On October 10, 2013 I received an email, "Coach Davis, You have been selected as the Key Communicator for
Douglass Elementary. I will forward more information as it becomes
available. Thanks!! So now I am wondering, what this is going to entail? Well I got my answer, four days later I received this email, "Dear Key Communicator: Attached is the invitation for the upcoming workshop this Friday, October 18th".
The objective of the Key Communicator workshop was to have a designated person on the campus responsible for gathering and telling the good news of the great things going on in the classroom. This is coming in the wake of the negative waves that have swept over the district recently.
I and other communicators from campuses around the district were briefed on our roles and responsibilities. We were shown how to fill out and use News Release forms that can be sent to the media. Tim Holt (Director of Instructional Technology) gave information on how to increase the campus presence on the web and social media, even how to get your campus news on TV or in the El Paso Times.
There are several ways to get started, telling your story. One, is to publish a classroom newsletter, or publish a grade level newsletter written by you or one that is student driven and circulate that amongst the grade level(s). You can send it home also (the down side is that newsletters are one direction do not allow for two way communication).
Using a blog would allow for greater feed back. A blog is a website organized around short writings called "posts". They can be compared to journals or "logs". Within these blogs one can have links to other websites or blogs of interest. Blogs are excellent ways to get your students writing more, with you at the forefront, setting the example.
Setting up your blog as an addition to your webpage is very easy to do especially with the website construction application from Weebly.com (See Clay White for advice). Douglass teachers you could also log on to the website and investigate the link for Blogger.com if you want to blog independently.
I will be posting to this site on a regular basis about ideas, best practices, and interesting workshops, and my own thoughts.
You can subscribe to this site easily. What that will do is send you an email when a new post has been added to my blog, just below this posted blog is the link to subscribe. Log in and follow the simple instructions.
Blogging is one of the many ways we as educators on this campus can get the good news out about the great things that are going on here on our campus. Step up to the plate and lets start knocking them out of the park.
Please take the time to comment in the section just below the last paragraph.
Have a great day in every way! Go Dragons!!
You can contact me via email (email@example.com) or FaceBook or Twitter (Dragoncoach1)
Why did it take me so long to understand the most powerful learning tool, Twitter? After all, I have been sprinkling my love and excitement for teaching, technology, and learning, with a smile for as long as I can remember. What I need to remember is, there was nothing wrong with what I was doing. What I see now is, I was only sharing with the people that see me face to face or get my emails. They are the people I trust and work with. I know that I have only debated and had conversations with groups of educators that will still like me tomorrow, if I don't agree with them.
I feel that it is important to let you know that I have had a Twitter account since 2011. I would only use Twitter when I attended a conference, like TCEA to tweet what I was learning. I didn't add to my PLN by collecting people to follow. When I would return home, I felt like I was tweeting myself and no one could possibly be reading what I was tweeting. Do teachers tweet in El Paso?
I have been a faithful Twitter user for 4 months now. Faithful, meaning that I am using it to learn, share, and make connections now. I no longer feel like I'm tweeting myself. How did this happen?
Twitter tips from a Newbie
1. Ask for Twitter Handles- During the last conference I attended, PodStock 2013, I didn't want to lose the connections I made. Every time I had a conversation with someone, I asked for their twitter handle. They usually asked for mine back and I gained a few new followers. I wasn't tweeting myself anymore.
2. Build Relationships- This has been the most difficult for me. Try to interact, answer questions that you know the answer to, send a compliment if you honestly notice they are sharing things that are valuable to you, retweet any message that you want others who are following you to read.
3. Discover hashtags #- I didn't worry about hashtags too much when I began tweeting. I have since learned that it makes it easier to search and following topics. As I read other tweets, I am paying attention to what hashtags they are using. As I tweet, I am trying to add hashtags to share with others who are interested in that topic.
4. Explore- Use the search feature in Twitter. Search for people, topics, keywords, places, book titles, or anything you feel like learning or reading about. After searching names of people I work under, I have discovered that I am not the only person that didn't get twitter. There are a lot of people in education, making huge decisions, that do not have an account. We all have to start somewhere, right?
5. Learn- Take learning into your own hands. Every story and how is different. For me, I saw a conversation someone was having with @techninjatodd. I think I started following him because I liked his twitter handle. From him, I learned about the @eduallstarsHQ podcast. As I listen to the podcast, I started following all of the guests. Then I found that other educators I made connections with at other conferences knew @techninjatodd via twitter. I could keep going. Since then I have been on a learning overload. Learning through twitter because I want to, is very different than someone telling me I have to read a book and discuss it at work. I am learning what I want to learn, when I want to learn it. How powerful is that?
I feel like I can sprinkle my excitement for education, learning and technology with people I know now. I don't really know them, but I'll be working on the relationships. Since twitter only allows for 140 characters, I know blogging is going to have to be another way I share.
Here's to my rebirth of learning and sharing. I will be sharing Twitter with a campus on Tuesday. I'll be happy to share your twitter advice. I don't it to take them 2 years to get it.