For my second twitter chat, I decided to partake in the Tuesday #EdChat at 7pm. For this week’s Ed Chat there was the opportunity to take a poll to decide what you wanted the theme of the twitter chat to be. The theme that I voted for was “How Social Media and Being Connected Affected Your Professional Development.” I chose this theme because I thought that I would personally be able to contribute and relate to this conversation, because I have taken a number of classes that dealt with professional development and social media, and in all honesty I have lived through it! As a recent college grad I was always surrounded by people talking about professional development and how important it is to be connected. This was not the theme chosen though. The theme that was selected was, “What specific way can we model the benefits of digital literacy in education to teachers and students?”
Although this wasn’t the theme that I voted for, I still found it to be very informative and interesting. One of the main ideas throughout the chat was how to apply methodology through new technology. One person discussed how it is important for teachers to use these new technological resources because it makes their jobs much more manageable. It is also important for teachers to become familiar with technology and use it in their classrooms because it is more in line with what students are comfortable with using. One point that was made that I definitely agree with, is that teachers have an obligation to their students to provide 21st century skills, because if they do not, their students will only fall behind the fast paced world of technology.
Another main idea that was discussed throughout the chat was about the balance between using teaching practices from the past that are obviously successful and useful and teachers are familiar and comfortable with and the needs of the future. Throughout the chat there was a discussion of how to make it possible to combine both. Many believed (and I agree) that teachers need to stay in tune with the technology that is so prevelent in today’s world and the skills that are needed to use that technology. To not teach your students these skills is going to hurt them. Teachers, just like their students, need to learn to leave their comfort zones and learn about the number of resources that are available. I agreed that it is important for teachers to branch out and learn about the different resources they have and can utilize for their students.
I thought there was a good point made in the chat, that there really isn’t a huge different between the 20th and 21st century skills and teaching, all that’s really different things are the way you can teach them and the ease of being able to have access to the resources you can use in the classroom.
Another point I thought was interesting was that educators must be digitally literate in order to teach their students to be digital literate.I think this is huge because if a teacher doesn’t understand how to use the technology that is so prominent of today, it would be impossible for the students to fully learn.I thought it was interesting to see how it can be an issue when teachers think they know all there is to know about teaching, so they ignore all of the 21st century resources that are available for them. They also ignore all the new ways to teach their students in today’s education system that can really benefit their students. I thought this was a really good point because although I don’t doubt that teachers do everything they can to help their students and are continuing to adapt with the different times, I think it is vital to continue to stress this point. I’ve had a number of teachers in my experience who have been teaching for years and have the systems and methods they have and that’s all they use, but that sometimes doesn’t work for every student. It is so important for teachers to continue to learn as well about the number of resources that are available for them and the way they can help aid students who may not always be successful when they are taught like the teacher has done in the past.
There were a number of good twitter accounts and people that were involved in this twitter chat. Some of the ones I followed included:
The Educator’s Room: a number of different links with resources and ideas for teachers to use in the classroom. Posts and examples from current teachers
Tom Whitby: moderator of the chat and ran the #edchat radio show
Michael Maher: had a number of different good points regarding how important it is to use twitter, if only to keep yourself educated whether or not you’re actually a teacher
Mark E. Weston: Also partakes in the #edchat radio show. Very big proponent of working to enhance the learning of all students by using the power of tech to support proven practices in the classroom and connect all levels of the education system
Matt Harris: #edtech leader and teacher
Finally a link that I found during the chat that I found extremely useful, was a link to a website for a radio show that posts podcasts after every Ed Chat. Bam!radio posts podcasts that summarize and evaluate the different topics that fall under #edchat each week. I find this very useful because sometimes, especially in the larger chats such as Ed Chat, it is very easy to get lost and miss some interesting and informative points. I like how these podcasts basically sum up the theme and major points and allows these educators and people who are very experienced to give their opinion and insight into the subject matter.