Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Finding and Using Education Hashtags on Twitter

I have already written about finding and using Education Hashtags on Twitter, but I have just found a few more important resources that I think you would want to use.

  • Using Twitter to Grow Your PLN (Education-related hashtags)
    A quick intro into using Twitter to expand your PLN. This page talks a lot about "chats." These are Tweetchats. Remember that you can search on those #hashtags at anytime to connect with other educators in your area of interest.  Edutopia is a website created by George Lucas and dedicated to showing "What Works in Education."
  • Education TweetChats & Educational Hashtags
    I wrote about this earlier, but no list of Twitter resources would be complete without this from Cybraryman.  This is a calendar of Tweetchats that are occurring all week long but remember that you can also use the hashtags to connect with other educators at any time.
  • Grade Level #Hashtags:  2ndchat, 5thchat, 12thchat
    This has been noted through the previous resources, but please remember that if you are teaching 5th grade, you can just use the hashtag, #5thchat, to connect with other educators.  It's a great way to learn from practicing teachers.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Back from ISTE 2016 and Lovin' It!!!

I had a WONDERFUL TIME at ISTE 2016.  This was my 25th ISTE/NECC and they just keep getting better.

Learned a great deal.  Made incredible connections.   Assumed the presidency of the ISTE Global Collaboration PLN from Julie Lindsay - Thanks Julie.  Had GREAT food.  Met a bunch of dedicated and visionary educators.  Made new friends and contacts.

I will be writing about this over the next week or so.  There is much to share but right now I am in prepration for Fall Semester at UNI and getting ready to ride my bike across Iowa in our annual RAGBRAI ride.

Until that time, I would like to share wonderful Infographic about the attendance of ISTE 2016 "By The Numbers."

Take a look at the photo of the crowd.  Recognize anyone?  Yes, that is me sitting in the front of the row with the blue shirt.   Must have been a slow day at the office . . .Well, anywho, I look forward to sharing what I learned and learning what you did as well.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Latest Update Video for the Schindler Education Center Renovation

Click the link in the text ------->
As many of you know, our Schindler Education Center at the University of Northern Iowa is undergoing a massive update.  We are really excited about the process and periodically the UNI PR people release a video about what's happening.

Unfortunately, I couldn't embed the video into this web page so you will have to click on UNI Schindler Education Center video

You can see that the Lobby now has a gi-normous hole in the floor for the new stairs to emerge.  You will see a huge door cut into the curved brick wall that was in the lobby.  This door leads to the IRTS lab.  There are many more changes coming up and I look forward to moving into my office for the Spring 2017 semester.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Using Twitter Hashtags to Connect with Other Educators

Ever wonder how to connect with other educators who have the same interests as you?

You're a 2nd grade teacher in a small school and you have some 2nd grade questions.  Where do you turn?

You're a high school social studies teacher and you want to look for new ways to engage students in your subject.  Where do you turn?

There is a whole world of resources out there for the connected educator.  You can read articles or follow blogs but you will get the most out of direct interaction.  Twitter may be your resource.

I will assume that you know something about Twitter and Tweetchats.

What astounded me was when I found a directory Education Tweet Chats that was posted by Cybrary Man.    Not only are there hundreds of chats listed, it is organized by the day and time when they meet weekly.  It is an unbelievable resource.

Moreover, the hashtags that are used for the weekly tweetchats are wonderful ways to find other people with similar interests during the week.  You can use these hashtags to find others with your interests, or share ideas/resources that you think others in your field will enjoy.

Did you know that there are hashtags for each grade?  If you are a 2nd grade teacher and you want to see what other 2nd grade teachers are posting on Twitter, you just need to search for #2ndchat

If you want to connect with other Social Studies teachers, you just need to search for #sslap (Social Studies Teacher-Like-a-Pirate) or #sschat (Social Studies Teacher Chat).

What do you do?  How do you use Twitter to connect/discover with distant colleagues?
Which Tweet Chats do you find the most helpful?

Please share your ideas and hashtags with our other readers.


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Using Blogging in the Classroom

Reading Blogs
Blogging is today's newspaper, book, magazine, and thinking pad all rolled into one.  The beauty of a blog is that it provides the creator with a true freedom of expression.  It allows us to create freely and express ourselves in ways that weren't available 20 years ago.

This form of expression is ripe for the classroom:  
  • Many teachers at all levels use blogs to provide a painting easel for students to create. 
  • Some teachers use them to share information about what is happening in their classrooms (a much more direct form of communication than sending newsletters home each week. 
  • Many teachers use blogs to share their projects or ask advice of other educators.   The opportunities are endless.
Here are some examples:

Student Creations
Sharing What's Happening in the Classroom
Sharing Ideas with Other Educators
The best way to learn about blogging is to read blogs. Select at least 3 blogs concerning your educational interests to follow throughout this class. You can select from the list above, or you could look for suggestions at 52 Education Blogs You Should Follow (TeacherThought.com) or you could Google it by entering the term, Blog, and then your area of interest, Universal Design for Learning.

Following Blogs
Once you have found the blogs you want to follow, you need to find a way to get to them easily.  Yes, you could bookmark them in your browser and then click on them daily.  BUT, there IS a simpler way. 

It is possible to use a Feed Reader to check your blogs daily and inform you when something new has been added.  There are many of these feed readers, but to make it simple, I am going to suggest using Feedly.  

Here is a short video on how to install Feedly as a Chrome Extension.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Preparing Future Teachers to be Connected Educators


I have a challenge and I am turning to my PLN to try to address it.

As you know, I teach Instructional Technology at the University of Northern Iowa.  We teach both undergraduate (future teachers) and graduate (present teachers) about how to use technology to support learning.  It is much more than technology.  It is about building a mindset to use teaching/learning strategies that optimize the opportunities available through technology.

We need to develop Connected Educators.  Our undergraduates are connected through social media, but they don't see how this can be used for a professional purpose.  They are unaccustomed to connecting with people around the world to learn from other practitioners.

Our challenge: We are trying to trying to develop learning activities where they will actually engage with other educators through social media. It has to be something more than connecting with other students in the class because they see them face-to-face a couple of times per week. It needs to be more than following hashtags.  Experiencing a globally collaborative project is good, but I am looking at changing a mindset. It needs to be something where they are experiencing this type of connection in such a way that it carries on into their professional lives.

This is where I am calling upon the greater knowledge base of the many. YOU.

What do you do with your students and teachers?  How do you, as a connected educator, connect with other professionals as part of your daily routine.  What are some suggestions that you might have for activities/experiences that we might use with our future and present teachers to foster them toward being Connected Educators?

Thank you for your response.

Leigh Zeitz

Please forward this to your colleagues or others you believe would have an idea about this.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Gaming to Learn: Research Meets Classroom Practice

Today is the University of Northern Iowa College of Education's Education Summit.  

I was invited to talk about gaming in the classroom at this conference.  It was a great opportunity to discuss the topic with about 20 people.  These educators ranged from 19 - 60+ years of age.  It was a strong discussion with many points of view shared.

Below is an embedded version of my presentation.   The Youtube links should also work. Please contact me if they don't work for you. 

If you want to contact me, please leave a comment below or email me at zeitz@uni.edu