For my third twittter chat, I participated in the #edchat, a twitter chat geared towards all educators. The main topic of discussion was about innovation. As many of us know, innovation is huge in the classroom, especially with all the improvements in technology that are being implemented in classrooms. The moderators wanted to know about different examples of innovation fellow teachers were implementing into their classrooms. They talked a lot about different online and technological tools that are being used to help reach students. Specific examples that were given include flipping classroom and one-to-one iPads. Shawn Thomas’s high school, for example, has gone one to one with iPads, providing one for each student that they can use to access homework, review materials, and communicate with both peers and teachers. iPads in the classroom makes it easier for students and teachers to communicate outside the classroom environment. Teachers can easily give feedback to students, allowing them to improve and resubmit their work. Another technique that was talked about was flexible seating. Tom Whitby found this especially effective in his middle school classroom. Using different seating arrangements helps to engage students by seating them in small collaborative groups. I also learned about innovation on the teacher front. Robert suggested that teacher development is essential to implementing innovation in the classroom. Teachers must be aware of technological improvements and trends in order to implement them effectively in the classroom. He also believes that it is essential to move towards a more competency-based education system, especially within the K-12 system. Such a system lets teachers evaluate students so as to demonstrate what they already know. It thus follows that teachers can shape their programs to study only the competencies that their students need to reach the next level of education. Shawn Thomas shared a very interesting link https://scratch.mit.edu/ that her son uses in elementary school that he seems to really enjoy. The website is called scratch, and it enables students to interact with one another and it promotes student creativity. It allows students to share and create stories, games, and animations and share them with the rest of the world. Students can not only collaborate with their fellow peers, but also with students around the world. Teachers and students can create interactive stories to help each other learn different concepts. I found this site particularly useful and interesting because it is a way for students to have fun while learning and it enhances student engagement in learning.
During my chat, I chose to follow Shawn Thomas, who is a fellow educator and edchat co-moderator. She is an elementary school teacher, and she enjoys implementing new advancements into her classroom that help keep students engaged. I also followed Robert Marzano, co-founder and CEO of Marzano Research Laboratory. He translates research and theory into educational practice. I found what he had to say on teacher knowledge and involvement in technological training. Likewise, I followed Tom Whitby, a longtime teacher of both high school and middle school for 34 years, and college for 6. He is the moderator and founder of edchat. He has successfully created a personal learning network among teachers. David Franklin, a professor of education, principal, and co-moderator of #bendinged chat. Finally, I followed Jenny K, a technology integrationist at Curry Ingram Academy. She works to inspire technology training among teachers. She was especially helpful in offering advice to teachers about allowing students some control over their topics of learning to keep them engaged. Overall, I did not like this chat as much as the other chats I have participated in. It was not as well organized in a question answer format. A lot of people were not even answering the specific topic. It was overwhelming to see so many people participating and saying different things. Also, the topic never really changed. Other chats have had different questions that all relate, but this chat did not give any questions aside from the very first introduction topic. I feel like this prevented quality discussion from occurring. It would help next time if they tried to provide more questions that will elicit multiple responses.