Tony Gurr

Posts Tagged ‘social media’

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..

 

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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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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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Curating the #!%@ outta the Internet!

In Teacher Training, Technology on 26/06/2012 at 3:08 pm

As a “younger” teacher – and later as a teacher trainer (or teacher educator – to posh it up a bit) – I always hated the phrase “Content is KING”!

Why? I hear you ask…

Well, as teachers we TEACH “students”…we should not be just TEACHing “stuff” (or worse “subjects”). We should, I always believed, be all about helping to LEARN students how to LEARN “stuff” themselves…so they keep on LEARNing even after they “graduate” (or just move on to another phase of their own lifelong LEARNing “career”)!

I always wanted to hear people say “the LEARNER is KING” (or “QUEEN” – or whatever)! Hardly anyone ever said that (back in the day)…and there was many a “crusty TEACHer” who actively opposed this type of thinking (the kind of educators that Pink Floyd told us all about)!

Simple really!

 

Problem is…it seems Bill Gates was right (all the way back in 1996) when he “coined the phrase”…hate that guy (and Google…for helping him out)!

It would appear that I have lost the battle…on the internet (NOT, I maintain, in the classroom)…the web, the tweetiverse, the blogosphere…is today the place where CONTENT has been well and truly crowned KING…

And, it would seem that the new KING-MAKERS are all those lovely “curators” out there.

 

Now, if you are anything like me…a “Gen-X-Dinosaur”…a curator probably looks a little like this to you:

 

BUT – not so!

Curation is HOT, HOT, HOT these days…some say it is already changing the way the web “does business”…and the way we LEARN!

I guess I need to upgrade my mental image of a typical curator:

Yes, I still had an image (from one of my more recent posts) I wanted to use! 

 

Now, I could spend hundreds and thousands of words explaining what curation is all about – but we all know:

 

and a video is even cooler, so CLICK HERE for one of the best vid-planations of what exactly curation is (there’s also some links to some of the “curation superstars” out there).

Now, if you also want to do a bit of “bedtime reading” too, you can also check out these curation sites – on curation itself:

 

Actually, I first got interested in curation because I noticed that some “buggar” had raided me blog – and, I thought at the time, “nicked” me “stuff” (this does happen a lot BTW…still). In fact, the title of Pascal’s site sort of shocked me when I discovered that he had “grabbed” some of my stuff (but he always gives credit where credit is due). 

He is, shall we say, – a “curation machine” (who sleeps less than I do). But, he has an amazing range of interests and LEARNs me so much. 

 

The next big “curation find” I had was this one – packed with great stuff that really made me thunk…and LEARN (again, Maria does not seem to sleep much – or has an “army” of clones):

 

Obviously, you can see that I am talking a great deal about my own LEARNing – with sites like these. And, I have to admit that while I really did not like the idea of content curation (I still place a premium on “creating” – rather than just “collecting”), it dawned on me that many of us have been doing curation for bloody yearswe just didn’t know it!

A good friend of mine (an American) pointed out that curation was a bit like making a “mix-tape” for a girl you really want to “hook up with” (now, you see why his nationality was important – no self-respecting Brit would be seen dead using those words) – by picking all the best songs you can so as to improve your chances of getting to one of those “bases” Americans talk so much about.

In other words, curation is about using a “mash-up” approach (another American phrase – but I do watch “Glee” from time-to-time) to LEARNing – something we EDUcators have been doing for years with our LEARNers and our own CPD.

And, if we play by the rules of the game (no plagiarism or “nicking” stuff, yanı) – it is all cool!

 

You know the name of the blog…and a lot of the stuff I enjoy discussing and sharing is about EDUcation, LEARNing and TEACHing. So, I thought it might be good for me to share a few of my favourite EDUcuration sites…for those of you that might want to explore a bit more on your own.

So, here we go!

 

Although widely-known as a “blog”, this site has been one of my favourite curation sites for some time – and not just because of the sexy title Ian Jukes gave the site (there is a really good story behind this storyCLICK HERE to find out more):

 

Some of my other fave EDUcuration sites are:

 

There are MORE:


As you might have noticed, I have used a lot of sites from:

…probably because it is such a great resource for curators themselves – and is such an easy platform to get started with. To see a great little video on how Scoop-it works – CLICK HERE!

Then, if you fancy it – sign up HERE! It’s that simple…

 

So far, I ain’t said much about or recommended anything about “visual curation”, such as:

I also have a couple of favourite sites here, too:

If you are interested in what Pinterest is all about, CLICK HERE for a great interview with Ben Silbermann, the founder of this great visual curation tool.

 

Oh, yes – almost forgot! There’s also a “new kid” on the block – a form of “Pinterest for EDUcation” (just for us)and yes, I do love the name of the site…

Check it out!

 

OK – it does seem that I have “lost” the battle:

…but, as I have tried to point out, curation and all these lovely curators have LEARNed me a great deal over the months. We need to remember, however, it is what we “do” with what we LEARN is the “key”…and that’s why I am sticking with me very first image (at the start of the post)!

 

As ever, we do need to heed a word of warning with allthingscuration – but I think that last word should be left to George Parker:

DIY Professional Development

In ELT and ELL, Quality & Institutional Effectiveness, Teacher Training on 23/03/2012 at 12:40 pm

In Glasgow yesterday (you might have heard that there’s a wee shindig there this week) there was a lot of talk about teacher professional development.

We had Richard Gresswell telling everyone about how social media is simply one of the best forms of CPD. I have to admit he’s right – I drew the “short straw” and ended up having to sit out Glasgow 2012 to “look after the shop” here in Turkey.

Twitter to the rescue – aided and assisted by the thumbs of Jemma Gardner, who sends us so many tweets that I’m amazed she can pick up so much from the sessions she’s sitting in on. Thx Jemma!

I heard Michael Swan was also rumoured to say (finally) that “too much grammar can be damaging” (and is not very “sexy”, anyways). He recommends that all us teachers do more PD and get “better” at it (rather than simply “doing more” of it).

Totally agree – but wonder if he would be saying these things if “Practical English Usage” or “How English Works” were coming out this month?

There was a lot of chatter about “reflective practice” – with Scott Thornbury telling everyone that it is the most important thing any teacher can do and Josh Round doing a session on putting the “C” and “P” back into CPD. Good lad that Josh!

God, I love twitter and internet access – almost as if I was there!

 

But, I’m going to jump back and focus in on Richard Gresswell’s session in this post (mostly because I also have online access to his PPT and session PDF) – as I got so many tweets on what he was saying.

To be totally honest, Richard was doing a bit of “plug” for the British Council’s “new” CPD Portal – nothing wrong with that (it has some very good stuff)! He also introduced conference participants to the BC’s CPD Frameworka 6-level descriptive model of how teachers “evolve” over their careers:

He also outlined a 4-stage “model” of possible “best practice” CPD opportunities for teachers across the 6 levels:

OK – it did remind me a bit of the US Homeland Security “Threat Levels” – just watch those Level 6 “Terrorists” out there in their “PD bunkers”… – but it was good to see the thinking behind it. Thinking that many schools, colleges and universities just do not seem to do – but let’s come back to this later!

 

Richard also touched on issues such as:

  • What exactly is CPD?
  • Why is CPD so important?
  • Why do so many institutions simply not do enough CPD?

Ahhh, you know me so well…the 3rd of these really caught my attention (check out his PPT above for more detail on the other questions)!

His response to the last of the three questions was really “tagged on” right at the end of the session (wish he had said more – but this actually gave me something to “add” and blog about) – and he noted that CPD frequently does not happen because of MONEY, TIME, DIFFICULTY and CULTURE (internal and external).

To be sure – these things are important. However, they can be overcome when institutions truly value PD (even better, CPD).

The real problem is that all but very few schools, colleges and universities walk their talk  when they say “we put teachers first – they are our most important asset” (every single one of them “says” this). Sadly, many of them still pay “lip-service” to the idea that we have to invest in our teachers. They just don’t seem to get that making broad “motherhood statements” about what you say you believe is not the same as actually believing it – and doing something about it!

Yes, CPD takes time to get rightCPD is difficult…and costs money.

Duh!

 

The teachers of any educational institution are the most critical players in the LEARNing of students and also in student SUCCESS. If institutions were really all about student LEARNing and SUCCESS, they would put both students and teachers at the heart of their decision-making (and budget planning).

Schools (colleges and universities, too) need to GET REAL!

They need to move from “lip-service” to meaningful service – they need to get to know what their teachers need, they need to start providing real opportunities that support the professional learning of their teachers and they need to create the conditions that allow teachers to actively engage in those learning opportunities.

 

Instead of this we still frequently see so-called “PD Strategies” that are based on:

  • Abdication of responsibility for teacher LEARNing to publishing houses (especially in disciplines that are viewed as “cash cows” for textbook producers)
  • One-off (and hit-and-miss) “events” that are frequently viewed as a “waste of time” by teachers themselves
  • “Flavour-of-the-month projects” that by their very nature do little to promote real teacher LEARNing, distract from longer-term, meaningful projects and (to add insult to injury) add to the workload of teachers

What the British Council have done (and Richard outlined in his IATEFL presentation) is a great start. Indeed, and to borrow Josh’s words, it really starts to put the “P” back into CPD – “professional” (Josh’s “P” was actually for “personalized”).

Now, we have to look at getting the “C” in there – “continuous”.

We need to do more!

 

If school and college leaders (really, really) want to get serious about teacher LEARNing – they have to get “informed” about what teachers need:

Teachers do NOT need:

More stand-and-deliver, one-shot workshops that are plucked from an “off-the-shelf” folder of laugh-and-giggle “recipes” and have little relevance to how teachers do business in the classroom!

Teachers need:

  • to be involved in diagnosing and formulating their own LEARNing needs
  • to participate in setting their own LEARNing and professional development goals
  • to be involved in the planning their own LEARNing opportunities
  • to be in control of choosing and implementing appropriate LEARNing strategies
  • to be encouraged to identify meaningful LEARNing resources / materials
  • to be seen as “proactive LEARNers” (rather than “reactive trainees”)
  • to feel that their experience and backgrounds are valued – and that they are respected as a “whole person”
  • to LEARN in a “warm, friendly and informal climate” that provides for flexibility in the LEARNing process
  • guidance and support that maintains their motivation to LEARN and keeps them actively involved in their own LEARNing  
  • to know why they should bother to LEARN something
  • opportunities to solve real-life (and school-based) problems (not be spoon-fed training content)
  • opportunities to discover, critique and create
  • to LEARN-by-doing and engage in active experimentation (and reflection on mistakes and failures)
  • “just-in-time” professional development (not the “just-in-case” variety)
  • training support that is task-oriented and contextualised (rather than the “same-old, same-old” workshops)
  • peer support and group-based activities, as well as individual attention from “trainers” or “mentors” 
  • to know that their needs form the basis of any PD programme and that self-direction is the core principle of these programmes
  • to share responsibility for and take ownership of monitoring the progress of the LEARNing experience
  • to be involved in evaluating LEARNing outcomes and measuring their success
  • to experience a sense of progress towards their goals – and a sense of real LEARNing and growth as professionals

Dream much, Tony? 

 

Come on – it’s a set of thunks…a start! But, there’s also the option of doing it for ourselves – till then!

 

As a “stop-gap” – I would like to offer a 12-step plan for teachers that might want to thunk a wee bit more about “taking back” control of their own PD.

… a DIY-plan for doing our own Professional Development: 

STEP 1 – Read, learn and discuss more about “professional development” and the things educators are talking about – and what they “mean” for your LEARNers and your LEARNing-and-TEACHing context!

STEP 2 – Be the change you want to see in education! (nuff said – who is going to disagree with Gandhi)!

STEP 3 – Begin with the end in mind (Go on – click on it – dare you)!

STEP 4 – Just do it!

STEP 5 – Start small, begin slowly and focus on doing a few things “differently” and “well” (Rome was not built in a day…)!

STEP 6 – Know that for real improvement in LEARNing and TEACHing, we need to build in a “curriculum perspective” into our planning (what do they say – “a lack of planning is almost as bad as planning to fail”)!

STEP 7 – Remember that for real change in LEARNing and TEACHing, we need to build in an “assessment perspective” into our planning (after all, we all know that if it ain’t “tested”, it don’t get done)!

STEP 8 – Use technology – and, network, network, network (it’s never been easier)! But always remember LEARNing is not about the hardware, the software, or the webware…it’s the “headware”, dummy!

STEP 9 – Review, evaluate and upgrade – Microsoft does not still “control” the world because it always gets-it-right-first-time (actually, it hardly ever does), it does well because it learns from our frustrations and pumps out upgrades faster than you can say “where’s my credit card”!

STEP 10 – Remember “best practice” is seldom ever enough – it is, more often than not, about somebody else’s solution to somebody else’s problem. Surely, it’s better to heed what Covey tells us about the “end” and “bearing it in mind” – and look for “Next Practice” for ourselves!

STEP 11 – Know thy learners, their needs and their current “headware” (you never know – you may not have to “teach” as much as you thought)!

STEP 12 – Damn! Why can you never think of a 12th Step – when you need one! Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference

 

Tom Peters once said that the ultimate aim of any leader was to “create an awesome place to work” – he also said a “key” to this was to “train, train, train”!

Smart guy, that Peters bloke! I wonder how many of our educational leaders might want to read more of what he says…and “do” something about it?

 

POSTSCRIPT

This post, so I am told by those lovely happiness engineers at WordPress is NUMBER

That’s a lot of words – thank you ALL for taking the time to drop in and have a read!