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Do Now

What is the value of social media on your professional learning?


We all know the educational landscape is shifting quickly. According to the NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition:

“Teachers are increasingly expected to be adept at a variety of technology-based and other approaches for content delivery, learner support, and assessment; to collaborate with other teachers both inside and outside their schools; to routinely use digital strategies in their work with students; to act as guides and mentors to promote student-centered learning; and to organize their own work and comply with administrative documentation and reporting requirements.” (p. 6)

While millennial students demand new tools and new pedagogies in line with the changing world around them, Will Richardson, author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, suggests that before we jump into learning these new tools, we need to be selfish about taking the time to discover the transformative potential of these tools in our own lives. To this end, we think it is critical for us to take time to think about the ways social media tools can impact our own professional learning before we start thinking about the ways these same social media tools change our learning environments.

Before we attempt to bring these technologies to your students, lets be selfish about their use in our own learning practice. While there is no doubt that many classes are profoundly changed by integrating social media, it is the transformation of our own personal learning practice that ultimately best informs our classroom practice. Once we understand how these technologies can facilitate sharing, conversation and the development of learning networks around our own interests, we will better be able to see what is needed to change in our curriculum and teaching.

Some questions to get us started:

  • What did your professional learning look like 6 years ago, and how has it changed?
  • What are the best resources you have found? How have they impacted your teaching and learning?
  • What gaps or challenges do you feel exist between your current learning environment and your aspirational learning environment?
  • What is your preferred learning style? How do you adapt your learning style to networked learning?


TEDxKC video Michael Wesch – From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-Able
Today a new medium of communication emerges every time somebody creates a new web application. Yet these developments are not without disruption and peril. Familiar long-standing institutions, organizations and traditions disappear or transform beyond recognition. And while new media bring with them new possibilities for openness, transparency, engagement and participation, they also bring new possibilities for surveillance, manipulation, distraction and control. Critical thinking, the old mainstay of higher education, is no longer enough to prepare our youth for this world. We must create learning environments that inspire a way of being-in-the-world in which they can harness and leverage this new media environment as well as recognize and actively examine, question and even re-create the (increasingly digital) structures that shape our world.

You can respond to this Do Now using Twitter, G+, Instagram, or Vine. Be sure to include #TeachDoNow in your response.

Follow us on Twitter at @KQEDedspace and join our Google+ Community. For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

We encourage participants to reply to other people’s tweets and posts to foster more of a conversation. We also value community generated media that can be linked to tweets or posts. You can visit our video tutorials that showcase how to use several web-based production tools. 

Click here to go back to the #TeachDoNow course

More Resources

Steven Johnson TED video Where good ideas come from
People often credit their ideas to individual “Eureka!” moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the “liquid networks” of London’s coffee houses to Charles Darwin’s long, slow hunch to today’s high-velocity web.

Henry Jenkins white paper Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Educuation for the 21st Century
Educators today confront an ever-shifting landscape when it comes to Internet technologies and their potential for expanding participatory cultures. Henry Jenkins, director of the Comparative Media Studies department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explores new frameworks for literacy through the lens of participatory culture. How can educators best understand the impact that Internet technologies are having on today’s youth and use that understanding to inform their teaching practices?

#TeachDoNow Webinar Episode 1: Strategies for Accessing Professional Learning Online 
Special guests Tina Barseghian (@MindShiftKQED), Vicki Davis (@CoolCatTeacher), Sheryl Nussbaum Beach (@snbeach), and Larry Ferlazzo (@LarryFerlazzo) discuss strategies for meeting your own professional learning goals. 

#TeachDoNow Tagboard
Our #TeachDoNow tagboard aggregates all of the tagged posts from Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, and Vine into a single feed. With the ability to respond to tweets and posts right from the board, it’s a great place to be able to follow the whole discussion.

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