A Social Networking Space for Teachers of English Language Learners – National Writing Project

A Social Networking Space for Teachers of English Language Learners – National Writing Project August 10, 2011August 23, 2018 Beth Crumpler Diverse Populations, Language Education, English as a foreign or second language, Integrative learning, K through 12, Learning, Online Communities, Online Tools, Social Networking, Technology, Twitter, Web application


How Do We Prepare Students For Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet? – Edudemic

How Do We Prepare Students For Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet? – Edudemic.  This is a fascinating read. Please watch the video. Sir Ken Robinson makes interesting points.  The video is 11-12 minutes long and is full of content and points that you will will want to think about.  Make sure you watch it when you have time to sit back, think about and contemplate his points.  Is our modern education system out of date and not adequately preparing today’s students for their futures?  What will the future careers of today’s students look like?  Has the standardization of learning actually corrupted the learning potential and future of today’s students?  Are too many students being put on ADHD medications, not because they have ADHD but because the current standardized educational system is based on an old system and old train of thought- The Enlightenment and Industrialization. Therefore, by teaching our students based off an old system of thought and job preparation, we are actually doing them a disservice and are boring them. No wonder we think they have ADHD and need medicated.  Instead we need to revamp our entire beliefs in how we educate our students?  Do we need to revamp the entire educational system to better prepare our students…involving activities that actually interest and engage them, instead of medicating them.  What does this look like?  How do we prepare our students for future jobs that don’t even exist yet?  These are some of the questions I brainstormed after watching the video.  It is thought provoking and interesting.  This is a must watch.  Brainstorm, and use it as a personal learning activity.


New Model for Professional Development

Yesterday, March, 2012 I was privileged to take part in a live edu-tweet with #edchat. #Edchat is a group of educators from around the country and globe that Tweet each other via the hashtag #edchat on Twitter twice a week to discuss issues in education. The discussions last for an hour and are determined by a poll that #edchat moderators send out via Twitter. Educators then, take the poll and whatever subject dominates the poll, is what is determined to be the point of discussion for the next #edchat live session. Participating in an #edchat discussion is like participating in a chatroom, except that it takes place on Twitter using a hashtag (#). All edu-tweets function the same way. There are tons of them. To find more about edu-tweets you can view this blog post I wrote in October 2011.

The topics are different each time. Yesterday, the #edchat discussion I participated in met live on Twitter at 7:00 PM EST. I really wanted to take participate in this #edchat discussion, after seeing the topic via taking the poll this past Sunday. The topic of discussion was, “What specifics should be included in a new model for professional development for teachers?” Transcripts from each session are posted on #edchat’s website. Click on the link provided to view the archive from the discussion yesterday, March 27, 2012.

The discussion was fast and heated. The Twitter feed moved so fast that sometimes it was hard to keep up. Going back and reading thoroughly through the archives is a good idea. There seemed to be a unanimous opinion among the educators participating in the #edchat discussion. You can see for yourself by reading the transcript of Tweets. This is an area I’m passionate about because I have learned more in my short 7 months of using Twitter compared to the past 5 or more years of professional development provided by school systems. I have blogged about how much I have learned via being a Twitter Newbie and how social media seems like a great new professional development.

Why have I learned more by using Twitter and social media as a professional development tool compared to live in-person professional development sessions provided in brick and mortar locations? Why have I learned more in 7 months of professional development on Twitter and social media compared to 5 or more years of professional development in brick and mortar locations provided by school systems? Why was the unanimous consensus by the educators participating on yesterdays #edchat session that current professional development offerings by employers, mostly school systems, are not effective? What does this mean about the state of professional development? What does this mean about the costs being spent on providing these offerings? What does this mean about what educators are really learning from these offerings? Are the professional development offerings based on an old education model?

Do professional development offerings need to be revised and updated to be aligned with 21st Century principles, practices and technology? What does this mean for professional development in the 21st Century? What should professional development in the 21st Century look like? How should 21st Century professional development be implemented and presented? Should it be mandatory?

These are questions that can be derived from the #edchat discussion yesterday. What are your thoughts regarding these questions? Do you have answers and/or ideas for what professional development in the 21st Century should be and how it should be implemented? Comment below.

While the #edchat session was taking place, I already knew I wanted to post some of the Tweets on my blog to present. Below, I am posting some of the Tweets I “favorited” because they are awesome Tweets.  I want to give a big shout out and thank you to the #edchat participants who made these comments. You are fabulous educators!

*When you read these Tweets, “PD” stands for professional development.


Ways to use Mobile Devices in the Language Classroom

While searching for learning content on YouTube, I found this video.  It shows 10 ways to use mobile phones and devices in the language classroom. Although this video addresses language learning, the ideas presented here can be used in many content areas. I found this video extremely insightful. I plan to try out some of the ideas.  I hope this helps you as well.



Students, Maps and Measuring Rainfall

Students, Maps and Measuring Rainfall.  This is a great post for for ideas with using weather for science and math teaching.  The Rain Gage from Ambien Weather only costs between $30-40 US dollars as well.  This is an inexpensive and great lesson or unit idea for a school or classroom to implement.  I highly recommend you reading and checking this post out.


Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

I just found the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English online.  This is a wonderful website for ESL students to use regardless of what age they are.  It provides written examples, parts of speech, applies words in context within a sentence, provides visual representations, and icons that you can click on to listen to the descriptions with audio.  Check it out.


Announcing New Adaptive Learning Group on LinkedIn

Educators here is a new Adaptive Learning Group I started on LinkedIn.  Please join, network and collaborate.  Every educator is welcome.  The group is open to any educator to join.  But, the sharing and conversations will remain a private closed group once you have joined.   Let’s cross content areas and expertise to learn from each other.  This is a great way to do personal professional development and enhance your PLN.  LinkedIn is full of amazing educators like you!  Twitter for PLN is awesome but is limited to 140 characters.  The Adaptive Learning Group on LinkedIn is a place where you can have in-depth conversations, and share and collaborate more lengthy.  Come join!

The Group Summary:  “Sharing, Creating & Developing- An Adaptive Learning and Educational Materials Community”

The Group Description:  “Adaptive Learning is a community of educators for professionals of all skills and knowledge.  It is a community where educators everywhere, with experience from all age groups and expertise, can collaborate, share and network.  Educators often only network in their niche which sometimes limits professional growth.  This community is a place for networking across content areas and skills to maximize your PLN (Professional Learning Networks) and professional growth.”

See You There!


Anxiety-Free Writing: Five Minute Friday and Glogging

Today Glogster EDU published a post I wrote called, Anxiety-Free Writing: Five Minute Friday and Glogging.  I share ideas on how to incorporate Five Minute Friday with Glogging and the writing process.  Enjoy reading it via the link!


Best List of Web 2.0 Resources for Teachers

Image by Daniel F. Pigatto via Flickr

I found this list of web 2.0 resources for teaching and education yesterday from a Wiki called “Web 2.0 Guru“, by Cheryl Capozzoli. I want to share this with you because it is by far, the best list of web 2.0 resources for teachers I have ever seen. Enjoy searching, bookmarking, referencing, planning and having fun using the resources!  Subscribe to Cheryl on Twitter or follow her RSS feed on her Wiki!  Thanks Cheryl.  Love it!


Shadown Puppets in Education

shadow puppetsBy Hedgehog83 (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Transparency in education is vital.  With integration of new technologies in the classroom: SmartBoards, iPads, mobile devices and so forth, the old transparencies and overhead projectors are becoming obsolete.  While embracing new technologies and innovation of new learning platforms, extinction of these adaptive learning resources seems to forecast the demise of skills and art forms that were once rampant throughout the education system.  What resources that you know of, are becoming obsolete?  What skills or art forms do you see fading into the shadows of 21st Century skills?  What does this mean for the skills that are becoming extinct and for those people who are masters of those skills?  Is there an ability you have that is vanishing and what does that mean to you? What does the demise of transparencies and overhead projectors mean?   (Please share your thoughts in the comments section)

Cascading through time, a recent realization captivated my attention and my thoughts.  The pondering of my mind reflected on an art in the educational setting that facilitates imagination, teaches creativity, and  enamored the audience.  Through generations this art has enraged teachers and entertained them.  Knowing too well that their students should not catch on to their hysteria and amusement to this art form, with a quiet laugh and strict flat-toned expression on their faces, teachers have hushed and brushed away their keen excitement and sheer entertainment for this work. We all have done this as teachers.  It is part of being a professional in our fields.

So, what is the object that so delights us with playful fascination, yet enrages our disposition.  It is…shadow puppets.  You know, the shadow puppets children love to make with their hands with the light of the overhead projector shining on the classroom movie screen.  The same shadow puppets that have amused all of us, yet as teachers we don’t let students become aware of our amusement, so we keep straight-faced to keep classroom control.  We hide any sign of entertainment of such acts by our students.

Here are some shadow puppets.  You will find this video delightful and amusing, as I have!

[youtube]YouTube video “Greatest Shadow Puppets Ever” by screen name BigmouthAussie

With implementation of innovative technologies, SmartBoards, iPad, etc. overhead projectors are becoming less needed and are quickly fading away from the classroom environment.  Adoption of new instructional devices and platforms is transforming the learning environment and setting.  This means wonderful new interactive learning experiences for our students, which I love and fully embrace.  However, with this change comes the loss of old adaptive learning devices such as overhead projector.  There are many other tools that are fading into the shadows as well.

Shadow puppets are a child’s playful art form.  They involve imagination, creativity, focus, skill, integration, collaboration, dexterity, and a playful spirit.   Although shadow puppets have been a focus of negativity by many educators, reality is, it is an art that children can learn from.  With the loss of overhead projectors, this means the loss of students’ ability to learn from shadow puppets.  It means the loss of their silly actions…trying to put their hands up high into the screen’s light pathway to make shadow puppets on the classroom movie screen to entertain the other students.  Indeed, this may make many teachers feel relieved to not have to worry about student’s actions and trying to gain classroom control as a result of such actions.  Being transparent though, with the loss of overhead projectors, means the loss of a teachable, interactive and playful art form.

Check out this imaginative video.  This will leave your head spinning with ideas on how you could blend shadow puppets into lessons.  Incorporating 21st Century skills, while creating shadow puppet lessons would be fabulous.  Skills such as video, editing, sound, lighting, graphics, etc. could be integrated while facilitating lessons that teach shadow puppetry.

[youtube]YouTube video”Hand Shadows” by screen name roselouisewood

I can imagine shadow puppets being around for centuries; children creating shadow puppets in the faint candlelight of school houses or in their homes.  Or, I can imagine children doing it through the light of the sun gleaming through the windows.   I can also imagine, once overhead projectors became adopted into the educational setting, children beginning to make shadow puppets in the light of the overhead projector.

As SmartBoards have become the wave of the 21st Century, the loss of shadow puppets is occurring.  I never stopped to think about this until my husband recently had shone a flashlight on the wall of our home and used his hand to make a shadow puppet to entertain our child.  This moment caught my attention and caused me to think.  It was the realization that lead me to write this blog post.

Will shadow puppets be lost forever in the educational setting?  What does this mean to you?  What can we do to integrate shadow puppets into our lessons using flashlights to foster the imagination and skills that this art form teaches?  How can we integrate and teach shadow puppets into our lessons so that it is not lost?  Please share your stories and thoughts…

Here are some resources I found on learning how to integrate and do shadow puppetry.  We could use these in our classrooms to create shadow puppetry puppet plays.

By screen name Jdesign1’s, retrieved from “shadow puppets“

Has this too left you with a sense of nostalgia?  Has it too left you thinking of the wonders and the possibilities?

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