All posts by joshr

3 Reasons Why All OJCS Teachers should be on Twitter

Today I had an amazing day at work… How many of us get to say that? I, along with six other colleagues, had the absolute privilege of training to be an educator that prepares students for the 21st, sorry the 22nd century, with Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano.

Our task was to  have a 20 minute skype conversation with Jocelyn Blumgart, with a caveat… the six of us all had roles to play documenting our learning. My role was to document the call on twitter. It seemed simple enough, I was excited and up for the challenge.

  1. It was within the first 5 seconds of the skype call that I entered into the “learning zone“. My heart started beating faster, I was no longer comfortable, and I stared at my phone wondering what to write while my principal sidled up beside me and snapped a photo of me and my empty twitter screen… 
  2. Quickly realizing that this was no easy task for a first-timer, the photographers of our group started airdropping pictures and videos to my phone. Ideas began to pop into my head, and I had a starting point to go from. The buzz words, quotes, and conversations that we had already discussed began to make sense and connect with the pictures that were being sent to me at a faster rate now and my first tweet was beginning to materialize. It was at this point that I also realized I hadn’t processed anything Jocelyn and our two brave hot seat volunteers (Nice job Keren and Shira!) had said. I took 2 seconds to laugh at myself and reflect “I hope no one notices that I’m not listening, this is harder than it looks, I am such a beginner, but this is so much fun” (Someone documented this exact moment in time. Nice work photography team!)                                                 
  3. I was muddling my way through the documenting, editing, hashtagging, while making a Kurt Russel executive decision to accept all 23 videos/photos that were sent to me and not dismiss any of them, even though I got pretty much the exact same picture of Jocelyn 6 times.

 

I finished with 3 tweets, felt like I had just skied down a hill for the first time, and began growing my digital network. It was amazing, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for me, my six group members, and our school.

I have been riding the wave of excitement all night, checking my feed, ready to grow my network, to show others how to do the same, thinking of how this is going to transform my practice as a teacher, how the kids will benefit, reliving the crazy 20 mins that got me out of my comfort zone, while having fun learning a new skill, and instantly growing my global connections. Both Jocelyn and Silvia now follow me!

I apologize for not really talking about the process much, other group member contributions that made the call seamless and were actually able to not let the documenting get in the way, but like I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t listening…

Media literacy is on my mind…

I am getting so many ideas that I need to make sure I document and don’t forget them. I can’t wait to upgrade my grade 7 Ecosystems Junk Raiders project with a media literacy angle.  I want to reduce the amount of busy work and increase student documentation to amplify the learning.

What tools will I use and how will I incorporate them are questions that usually come to me when I am relaxed by the fireplace on weekends. I am also challenging myself to set realistic goals and create 1 new project/upgrade an existing practice to be my most exciting yet this winter.