Flat Classroom Teacher Certification Module 1: Connection
As part of my experience in working through the Flat Classroom Certified Teacher course, I plan to cross-post my reflections from each of the nine modules of the course throughout my blog. The forthcoming reflections are based on assigned course readings.
Module 1: Connection
By far and wide, the recurring, prevalent theme throughout this chapter/module is one of this simple fact: a teacher can not teach something until they are doing it themselves. Period. Throughout the connection chapter, there are several quotes that resonate deep with me:
- “Before a classroom can be connected, educators must first connect themselves to online resources and knowledge.”
- “The real payoff comes in the giving of knowledge, not the keeping of it. If I’m going to make you greater, I have to give freely of not only my knowledge, but all my resources: my connections and network, my experience, my insights, my advice and counsel—even my time.” Steve Farber, Greater Than Yourself: The Ultimate of True Leadership.
There truly is no greater feeling than when a student who does not understand Twitter, asks, “What even is the point in it? I don’t want to micro-blog about everything I do every minute of the day.” I do not tell them the answer, I show them. When I open Tweetdeck on the whiteboard to demonstrate one of my most powerful PLN’s, I watch eyes widen and jaws drop. Reading blogs has educated me and prodded me, albeit slowly, to becoming involved in the daily banter of the current state of education. On the other hand, Twitter has connected me, literally, to thousands of people, ideas, resources and tools for my classroom, real-time.
So, Now What?
I’ve become fairly proficient over the past two years in developing my own PLN. It is time that I teach my students how to do the same. I was once criticized for “teaching technology” versus “teaching Social Studies.” Well, friends, there simply can not be a better way to “study socially” and truly learn the value of cultural contexts and citizenship in an evermore globally connected world than to reach out and start connecting. It will take time and perseverance, however, it is imperative that my students start learning how to develop a PLN and how to Tweet. I’ve kept it all to myself for much too long.