Tag Archives: Twitter

Blogs and Connected Educators

The more I reflect on my role in my school, the more I learn there is more to learn.
In the past 4 years I have made an intentional effort to glean from – via blogs and twitter – educators and administrators who offer ideas, successes, and failures.
This is the first ‘re-blog’ I have done on eduglean. I have read Tom’s posts for a long time and his words here are concise and composed. His argument for educators blogging is right on. So, Tom, thank-you for your post – I appreciate your thoughts.

My Island View

A Weblog, or a Blog, as it has become to be known, is a form of writing that entered the scene with the advent of the Internet and personal publishing. It could be described as a digital magazine feature article or a digital news article depending on the content. What makes it unique however is that it is personally published without needing permission from anyone except the author. The author becomes the publisher and determines what will be posted, which is the digital term for being published. The authors of blogs are Bloggers.

Now that we have established what a blog is, what does any of this have to do with Connected Educators? Blogs are having a profound effect on Journalism most specifically, and other industries in general. Blogs are becoming more than just a tool for information. By being able to comment in real-time about a post, the readers…

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…apologetics canada conference…

Like any growing muscle, pain equals gain.  In other words, muscles worked to the edge experience growth.

In that flavour, this past weekend Heritage enjoyed taking 25 high schoolers to grow their minds & hearts.  They listened to world-class speakers at the annual Apologetics Canada Conference in Abbotsford.

Our crew with Dr. William Lane Craig

Our crew with Dr. William Lane Craig

Check out our school’s Facebook page for photos of our group with Dr. William Lane Craig!  In addition to building Christian community based on a vibrant life of the mind, staff and students had a blast together playing games on the bus ride down, engaging in lively conversation, and having a board game marathon until pretty pretty late on Friday night.

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…pre-take-a-ways from #21stedu…part 1…

After having spent three awesome days at the Vancouver Symposium for 21st Century Christian Education, I know I need to put my thoughts & take-a-ways into digi-type before they fully evaporate.  (Click here for resources & videos from the past two year’s symposium.)

I cannot recall the last time I was with a group of educators as focussed and committed to Christian Education as this – humble wisdom, genuine experience, zealous passion, and innovative vision for the future.  It is because of the following layers why I describe this symposium as rich:

  • Christ:  It was so refreshing and renewing being able to invest so deeply in our Christ-centred vocations.
  • Content:  To reach this next generation I believe Christian Discipleship in a 21st Century context must embrace the infusion of keen, passionate and engaging role models with the current digital-currency our world is consuming.
  • Collaboration:  Again this year I have many new leaders to follow on Twitter and to glean from in blogs.  I have come away with many new colleagues & friends to follow-up with this next year.  Many of my conversations ended with, “To Be Continued…”.  Also, there were so many eduglean moments – peers helping peers, learners sharing with other learners, networkers growing their circles – as though everyone came to share a gift or encouragement or new idea.
At the same time, I also described this symposium as bitter-sweet.  I did so because the sweet is obvious for the reasons stated above.  The bitter part began creeping into my mind at the start of Day 3 and came full-force in the final 20 minutes of the symposium – for all our talk of a Manifesto (wiki), we didn’t make many tangible strides to look at that document during our three days.  It felt to me like an after-thought, like lip-service, like window-dressing.  I don’t mean to sound critical, although, one of the most powerful quotes I’ve heard on this topic was this:
“The only think that leads to improvement is strong critique.”
Please read my thoughts here (from a previous post) for a possible issue regarding the Manifesto project.
At the end of the day, it is my hope that great strides are taken this working-year on our growing-organic-wiki-document before we all meet together again next year.  I for one am very eager and excited to begin to help shape this idea.

Thank-you, Barend Blom (@blominator) and Pippa Davies (@pippadavies) for your symposium take-a-ways.  In my next few posts I will share my key take-a-ways from this Symposium for 21st Century Christian Education.

…#21stedu…year 2 of 3…

I drove in late last night with Steve Cox, my better half in the office at Heritage.  We chatted the whole drive – just us, the heavy rain, and two mobiles charging & blasting 3G most of the 4 hour trip. Driving late…but worth being here for year two of Symposium.

We were in bed well after 1a.m. – far too late for this Daddy of two young girls.  Yet, this a.m. I was up with gusto at 5:30…just waiting for the day…waiting for the next three days…waiting to update this resource – an organic GoogleDoc inviting this:

  1. A Christian Teacher Network – #XNED
  2. A Book List for #21stedu
  3. A Moblie App List for #21stedu

Gearing up for Symposium this past week and being up early this am makes me think of the goals I have for the next three days.  Having just finished a re-read of The 7 Habits, I am seeing Habits 1-2-3 (Be Proactive, Begin With The End in Mind, Put First Things First) in action daily.  Building these goals on the front-end will hopefully help see them come to realization on the back-end.

So, as I see them right now, here are a few goals for the next three weeks…that will continue to be worked out over the next year:

  1. To continue to network with fellow #xned teachers/admin/thinkers – in person, new people to follow on Twitter, and new blogs to begin following
  2. To glean as many new people, books, and apps on this GoogleDoc – my PLN for the next year
  3. Last but not least, to begin shaping my own answer to the question, “What is the role of the Christian School, and specifically, Heritage Christian School, in the lives of families & students in our community?”

What are your goals for #21stedu?

Edit at the end of Day 2: To quote Pippa Davies on the dialogue & info shared today, “My head hurts…in a good way!”

…it’s nice to meet you – face to face…

I am still glowing from a one-day Pro-D experience a few weeks ago.  It took my passion for technology enhanced, digi-infused, discipleship-based teaching to a whole new level.  Quoting the Blog of Dave Shortreed @Mr_Shortreed, one of the day’s presenters,

Two key questions helped guide my planning for this ProD:

1. What is the goal of Professional Development?
2. What are teachers expectations for ProD?

Two good questions indeed.  Imagine 250 people passionate about actively shaping the next generation of leaders…all encouraged to bring a mobile device to glean as much from the day as possible.  This was exciting: a paperless conference, a wiki, an active twitter back channel, and educators beginning and developing face-to-face relationships that will be enhanced and continued online.

I have been using Twitter as my digi-connection point for Pro-D and networking with teachers and administrators.  The past 11 months has been an up and down journey, but I now, 11 months later, feel like I have a handle on how to best leverage Twitter for my goals.  Once of its greatest strengths is its ability to allow people to stay in touch and to track and keep a handle on what others are in to – aka what they are tweeting.  One of my favourite things to do is to either meet face-to-face someone I actively follow on Twitter, or to start following someone I have just made a connection with in person.  Twitter is my Eduglean – it let’s me connect with and learn from those I choose.

Twitter 6x6

During this event, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting people, or introducing two people who didn’t yet know each other but shared the same interests, or networking our staff with those from other schools.  This is one of the necessary bi-products of a one-day conference: there is no real-time to follow-up.  Email, Skype, Twitter, Blogs, and yes, the phone are all ways people could continue the connections made.

As I reflect, the most exciting aspect of my day were the number of conversations that finished with, TBC.  So, perhaps ‘finished’ is the wrong word…and so is ‘ended’.  Perhaps ‘paused’ is the best.  Many, many of my conversations ‘paused’ with To Be Continued…on Twitter, or on Skype, or on Email, until the next time we are together.  That is when we will give a live face-to-face update on what has been happening in the space between tweets, emails, and Skype calls.

As a quick shout out – these are the new people from this conference that I have met that I am excited to keep in contact with: Stuart Morris, Dean Weiss, Ryan Morrow, and Grant Wardle.