“Summer break”: two words that bring smiles to both teachers and students. For those in education, summer is a time for relaxation, reflecting, and also new learning. Whether you are attending a conference like ISTE, or creating your own personalized learning experience, utilizing this “break” to explore new tools and strategies that help expand your teaching toolbox can be very rewarding. Not sure where to start? Here are a few tips.
Expand Your Classroom Walls:
While you’re lounging by the pool, think about how you can share the awesome things going on in your classroom. How can you expand the four walls of your classroom to develop lifelong learners, producers, and publishers? Many teachers use blogging as a way to share information with parents and other educators the wonderful things they are doing in their classroom.
Try Connecting: Are you a connected educator? How do you develop relationships with other educators, besides the ones at your own school? How do you measure how effectively you have been integrating technology into your classroom? Are you using Twitter, Voxer, Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook, or other social media tools to expand your personal learning network? Social media allows you to create your own learning opportunities, anywhere, and anytime. The connections you make through social media lead you to a wealth of knowledge that is not made possible without it. Twitter, one of my favorites, allows you to quickly find specific examples of how educators are using tools, and allows you to participate in valuable dialogue on any topic through chats, and by using the search box on Twitter.
Learn From Others:
Maybe you are more comfortable connecting with people in person than through the virtual world. Attending conferences, edcamps, and playdates are great ways to make lifelong friends, and connections in your local community.
As we bring this school year to a close, I am sure you will use this summer to relax, but also make some time to reflect. As educators, we must stay current by finding innovative ways to engage students. Don't let the whole summer go by without exploring ways to improve the quality of your instructional practices, by refilling your learning toolbox!
cross-posted at msedtechie.blogspot.com
Patricia Brown is the Technology Integration Coach at Old Bonhomme Elementary School in Saint Louis, MO, where she implemented the first annual OB Family Tech week and Digital Learning Day. As a classroom teacher, she was awarded a $25,000 Innovative Technology grant for her school. Read her blog at msedtechie.blogspot.com.