Tuesday, November 13, 2012

21ThingsBCK Thing 4 Reflection: Communication Tools

Communication is so important in the classroom.  Skype provides a great way to bring in experts to talk to my students even when they can’t take off a day to visit.  The first thing I would like to do is schedule some alumni to speak with my current seniors about what college is like and what our seniors should consider before starting their first classes in the fall after graduating.

I have enjoyed backchanneling at a couple of educational conferences this summer. It was nice to read what others were thinking as we listened to the same speaker. The backchanneling gave me ideas of how to use the new things that I was learning and helped me to connect with other educators who were thinking the same way I was. On twitter I follow several different math teachers, guidance counselors, and science teachers. I like to use my “favorites” on twitter as new entries into my diigo so I can remember the pithy things that professionals say.

As I consider how to best use skype and twitter, teaching students to use these resources in a way that they will be proud of if a future college admissions officer, future employer, or a grandparent were to read or see their interactions is key. I would really like to have a human resources person give a presentation to my students about the best uses of social media communication tools because my students don’t understand that what they post now could be used for or against them when they apply to college or to a new job. Using twitter would be an excellent teaching tool because it gives students that are afraid to talk an avenue to speak up through the typewritten word. Using skype would allow me to engage students with a experts in different areas and I could potentially meet with a group of students to go over questions on a homework assignment outside of a school day.  

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