1. This week I really enjoyed our discussion on Wednesday night about the journey that each of us have taken as connected learners. The tools I discovered and the skills I walk away with this semester are definitely ones that I will be able to carry on with for many years in my teacher careers.
2. Similar to Jingru Chen, I also appreciated Christina’s post about her Six Image Memoir’s. Oftentimes, pictures really are worth a thousand words and this is a wonderful example of how that principle can be applied in a digital forum. This would be a fun way to infuse connected learning into our classrooms and also a great way for students to utilize their smartphones in a creative and educational format!
3. I loved Tahira Jones’ Flipagram and how she used a digital format to share her everyday life experiences. Such an easy, yet powerful, means of sharing your life with others online.
4. I enjoyed reading through Helga Porter’s curation of various online videos that she uses to inspired students in her classroom and encourage them to be their best selves. I particularly liked that they spanned several subject matters so that all teachers can benefit from this curation. The idea of a video curation is one that I also considered last week when I curated several YouTube videos that help to educated others about the benefits of connected learning.
5. And for any of you who have not checked out Kid President on YouTube, you are missing out! It is awesome to hear inspiring messages spread via social media and to see humor being utilized to spread positive energy and messages among not only the kids who watch this video, but even the adults. I was laughing and even on the verge of tears the first time I saw this video. Kid President’s “20 Things We Should Say More Often” is funny and inspiring for anybody who watches it!
6. Here is another Kid President video shared by Tahira Jones that I think everyone should have a chance to look at! This one comes in a close second for me. Building off of this, I also love the way that Lower Merion School District made their own rendition of Pharell’s “Happy.” Helga Porter shared a video on her blog produced by the district and writes
At the beginning of this school year, teachers and students collaborated and choreographed to interpret their own wacky brand of “happy.” Although many school districts have done the same thing, it just brings a smile to my face to see people letting go of their inhibitions and just having fun!
I couldn’t agree more!
Here is link to Kid President’s “Awesome Looks Like You.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rOl3IDr0N0
Here is a link to Lower Merion’s version of “Happy,” – a great example of how a school can build character, community, and connected learning skills all at the same time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8joYAIMjtI&feature=youtu.be
7. And last, but definitely NOT least, for any public educator, I wanted to bounce my frustrations regarding PSSAs off of other in this course. All the resources put into these tests and the stress and time putting into preparing for them seems like it mounts little by little each year. I wonder to myself when does it all just get to be too much and at what point are the students being done a disservice by our preoccupation with these exams? I find it discouraging that greater numbers of good teachers, even those who are decades into their careers, are leaving the profession due to increasing stress and accountability measures. Take a look at this Lancaster Online article posted by Tahira that looks into the story of one Pennsylvania teacher, who resigned at the age of 42 to pursue a career in medicine after the sight of her students struggling to cope with the pressures of standardized testing finally took its toll.