13 Comments

  1. Hello George,
    As usual, your words make me think about effective teaching and learning. What you are sharing in this classroom situation is what Tom Whitby and Steven W. Anderson describe as being a relevant educator (http://goo.gl/34qFOC). One key, common characteristic of relevant educators is they are willing learners connecting with other learners. I describe a recipe for relevancy in this post; http://goo.gl/B8Ig1V
    Besides the innovative learning environment, what else led you to describe this teacher as “effective”?
    In my connected educator workshops, isolated teachers bristle at the notion that are less effective than their connected counterparts. As you said, there are no guarantees either way. However, a truth I have learned during the past few years is that connected, relevant educators learn about the innovative classroom practices you describe months to years earlier than others – they put their learning into practice earlier than others – a difference you detected when you walked into the classroom.
    Another key characteristic of relevant educators is that they share their teaching / learning experiences so others can benefit from these contributions. As you have asked in your workshops, “What if someone discovers a cure for cancer, but keeps this information to themselves; have they really accomplished anything?” I hope the teacher in your story takes the next steps away from isolation and towards relevancy by transparently sharing how his students learn in this amazing classroom environment.
    Finally, there are thousands of connected educators who wholeheartedly agree with your premise; engaging in social media, like Twitter, has revolutionized the learning experiences of their students. Connectedness has helped to make them more effective educators.
    As always, thank you for contributing to our learning, Bob

  2. EVERY post that I read of yours resonates with me! Two years ago I would have scoffed at the thought of using Twitter, let alone in the classroom! Today, it has become another powerful tool that has allowed me to bring my classroom to the world and the world to my classroom. Twitter has provided a means for me connect with other innovative and passionate educators that I have met both personally and through social media. We share information, ideas and resources, challenge one another and help each other to become better educators for our students. Thanks for sharing so many of your great ideas, I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to “connect”!

  3. George,

    Truly a great bit as your thoughts were spot on. I believe that until school leaders embrace Twitter as something more than a tool for school communication and sharing of information, we will continue to see the Twitter factor as a variable instead of a constant in educator development. There are too many benefits for teachers and leaders on Twitter, and we should create the conditions to convince and ultimately transform all educators into connected educators.

    Keep up the great work.
    John

  4. This is an inspiring post! I was re-introduced to Twitter last summer while taking my EDTECH grad course called “Social Network Learning”; by definition, it required using a number of social media sites for teaching and learning, including Twitter. I have been using it for my PD on a regular basis ever since. What an amazing opportunity to learn from and with so many inspiring educators! Thank you for sharing your experience with a Twitter-like classroom….something to think about!

  5. Hi George,

    Ive been a follower of yours on Twitter since signing up day 1, which was just New Years 2015. I cannot tell you how much connecting with like minded and POSITIVE educators has impacted me. I work for a large school division and my main responsibility is supporting tech integration in grades 6-12. I’m hitting myself for only joining Twitter this year……..but better late than never : )

    I can also relate the the idea of coming into a classroom and immediately recognizing the “this is a wonderful place to learn vibe.” I have no doubt this is because you, too, are a LEARNING LEADER!

    Catherine

  6. Having always been the only teacher of my subject in the district, I rely on Twitter to connect me to colleagues. While I cannot often physically visit the classrooms of colleagues in my subject, I can get their ideas, assistance, suggestions, etc. at any hour of any day. Twenty years ago I started teaching in a silo, and today I teach in a wide open world with unlimited potential access points, including Twitter. It’s a great time to be a teacher.

  7. Beth Hulan

    The idea that a classroom can be impacted so deeply by the connectedness of the teacher is something I think more educational leaders need to consider. There is something special and different about Twitter though.

    So many educators are using online sources like TPT and Pinterest to get connected and to locate resources for their classrooms. Both of these sources provide the “stuff” without the conversation. Don’t get me wrong, there are many great resources on both of these sites and I often find educator blogs to follow through these sites. However, the level of connection is limited and allow teachers to remain virtually isolated.

    As a teacher who sees the difference Twitter is making in my practice, I am constantly encouraging others to do the same.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post.

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