs, make films or photo stories. To my mind they don’t even need to write their thoughts down. As a history teacher for example I would accept audio files of my student’s thoughts. I don’t need to correct grammar or vocabulary but I want to get them into thinking. And one of the best ways is just talking, spinning the story. Pen and paper (or a keyboard) are only a barrier in this case.

#Edchat – the new Teacher Movement on Twitter

edchat

There is a quite rapidly growing new movement amongst educators on Twitter these days. #Edchat is the chatty brother of #TeacherTuesday and although he is fairly young, #Edchat is constantly attracting more  educators to join in a weekly discussion on Twitter.

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