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Flat Classroom Teacher Certification Module 1: Connection

March 20, 2011

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.


TweetDeck as a primary PLN

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.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2011 10:28 PM

    Suzie, I saw your tweet and came to visit. What a great way to begin a blog! Congrats fellow Flat Classroom Certified Teacher and I hope you inspire many others!


    • March 26, 2011 8:11 AM

      Thank you, Theresa! Getting started is always the hardest part, but there are so many things happening in the world of education around us. It was a pleasure to work alongside you through our FCP Certified Teacher course and I’m certain we will have many more opportunities to collaborate through future projects.

  2. April 3, 2011 9:52 AM

    It is a pleasure to read your blog. I started tweeting on a more professional level after joining the Flat Classroom project last fall. Before that it was an experiment with my Media class and we were exchanging good resources that we had found online. I have learned so much from developing my PLN through twitter – there are so many well informed teachers out there!! I am just beginning to blog, though, that is a more daunting task.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and your teaching practice – I appreciate it – you are an inspiration,

    • April 3, 2011 11:38 AM

      Wendy, hi! So good to hear from you! Thank you so much for commenting! I know exactly how you feel about blogging. It has taken me two years to finally get up the nerve. And, I still don’t really have ‘the time’ but oddly, somehow, it just happens. After the first post or two, your mind just naturally begins to shift and you find yourself going through the day saying to yourself, “that is definitely something about which I have an opinion.”

      Twitter helped me to start blogging as did the Flat Classroom Certified Teacher Program. Find time to get started and start blogging! It makes me want to teach better every single day. I am my own worst critic at times and it is a great way to publicly hold yourself accountable for the things you want to do.

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