A colleague of mine (high school social studies teacher) likes to invite special guests to synchronous virtual lessons, and I’m incorporating this into my teaching as well. In the past, he has invited state senators and legislators to attend his sessions, allowing students to learn from an expert and allowing the legislator to learn more about our school.
Benefits of special guests in a virtual lesson are:
I am putting a spin on having a special guest in my LiveLesson session tomorrow. I teach a gifted science course to 4th and 5th graders, and in the second semester we have a long-term science project that ends with a student presentation in a virtual session. Tomorrow’s lesson shows students what is required in the final presentation, and special guest, former student and current 6th grader, will join me to present parts of his project along with the instructions I provide. He will also be available to answer questions from the students. I hope this motivates the students and helps them realize they can do it! 🙂
See on edtechteacher.org
See on www.bestuniversities.com
See on www.thedigitalshift.com
At ISTE, I had the pleasure of presenting in the Google theatre on Writing with Google Docs. It was a short presentation aimed at demonstrating how educators can use Google Docs to foster writing in its various stages.
See on catlintucker.com
Below is the top 50 free applications in the Education category(data is pulled from iTunes). We also have a list of the best paid education iPhone apps.
See on www.appstoreapps.com
Whether you are in a traditional classroom setting, or an online learning community, ice-breakers play a vital role in developing a sense of community in a learning environment.
Here’s a wiki with many resources on ice-breaking and online community development.
See on twt.wikispaces.com
After two decades in online teaching in both the corporate world and higher education, I regret to report that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the network connection.
See on thejournal.com
During my Tier 1 Administrative Credential course module on Culture, I picked up on some ideas about making mistakes. I realized that making mistakes is a good thing as a teacher and a leader.
Here are some bullet points on lessons I’ve learned about making mistakes:
Thomas Hoerr’s MNM Philosophy, Make New Mistakes, recognizes that mistakes are opportunities to learn. He stated that old mistakes entail repeating errors and not learning from experiences. No mistakes mean we continue to use the same approach, perhaps we are error-free, but little learning takes place, and this sounds boring. Making new mistakes though, means we try new ideas and strategies and learn from our experiences.
When I was a beginning online teacher, I tried new things and continually sought feedback from my students, their parents, and other teachers. After seven years though, I found I had gotten stuck in my routine that I found worked, and was boring myself. I started trying some new things and experimenting with my teaching though. My lessons are not as streamlined and clean as before, but I am having more fun and my students are enjoying the variety too.
This also happened just in time for the mid-year reviews I conducted, and I was able to share my ruts and experimentation to dig my way out with the teachers I support. I hope my example and our discussion helps them feel free to take risk and enjoy experimenting too.
Thomas Hoerr mentioned the “wonderfully liberating message” it gives to teachers when the leader shares a learning experience and celebrates the new mistakes he or she learns, and I would agree from the experiences I’ve had from my leaders.
The Art of School Leadership by Thomas Hoerr
5 Mistakes Everyone Should Make by Real Simple
Only Let Yourself Make New Mistakes by Peter Winick
Mistakes that Worked by Charlotte Jones
Click the link above to be taken to a post written for the Virtual Learning Connections Blog based on my keynote panel points from iNACOL VSS 2011 in Indianapolis.