Tony Gurr

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Will PokémonGO ‘Save’ Education – and ELT?

In ELT and ELL, News & Updates (from the CBO), Technology on 14/07/2016 at 7:50 am

 

As you might have guessed from my last (tongue-in-cheek) post, I’ve always had a healthy suspicion about blog posts that seem to jump on the latest bandwagon…or the next ‘big’ thing (esp. when that thing is technology-driven).

Sadly, even EDUcators fall for the pull towards the Dark Side:

Self-promotion (cartoon)

…adopting a Kardashian-esque approach to drawing people to their Social Media sites!

 

As I mentioned, Pokémon GO is taking the world by storm – the new Social Media ‘drug’ that has busynesses asking how they can best leverage it (for profit, of course)…and thousands of kids almost getting killed as they cross the road! 

Pokemon Dogs TG ver 130716

Those lovely chaps at Nintendo and Niantic are busy pushing the game with the very sexy tagline ‘The Game Is Only As Good As The Community’ – and seeing as though the second and last word of that tagline are currently all the GO with many a digital cheerleader in EDUcation, I thought I’d dig a round the web and blogosphere a wee bit and what we are saying about Pokémon GO in EDUcation!

See if I am right to be such a Doubting Thomas…by throwing a few rocks at the Internet!

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Blogger (crap blog)

It was not long before one of my rocks ‘hit’ a website!

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A ready-to-GO lesson plan (a 26-page lesson plan…with 40 exercises) from BREAKING NEWS ENGLISH.com (a website developed and maintained by Sean Banville).

I’d seen a few of Sean’s lessons before – and his site definitely lives up to it’s name! Pokémon GO is ‘big, breaking news’…

Now, I am not sure if Sean is an EDUmarketing genius or whether he just accidentally tripped over one of the greatest ways to keep his site on everyone’s Social Media lips (Facebook mostly) – all the stuff on his site is going to be driven by every single trending hashtag (as soon as he gets it out there)! Excellent – bloody genius!

I can see how many teachers would love this material…indeed there are loads of personal recommendations on his Facebook page. I found myself admiring the sheer amount of work he has churned out and got up on the web (he has a wide range of other sites) – I just have no bloody idea how he finds the time!

The problem is that… he is an Arsenal supporter!

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No, shiriously – I just have a wee problem with seeing pages and pages of gap fill exercises, multiple choice questions, true / false reading items, and cloze tests…that I know (in my cynical, black, shrivelled heart) will just be printed up, blindly photocopied and used to breathe life the ‘twin sins’ we see all too often in ELL and ELT:

TWIN SINS TG ver 130716

To be fair, I would be very pushed to brand Sean as the type of Social Media Whore (SMW) we see on so many busyness sites – he is just doing what he says he does (on the lid)…and hands out materials that TEACHers can (and do) use in their classrooms. Further, he does throw in a good range of semi-communicative activities (I just hope these are not the activities that TEACHers ‘skip’ to ‘get through’ all the other more suitable ‘exam prep-esque’ activities) and he clearly knows his ‘ELT stuff’.

but...

Come on…you had to have seen that coming!

I guess I’d just like to see more evidence of sites like this encouraging teachers to ‘thunk’ or ask themselves bigger questions:

ARE WE DOING WHAT IS BEST notepad 130716

…or helping ELTers get ‘out of the box’ a bit more.

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I threw a few more rocks…

…and found the type of post I had assumed there would be thousands of!

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14 Reasons Why Pokemon GO Is the Future of LEARNing (by David Theriault) drew on just about all my tactics to reach his audience (just gotta find an image of him wearing one of those hats)!

Or, so I though initially (do NOT read the last TWO paragraphs of this post)!

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Come on…what self-respecting EDUdigitalcheerleader is going to ignore this wonderful listicle (OK – a list of ‘14’ is a bit awkward…but you gotta love the way he uses the phrase ‘Future of LEARNing’)!

What? I have done the same…SHUT UP!

Read on…

His post starts with the facts – kids love their Smartphones – and rolls smoothly into a ‘subtle challenge’ (to TEACHers). This he does just before making you feel a wee bit ‘guilty’ (if all you are doing is gap-filling and MCQs) by throwing the cornerstones of modern LEARNing at you: the creativity, sharing, community-building, movement, interactivity and virtual field trips enabled by EDtech Toys!

Many of you will probably cry out…

Hadi Ordan 130716 (1)

…but David’s post has got a lot of praise (and, more importantly, HITS)!

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This is also true of the third post I discovered. Written by Lori Gracey and entitled Pokemon GO: What Education Should Be, I had to have a read of this one, too! After all, Lori got as many HITS as David (I wonder if they compared stats, at all).

Lori does a wonderful job of explaining how much better the Android / iOS app version is over the card game (my 5-year-old daughter used to drag my wife and I to a darkened, underground warehouse to buy these when we were in Dubai…scarier than the drive to Ajman or Ras Al Khaimah for our monthly XXXXX XXX…but that’s another story)!

CARDS to GO TG ver 130716 (1)

She admits that she is not really sure how Pokémon GO will help her meet her ‘vision’ – people coming together to have fun and solve problems – but she has a stab at a few decent suggestions…and it is the start of a pretty good vison!

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The thing is…the ideas both she and David discuss in their posts are really quite ‘nice’ – BUT, even together, just did not convince me that Pokémon GO is the Future of LEARNing:

NEW and SHINY TG ver 130716

It certainly won’t ‘save’ us from many of the EDUwoes we face today!

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That having been said their titles got our attention – and, even though these titles weren’t really the best lid for the tin,  I (for one) LEARNed some new stuff…and they got me THUNKing!

Thats a wrap

I was about to wrap things up when I came across a ‘not-PokemonGO-post’, you know, one of those posts that says it is NOT a XXXXXXXX post – from George Couros.

It was cleverly titled, too – ‘#PokemonGo, Being Observant, and Innovation’ (even had the hashtag embedded in the title…and the ‘gap’ removed – smart move, George)!

George plugged his new book (come on…who ain’t gonna do that?) but (more importantly) ended up making me feel a little guilty, too.

Why…you ask!

Well, I had been ‘bashing’ (albeit a wee bit tongue-in-cheek) people in the draft version of this post – and he reminded me that David (Lori and perhaps even Sean – though he did not mention them specifically) was “paying attention and being observant to our world” (mindful, perhaps)…and that these qualities are critical to innovation.

Thinkers wanted (blog ver 02 TG)

He was right, of course!  Isn’t that the very thing I was so nasty about when I had a go at Sean’s site and materials? Sorry, Sean…

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What we are seeing with the mad rush to get Pokemon GO posts into the blogosphere (I hope) by EDUcators is not thinly-veiled attempts at shameless self-promotion (and ‘HITS’…as my initial free advice suggested) – but rather, in George’s words, they are a few initial ‘iterations’ of how we can make Pokemon GO ‘fit’ the vision we have for EDUcation.

In order to do that, we need to be very explicit about what that vision is – and keep asking questions of the latest BIG thing in EDtech

How does this EDtech TG ver 130716

8…and never forget:

Telling the TRUTH TG ver 130716

T..

3 Evidence-Based Tactics To Increase Traffic To Your Social Media Sites…RIGHT NOW!

In News & Updates (from the CBO), Technology on 13/07/2016 at 7:08 pm

Pokemon Dogs TG ver 130716

Confused? You will be…

 

Pokémon GO is taking the world by storm (or maybe it’s just the stories that are cropping up about the players’ and their little adventures)!

 

This is a bandwagon you cannot miss out on…an opportunity to be ‘liked’, retweeted, poked, ‘favourited’ and even followed!

 

My FREE ‘marketing guru’ advice to you…exclusively for YOU is:

Pokemon Tactics TG ver 130716

OK – perhaps No. 04 should have read “Use a snappy listicle of 3, 5 or 10”! Problem was I could not find my cute little number 4 graphic…

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Pokemon Brand Switich TG ver 130716

The hat idea ‘works’ – just see how many ‘likes’ I got in the first hour!

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8T..

 

When DIGITAL Natives… ‘Sleep’!

In Adult Learners, News & Updates (from the CBO), Technology on 19/03/2014 at 10:39 am

Slide628

I have been working far too hard these past few weeks – and, as we all know;

All work, and no play…makes Tony Hoca a “dull” boy!

Tony Hoca (new avatar)

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This weekend, I did a little webinar for those lovely boys and girls (all girls, actually!) over at The Spring Blog Festival – and talked about my own visual literacy “journey”.

I’m still getting the hang of this “webinar busyness” – time just whizzed by and I had so much fun doing it! And, to boot – I made some new cyber-playmates”

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Slide11

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THANK YOUNellie Hocam, Shelly Hocam and Slyvia Hocam 😉

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Doing that session (at 22:00 on a Sunday nite!) really helped me remember how important it is to thunk about visual literacy – in my bloggery…and my life in general:

Slide3

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…but sometimes that “little boy” can go too far!

Camera…software…editing “time”:

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When digital natives go to sleep (TG ver)

When digital immigrants go to sleep (TG ver)

…on the sofa TONITE, I guess!

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Have a GREAT day!

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What EXACTLY are the “Skills” needed by 21st Century TEACHERS? – The “Robocop” Upgrade…

In Classroom Teaching, ELT and ELL, Quality & Institutional Effectiveness, Technology on 18/02/2014 at 3:24 pm

21C Teacher (Robocop ver) 160214 TG

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I have been heard to say that you can’t throw a rock into the blogosphere these days without hitting a post or article on the 21st Century “something-or-other”.

Love it or hate it – the notion of 21st Century Skills is one of those HOT topics these days – especially in Turkey. Sadly, however, the discussions on EDtech here seem to be dominated by some very strange creatures…you know them as:

21C Digi Cheerleaders

…IDIOTS, mostly!

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The real problem is:

Digi Cheerleading Rabbits

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IDIOTS that are breeding like bloody rabbitson steroids!

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IDIOTS that (still) do not link the 21C concept to real LEARNing – choosing instead to focus on what seems to be both the engine and the fuel of the 21st Century…..

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Don’t get me wrong…I’m not some kind of EDtech luddite who wants to put a stop to the so-called tablet and akıllı tahta dönemi we are currently witnessing in Turkey.

Turkey is my adopted home, I am a “milli enişte” and I am amazingly proud that I helped co-create one of Turkey’s first “digital natives” (and also one of the toughest and most beautiful, too – ask me about the “Türk kızı” who took down men twice her size on the Turkish TV version of “Wipe-Out”).

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I am a “daddy”, too!

A very proud one….

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21C LEARNing FIRST

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But, my business is LEARNing (as if you didn’t know) – not TECHnology. And, I’m interested in how we actually “do” something with all the talk-we-are-talking these days – talk about the new kids on the curriculum block:

  • INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL and CREATIVE THINKING
  • PROBLEM-SOLVING and CREATIVITY
  • COMMUNICATION, COLLABORATION and SHARING
  • COGNITIVE and EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
  • ETHICS, ACTION and ACCOUNTABILITY
  • LEADERSHIP, AGILITY and ENTREPRENEURIALISM
  • CURIOSITY, EXPERIMENTATION and RISK-TAKING
  • SELF-DISCIPLINE, RIGOUR and REFLECTION
…even:
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IMAGINEERING
(a wonderful “skill” that brings many of the above together)… 
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 21C SMARTBoards and DUMBIdeas

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We know here in Turkey (not that different to the rest of the world…really) that we still have major challenges with:

  • ORAL and WRITTEN COMMUNICATION (the 3R’s in TURKISH) – of course!
  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE (the 3R’s in ELL)

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But, the TECH (and the so-called “new digital landscape”) still gets many more column inches and pixels than student LEARNing.

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Our raging debate, a debate that others in the US and Europe have picked up, centres on Turkey’s plans to purchase 15,000,000 tablets over the next few years (as part of the Fatih Project) – and has international and domestic commentators really talking:

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Actually, I’m not sure if we should be talking about the tablets (the PM was today…again and again and again) – we should be discussing the skills the tablets are supposed to be ushering into Turkish schools.

…and, the impact of these skills on TEACHers.

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In an earlier post, I discussed how these 21st Century realities are creating a new set of roles for TEACHers:

However, discussion on how these roles translate into a new evolving set of teacher skillsliteracies and fluencies has been (very) limited – especially, in Turkey.

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Isn’t it time we started to ask some REAL questions:

  • What skills do TEACHers (in Turkey) need as we continue our march into the 21st Century?
  • How many of these skills actually relate to how we deploy and use TECHNOLOGY?
  • How many of them relate to effective LEARNing and TEACHing?
  • What do TEACHers actually think themselves – and what do their LEARNers think?
  • How effectively is TEACHer (and LEARNer) LEARNing being promoted and supported (in Turkey)?
  • What else needs to change to make the 21st Century “wishlist” a reality?

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Hey, maybe we can even start asking some of the most basic questions.

Questions like:

21C TECHnology SECOND

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I’d love to see some fresh ideas and comments. 

If not (and you are a lover of “bedtime reading”) – here’s a little list of some resources on allthings21Cskills:

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Tony’s 21st CENTURY LEARNing Library

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Back to Basics – “QUESTION Basics”, that is!

In Classroom Teaching, Teacher Learning, Technology on 04/11/2013 at 2:45 pm

DNA (LEARNing TEACHer) Blog ver 01

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I’ve been getting a lot of flak recently for doing so much on all that “bloody TECHnology stuff”!

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Come on…not my fault!

I’ve been doing a few programmes / projects of late that are designed to put the TECH into the EDwithout forgetting the LEARNing – especially the TEACHer LEARNing!

Afterall…

Tech Change (Clay Shirky quote) ver 01

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…and, Clay is a guy I choose not to disagree with too much

(unless it’s about hair-styles)!

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Now, the plan (for this current post) was to look at some of the questions that we (as TEACHers) really need to be asking ourselves as we look at ways to “use” (more) EDtech – to enhance what we need to be doing….to help our students do more with the stuff they are supposed to be LEARNing….with us!

Yes, that’s a mouthful…and a half.

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That’s because we need to be doing more than just “DOing” stuff in the classroom…

Thinkers wanted (blog ver 02 TG)

…we need to be THUNKing DOers – in our classrooms!

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What I was going to do (in this post) was look at a few of the questions all TEACHers need to ask BEFORE they jump on the latest band-wagon or hand over their credits cards to one of the many…

Digital Cheerleaders ver 02

…that are out there – lots of whom (sadly) are TEACHers, too!

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You know, questions like:

LEARNing First TECH Laters 01

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This one is even “sexier” (probably because I stole and co-opted it from Clay Christensen):

LEARNing First TECH Laters 02

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Not only the EDtech you “hire” yourself…what the school also hires – for you!

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Why, Tony?

Why do we need to question everything?

I just want to get on with my job…

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Well, because…of what Uncle Clay (the first one) tells us above – but perhaps, more importantly,

NEW and SHINY

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Let’s look at an example (very) close to home (if you live here in canım Türkiyem):

Fatih Project

I am a Turk now – can say what I want about OUR projects!

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Did it work? Is it working? Will it ever work – if we throw more money at it?

Why not?

DUMB things with SMARTboards (Heidi Hayer Jacobs quote) ver 02 TG

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What’s the price-tag?

Taxpayer

Me thunks…someone, somewhere got some ‘splaining to do – to all us tax-payers!

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Questions, questions, questions…are GOOD!

Never let anyone tell you any different…

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If we start asking these types of questions (about allthingsEDtech), others just start bouncing around and out of the old grey matter:

How does this tech 01

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But, heywhy stop at student LEARNing:

How does this tech 02

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…when we can (also) do so much more with our own TEACHer LEARNing!

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Questions, questions, questions…

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…because we all know (especially if you speaks a wee bit of Mandarin):

Questions (Chinese Proverb) ver 02 TG

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Now, that was what I WAS going to say (in this post)…but I won’t – because a few of you are a bit fed up withall that “bloody TECHnology stuff”!

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So, let’s really get back to “basics”:

What is this

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NEXT TIME…söz!

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The Next “BIG THING” in #EDtech…

In Classroom Teaching, ELT and ELL, Teacher Learning, Technology on 14/10/2013 at 12:34 pm

Next Big Thing (Cameron Evans quote) ver 02

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I know, I know…some of you are still recovering from that last post I did.

Not only did it have the longest blog post title ever (there has to a “prize” for that somewhere, yes?) but it had enough links & “bedtime reading” to put you off ever stepping back into the blogosphere!

OR, perhaps, just trapped in the Blog-a-Matrix…..forEVER!

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Sorry (bw)

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On reflection, it might have been better to split it up – you know, into 12 parts or something. That certainly would have made planning my bloggery writing schedule easier for the next few weeks!

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In fact, this is what I am doing now – but I thought I’d begin with the last section of that monster post:

Pt 12

…and see how it goes!

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I’m starting with a “part” on “hardware”…not because I think the “toys” are more important than the “stuff” we do with the toys…but because it’s the hardware that most frequently scares us to death.

It’s always been that way – even since we all started watching those Sci-Fi movies in the 1970’sheck, even way before this…who remembers the re-runs of Flash Gordon – all the way from the 1930’s?

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but...

…it’s not just hi-tech hardware (or robots) that give us the willies!

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Take a look at this lovely video (with thanks to Joan Kang Shin for sharing this at the recent conference hosted by AİBÜ in Bolu)

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See – and we got used to these things (and Norwegian)…just dandy!

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On the list I did, however, I chose to focus on:

Google Glass (TG ver 2013)

Google Glass is just so cool…the coolest!

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I want…I want….I want – now!

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I also wanted to share a few thunks from others that agree with me:

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The downside of an innovation like Google Glass is that it has serious…and I mean really shirious potential to create another major educational disruptiona disruption…the likes of which…not even God has seen!

But, didn’t we also say that about “the book”?

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SergeyYES, you and your crew!

If me and my crew lose our jobs in the next few years (because of your bloody “specs”), you will “giz uz all a job”  yeh?

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The thing was, as soon as finished up that post (ain’t it always the way?), I came across another post – a post suggesting that Google Glass was perhaps not the be-all-and-end-all of EDtech over the next few years.

This post was penned by Hartmut Esslinger (the grand-daddy of allthingsAPPLEDESIGN). Harmut tells us about 4 sexy EDtech trends to keep our eyes on

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…while wearing our Google Glass, of course!

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His list was not exactly full of all the “small things” that Cameron Evans (look back at the very first image) told us about last year. Now, Cam probably wouldn’t be seen dead saying something about Apps (unless they were all MS Apps, that is) – but I guess this is what he was really talking about.

Perhaps, the biggest news of the week (about all these “small things”) was the announcement that Apple has just launched its new iPad Apps for TEACHers section on iTunes – actually, it’s TWO sectionsone for TEACHers and parents on Apps for kids (broken down into age groups and LEARNing activities)…and, the otherstuff TEACHers can use in the classroom

If the massive adoption of the iPad (by everyone and his dog) was the last “big” thing (before we all get our hands on Google Glass) – the Apps are certainly all those small things that could change how we “do LEARNing”.

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Boyz n’ girlz…before I forget:

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??????????????????????

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…to all my Sevgili Hocalarım!

Have a wonderful Bayram – from big, bad İstanbul!

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Everything NO Single Teacher Should EVER Want to Know About EdTech, Digital Literacy and 21st Century LEARNing…

In Classroom Teaching, ELT and ELL, Teacher Learning, Technology on 05/10/2013 at 12:31 pm

EVERYTHING EdTech 01

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Now, some of you may have noticed (from my last 3 posts…and mini-dizi) that I have had my “techie” head on of late. But, I have to admit it is the “TEACHer LEARNing techie head” or (as I like to say…to convince myself, perhaps) my “THUNKing DOer techie head”!

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Those last 3 posts were not just about the “tech” of Twitter – they were more about the capacity of a tool like Twitter to help us TEACHers LEARN, GROW…and get off the planet faster!

A tool is just as good as the purpose to which it is put…nuff said!

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Twitter Blog Post 03 (21C Culture 3C ver)

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However, I have been working on a little project (for a group of ELL/ELT professionals here in canım Türkiye) with my partner in “EdTech crime”Ana Cristina Pratas (our “Desert Rose”, yes the one with a digital footprint bigger than that of a Sasquatch on steroids).

We got to thunking what it would be like if we pooled our favourite online bedtime readings on Edtech, Digital Literacy and 21st Century LEARNing – and looked how we could feed them into the “syllabus” we are co-creating for our little project…

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Easy-peasy…

…you might thunk!

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This is the “result” – yes, probably the longest title of any blog post ever written…ever!

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We have tried to group our favourite bits of digital reading into 12 parts – and included a few posts / articles that would also be useful for those of you “new” to Edtech – or perhaps just looking for ways to continue your journey of becoming a more connected educator. As I noted, the list was developed for practitioners in ELL and ELT – but we have tried to draw on the thunks of a wider range of THINKing EDUcational DOers…across all our EDUsectors.

Thank you (glass image)

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ALL…so much…for caring enough to share!

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Pt 01

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These are some of our fave speakers doing their thing – these ideas have inspired us, made us thunk…and even given us a laugh or 3.

Enjoy!

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P

Pt 02

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These bits of bedtime reading are just in case you need a reminderEdTech is not just HEREit is here to STAY…and it can help all of us do more with what we know, who we are and how we all improve as educators. 

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Pt 03

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I know, I know…a lot of you are sick to the teeth of hearing the phrase 21C LEARNing!

Remember, “a rose by any other name“.

bla, bla, bla!

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There are a lot of thunks to be had by stepping back from the “tech” and thunking over the issues…and terminology (so, check out that last one from Terryreal cats n’ pigeon stuff there).

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Pt 04

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These great posts and articles follow up on many of the issues raised in Part 03 above – they will keep you going for days…weeks….months! 

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Pt 05

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OK – before we really get into the “techie tools”, this little list are those things you can bookmark (and keep coming back to…again and again).

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Pt 06

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Here we tried to give you as wide a range of tools as possible – the writers of these posts spent hours weighing up the best tools around. Of course, no-one (except an idiot, perhaps) would suggest that we need to know all of these inside out – start with the ones that help you solve the very real problems you have…or just do what you do – “better”

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Pt 07 8

Ahhh, and where would any half-decent, curated Edtech list be…without a nod to Social Media. Again, we have tried to give a few introductory bits of reading – but do check out that last one.

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Pt 08

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This list was one of the toughest to “prune” down – the list of tools is (literally) endless! However, we tried to focus on the ones that are either most useful or most used…

…by connected educators.

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Pt 09

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We almost decided against keeping this little section – well, the second part of it at least. But…with so many of our institutions (sadly) doing such a poor job of supporting (real) TEACHer LEARNing, “going DIY” is probably the best route!

Then, use LinkedIn to find yourself a better job!

Did he just say what I thunk he said?

Yep, he did!

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Pt 10

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Now, considering that both my partner in EdTech crime and I both suffer from acute Idiopathic bloggeria, we opted to keep this one short and sweet (but notice I did manage to sneak one of me own posts in there – tricky, tricky)!

Basically, blogging is good for you…and even better for your LEARNers!

See why…

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Pt 11

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Now, I know I have said (in the past):

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Its NOT about (edtech) TG ver 02

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…and emphasised:

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It IS about (edtech) TG ver 02

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I stand by that…still!

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But, especially here in canım Türkiyem these days…more and more of us are being asked to play with our “classroom toys”. It’s pretty silly to have a “toy” and not know how to use it!

The problem is that our dear friends in the primary sector have kinda cornered the market in half-decent web-based ideas and tips for IWBs. We have done our best here – but let us know, if you have found better stuff. 

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Almost there…boyz n’ girlz!

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Pt 12

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Now, I bet you thought I was going to start banging on about the “flipped classroom”…..“MOOCs” perhaps….even “augmented reality”?

No, no, no!

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Google Glass is just so cool…the coolest!

I want…I want….I want – now!

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Besides, it’s my blog and I can write whatever takes my fancybut I might come back to that other stuff later.

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Thats-all-folks

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You know the jingle…yes?

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SergeyYES, you and your crew!

If I lose my job in the next few years (because of your bloody “specs”), you will “gizza job”  yeh?

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Does Twitter Help Teachers LEARN, GROW & “Get Off The Planet Faster”… (Pt 03 of 03)

In Teacher Learning, Technology on 24/09/2013 at 4:00 pm

Twitter Blog Post 13 (Who are the Twitterati)

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Some of you probably thought my use of the term Twitterati in that last post was a bit “cruel”.

I have to admit, it’s true that some definitions, like those at the Urban Dictionary – the ones I just pointed you to towards, look as if they could have been written by teenage geeks that secretly want to join the gang of “cool kids” at their High School (or were simply written by homophobes, perhaps).

There are no real secrets surrounding the Twitterati in any field/sector or interest area – they are dead easy to spot.

Twitter Blog Post 15 (The REAL Twitterati)

BTW – I hate the term “follower” with a passion…just so you know!

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Yes, some tweeps might prize their status in an “elite crowd”, they might have an ego bigger than a bus, and…they might even shed a tear when so-and-so manages to gather more “followers” than those in their own Twibe (go on – you know what this is).

It doesn’t matter really – in EDUcation, I define Twitterati as those who use Twitteractively (or like me, over-actively) – regardless of the motivations for doing so.

The “elite” side of things is still there – this crops up because, as Tom Whitby has pointed out (in the case of the USA), there are so bloody few of us!

Now, you see why I asked the question I asked…

Twitter Blog Post 11 (Twitterati mutual masterbation)

…not just because I am a High School “mean girl”!

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Is it only me that finds it ironic that so many of us promote the use of Twitter…to the so-called “unconnected” or “semi-connected”by posting on Twitter?

But, then again – how do we reach them?

Neyse…

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Tom has calculated (or made a “calculated guess”) that there are only 200 to 300,000 “connected” educators in the US (the ones that would probably have a Twitter account and do loads more on-line stuff). This is from a total population of between 7.2m to 11m EDUcators…across the USA – that’s around 4% or 1.8%, if we use the extremes (read his post to find out why no one “knows” how many American teachers there are).

OMG! That ain’t a lot…ain’t many at all!

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Tom’s post also got me thunking – about how popular EDUtweeting actually is.

Taking my lead from him, I randomly selected 8 of my favourite EDUthunkers (and authors) and also 8 of my favourite “connected” EDUcators (people who have a decent digital presence and leave enough footprints to inspire me…and help me LEARN). In truth, there’s a bit of overlap between the two groups – but let’s not quibble.

As these people mean so much to me in my “second life”, I wondered how many other people might feel the same. Yeah, I had to use “followers”sorry!

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Here’s what I came up with:

Twitter Blog Post 14 (Tonys Tweet Roll)

Kinda frackin’ drops off after “Sir Ken”, don’t it? 

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But, take a closer look…and then…compare those numbers with Justin Beiber or Paris Hilton (above)!

Sorry (bw)

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Lady Gaga puts on a good show…I like the way she pushes the envelope in dancelove her views on “tolerance”! BUT, come on – how can she have 40,167,626 more followers….than Howard Gardner?

The man is an eduGOD!

BUT, then again…look at HIS followers.

Even our dear own RTE has more followers than the big, bearded guy in the sky!

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If these numbers are some / any kind of indication of the amount of thunking we are doing (across the planet…yes, the whole bloody world! ) with regards EDUcation, TEACHing and LEARNing….

…we are sooooooooooo screwed!

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When we think about Tom’s numbers…on connected TEACHers, the same type of worry starts to get to me. Of course, many of these non-TWEACHers (yep, you got it!), could be doing loads of other great professional development stuff (reading those “book-thingies” or doin’ some of that there book LEARNin’, for example) – we just don’t know

In fact, no-one knows for sure how many TEACHers are actually on Twitterespecially…in…

Canım Türkiyem (TG Ver 03)

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I tried to find out…let it never be said that I do not go that extra mile for you all…and got a high-priority, emergency tweet to Dick Costolo (CEO of Twitter) asking him a (very polite) question…

Twitter Blog Post 10 (Tweet for Dick)

 …the buggar ignored me!

Does he not know who “I” am? At all?

 

Actually, way before this…I did do a bit more hard-nosed research.

Just before Summer, I was lucky enough to be invited to be a co-presenter at a series of technologically-themed professional development seminars. These were held over 3 glorious weekends (on the Island of Cyprusthe Northern bit!) and, in total, around 375-400 teachers (from around canım Türkiyem) participated in these 2-day events (and did a lot of dancing, too…a lot)!

As part of my sessions, I did a few quick straw-pollsyou know:

A.   How many of you have a Twitter account?
B.   How many of you use Twitter to develop yourself professionally?
C.    How many of you use Twitter with your students (as part of their learning opportunities)?

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The responses:

Twitter Blog Post 16 (My data)

Didn’t fill me with confidence!

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But, at least…a lot of people who came over to the Island (in Summer) said they would give it a try – many have tweeted me (yeah!)…lots have “friended” me on Facebook (I share a lot there, too).

This is how we reach our semi-connected or unconnected TEACHers…on Cyprus, in the Summer, while dancing!

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We collaborate (face-to-face),

connect (face-to-face) and

care (face-to-face)…too!

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I’m gonna need a “Postscript”

– ain’t I?

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NOTE from the CBO:

If you are interested in following some great EDUcators and TEACHers on Twitter, why not take a look at some of these lists:

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And, give these ones a quick gander, too:

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I’ll be honest, I do not follow all of them – and there’s a couple of them in there that I wouldn’t be seen dead tweeting (or twerking) withthe choice is all yours!

Twitter Blog Post 03 (21C Culture 3C ver)

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P.S: If you have found these last posts useful, why not print them out…”adopt” a non-TWEACHer…take him for coffee and “walk” him through the Twitter process (tell him about your experiences, show him your account & favourite tweets (& tweeps), let him ask his own questions…play around together!)  😉 

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Does Twitter Help Teachers LEARN, GROW & “Get Off The Planet Faster”… (Pt 02 of 03)

In Teacher Learning, Technology on 23/09/2013 at 11:36 am

Now, I know that some of you might have thunked that those questions were a bit “silly“…certainly not the stuff of a serious scientific inquiry into TEACHer LEARNing.

Especially, that last one…Number 04.

I’ll come back to that later, promise!

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The thing is, you see, we need to remember that:

Questions (Joseph O Connor quote) Ver 03

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Question number 01 was prompted by a recent report (sent to me as a Twitter “attachment” no less) – a report that tells us that Twitter is actually making today’s kids (our “dumbest generation” ever, many have suggested – people like Miley Cyrus as you might have seen in the first part of this series) …“smarter”.

Yes, I said “smarter”!

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This report is based on the work of Andrea Lunsford (a professor of writing and rhetoric at Stanford University) – and she suggests that the increase in writing (in terms of both quality and quantity) that her research has uncovered is down to the fact that students are doing more “life writing” (the social, fun variety that blogs and social media sites, like Twitter, encourage).

Now, there might be some academics out there that want to tear down Andrea (you go girl!) – but her work is adding weight to similar, earlier work. The work of Gary Small – work that has been picked up and made more “digestible” by guys like David Weinberger (yes, you can “click” on these little red links…and crawl further down the rabbit-hole)…

…as well as a few of my favourite (paper-based) BEDtime READing over the past few years (you HAVE TO read these books):

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The bottom line is that there is now a tidal wave of thunking (and research) that is showing us that TECHnology (and Twitter) is helping kids and young adultsLEARN faster – and, inşallahbetter.

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I guess the question I was really toying with is…

Twitter Blog Post 09 (Is it the same TEACHers)

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There’s certainly a great deal of interest in helping TEACHers get better at “doing” Twitter – more tips and hints than you could shake a stick at:

 

Then, TEACHers can go “PRO” – with Social Media (non-TEACHing, yani) Gurus:

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Blogger (still ignore you)

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Some of my favourite ELT bloggers have done some excellent posts on the benefits of Twitter for teachersVicky Loras did a great post in her recent “PD in Focus” series. 

However, it does not stop there – Primary Teachers, like Karen Lirenman, have done the same in posts likeUsing Twitter in a Primary Classroom 

Work in the College or H.Ed arenaNo worries – try Suzanne Holloway’sUsing Twitter in the College Classroom“. 

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The SECRET (Expletive)

 

We even have stuff for kindergarten TEACHers

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All great stuffGR8 stuff!

but...

…and some of you (them…) are gonna “hate” me for this!

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Remember what I was saying about the type of 21st Century LEARNing Culture…you know, the one we all need to “live within” to LEARN, GROW…and get off the planet (as quickly as we can):

Twitter Blog Post 03 (21C Culture 3C ver)

It’s a bit more than “pretty graphic” – designed for a pain-in-the-ass friend of mine!

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There’s certainly a lot of LEARNing to be had from these tweets and posts!

The other question here (of course), to borrow Tom Whitby’s lovely turn of phrase

Twitter Blog Post 11 (Twitterati mutual masterbation)

Yani, how many semi-connected or unconnected TEACHers “read” this stuff?

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…and then, we have the matter of my second question:

Twitter Blog Post 12 (FQ #02)

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Does Twitter Help Teachers LEARN, GROW & “Get Off The Planet Faster”… (Pt 01 of 03)

In Teacher Learning, Technology on 23/09/2013 at 5:56 am

Twitter Blog Post 01

A few days back, I re-introduced my “model” of what 21st Century LEARNing Culture might…should look like.

You know, the type of organisational or institutional climate that might…could create the working / learning environments that would allow us all to be the best possible versions of ourselves.

I did the original version around 30 months ago but decided it needed an upgrade…

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I was well-proud of myself…these things take ages to create!

Twitter Blog Post 02 (21C Culture ver 03)

…that was till a dear friend of mine got me some “feedback”!

 

Feedback via Twitter (in three or four DMs, of course)!

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The feedback went something like this:

“I love the way you put your rose-coloured glasses on when you do posts”

BUT

(I knew what was coming)

“…there are just too many ideas there…too many thunks, as you would say – couldn’t you just give us a simple version…a snappier version that we could all remember”!

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He had a point (buggar) and I had a go:

Twitter Blog Post 03 (21C Culture 3C ver)

Not too shabby…if I say so meself!

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Snappy, sexy…and…grounded on the communicative power of the number “3”.

A politician’s wet dream…

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Then, I smelled the coffee!

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Why was I doing this?

Why was I “dumbing” down what I believe in – for an “audience”…of one?

Why was I aggreeing with someone that it is OK to drag our thunking down to the lowest common denomitator…or wordbite?

WHY (joker Face)

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Because, sadly, we live in a world that has become addicted to “solving” its problems in one of four ways:

Twitter Blog Post 04 (the Twitter EGGS)

Sometimes all four at once!

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…and the little Twitter bird tells us this is OK.

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Not just “OK” but a prerequisite…if you want to be “liked” or “followed”…

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Time for a RANT

Oh, deary-me…me-oh-my

is Tony getting ready for a rant, acaba?

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Nooooooo – when have you ever heard me “rant”?

This post has been in the pipeline for a while – I wanted to look at how we (as TEACHers) are using Twitter to help us LEARNADAPT to the rapidly changing eco-systems that we live in…and use the tools that these systems are giving us.

Oh, yes….and share a few useful links!

The rant (that never was) was an after-thunk…I might come back to it later.

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Twitter (bird announce)

Those of you that know me and connect over twitter, know that I share….big time! Twitter has become my main vehicle for sharing things I stumble across…I am interested in…I am sent.

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I read a LOT.

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I signed up for Twitter in February 2011like most men, I was a late developer.

I wanted to use my Twitter account to share good stuff on LEARNing, EDUcation and TRAINing – and 99.99% of my tweets are about these things (the rest are about my dog….Dexter and my favourite “guilty pleasure”….Dexter)!

Since that time, I have clocked up around 11,400 tweets95% of which carry a bit of “bedtime reading” – a link to a blog post, an article or report, or an infographic….even a video or podcast (from time to time).

Twitter Blog Post 05 (Tonys stats)

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HELLO! My name’s Tony and I’m a tweep!

HELLO, Tony!

Well, I haven’t tweeted for 2 hours, 37 minutes and…

DAMN! …fell off the wagon, again!’

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That’s around 1.6m characters (each tweet allows you 140 of those) I have thrown into the tweetiverse (you can guess this word, yes? I’ll be doing this a lot in this mini-series).

Trust me – I am not the “worst”…there are many other tweeps out there far worse than I (and not just Miley Cyrus…and all the parental tweeps she upset recently with her “twerkingnot tweeting)!

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BUT, and…as I saidI read a LOT!

Because of my love of “BEDtime READing” and my talent for wishing to inflict it on others – that means that there are, approximately, another 11 to 13 million words I have communicated to my other tweeps…through the tweets I have sent over the past 30 months!

Twitter Blog Post 08 (Total Novels)

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Now, on the whole – my bouts of tweetery have been greeted “warmly“. Many of them are RT’ed (retweeted)…a lot of them are “favourited” (I’m guessing to be saved for laters…as we TEACHers are often in a class when the little twitter ringtone kicks in).

Every now and again I get a lovely little tweet or DM (direct message) saying something like:

Twitter Blog Post 06 (Yasemins comment)

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Yasemin’s comment, BTW, could be roughly translated as “These links are sick“! (“sick” in teenage-speak, yani…meaning “so cool”)! OK – so she actually said “I am sick about these links of yours”! – but that does not translate as well…

Just so you know!

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But, what got me thunking…was whether I had done the LEARNing that 13 million words (of READing) seemed to suggest. Whether my tweeps had also done the same amount of LEARNingor (even) READing…as I had done.

Maybe, they had done even more!

And, perhaps more importantly…how had we used that LEARNing for ourselves – and to add value to our classroom practice and LEARNers.

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I realised I needed to do some research….#crowdsourcing even!

Twitter Blog Post 07 (Crowdsourcing FQs)

How would YOU answer these questions?

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