My county is sending a team of educators to Alan November’s Building Learning Communities 09 conference next week in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The team consists of administrators, Instructional Coaches, Classroom Teachers, Gifted Resource Teachers and Media Center Specialists. We’ve met twice now to talk about how to open our experience to our folks back home.
This week, most of us are involved in the Edustat conference. We have people from all over the US AND some from India here. Most have been amazed we have Twitter open in our district–and that we have assigned Tweeters and bloggers for the conference. Many have expressed astonishment that they can get to social networking sites that are blocked in their district.
I read the title of this blog on Twitter last week and it floored me. . . it’s so simple, so true, but not recognized by IT folks in many school systems. I’m just glad our “people in charge” believe in teachers learning this stuff as well. We have been encouraged to tweet. We have been recruited to both blog and tweet about our experiences at Edustat. Some of us, including our Sup’t, have been able to invite people we tweet with to the conference. MANY of our administrators are now on Twitter, and at least 20-30 people from our county have joined Twitter (or become more active) in the past few days, due to our Sup’t raving about her use. The hashtag “edustat” has been extremely active on Twitter!
We have had people from as far away as Australia watching our live streams, and that has blown our IT guys away. We’ve had people who are not here adding to the #edustat stream with info they are seeing and thoughts they are having. It’s truly been an eye-opening experience for many of our administrators because they had no clue a social networking site could be this helpful or educational. Our administrators are now talking about cell phones in school (after learning about polleverywhere.com). They’re talking backchannels and how to get tweetdeck on their machines. Our instructional coaches have jumped into tweeting. People are using twitter to find each other here.
while in many school systems, the filters keep out teachers. . .
in Albemarle County
our leaders open filters
teach the adults
what the kids (in many cases) already know.
A wordle made from the tweets on day 2 of Edustat 09.