“We have to get away from just drilling knowledge into students and create environments where they create, they discuss, they measure, and they collaborate” – Eric Sheninger, Principal of New Milford High School, New Jersey.
This morning, I found a cool site called Ed Tech Talk, which I’ll be honest, I know nothing about. Up to this point, I have only scrolled down through the first page. However, there looks to be a bunch of good discussion on the site about how to use technology in the classroom. Check it out. I know that I will be over the next several days.
On the Ed Tech Talk site, I ran across a video featuring Eric Sheninger about how to use Twitter as both a professional development tool and a communication tool in schools. What makes Sheninger stand out from other proponents of educational technology is the fact that he is a principal of a school. Much of the time, teachers are the early adopters and spend a career fighting (that may be too strong of word), trying to persuade administrators to change. But when the administrator is the one speaking out and teaching how to make changes, things are going to happen. If anything, the video is worth watching just to see how Sheninger’s school is using social media, especially Twitter, as a productive tool.
The following video is not the same as the one on the Ed Tech Talk site. I couldn’t get that one to load on this page, but in the following video, Sheninger gives more insight into using Twitter as a school administrator and also as a teacher.
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Positive words can make positive change, but sometimes it’s hard to find the right words. Yesterday, TED launched a new page, TED Quotes, on their website dedicated to quotes taken from some of the 1,100 plus talks they host on the site. What I like about the page is that these are the best quotes from the some of the most influential people alive today. I can display a quote for students to read, and also point them to the talk where the quote was first spoken. The words are real and tangible for students, not something someone said 150 years ago.
The page is easy to navigate giving several different means for discovering quotes. Users can simply search for a quote using key words. If a little more guidance is needed, users can search through quotes by category. The educations tab alone has 66 quotes listed. Another page has quotes listed according to popularity. There is no indication of how these are chosen, but each shows how many times the quote has been shared, so maybe that is the criteria.
Sharing is another interesting option in the page. With a simple click, users can post the quotes to a Facebook wall or Twitter feed.
After a few minutes looking at the site, I was pretty impressed. Some of this may be due to my fascination with TED. In a short time, I read several quotes that I remember being spoken as I watched the actual talk. Reading the quotes helped me to remember what I once learned. I can definitely see potential for using this in the classroom.
In the past, I have posted an inspirational quote on the board for student to read at the beginning of class. Sometimes students wrote a short response and sometimes we just had a short discussion. I always felt that this activity was successful, but it gets hard to find good relevant quotes. Problem solved!
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