Reflection near the end of term allows me to sort out my thoughts and helps me make sense of the speed that sometimes happens in my thinking. This post is a way of sifting through how I am thinking.
Science at Newmarket School has many links. The school has recently completed a science contract under the guidance of Susan Heeps. Last year Virginia Kung and her work with science was featured under the Future Focused Learning site.
During the recent #TeachMeetNZ meets #Science session Belinda Hitchman @BelindaHitchman from Newmarket School shared her work that was carried out in regards to using coding. She explained the links between understanding coding and understanding science. Recently I led a #scichatnz live twitter chat. You can read about the how the session was developed on a post on the Scichatnz blog.
The TeachMeetNZ meets Science session was a collaborative process between myself and Catherine Battersby from the Science Learning Hub. However what began as a duo chatting face to face soon became a full group of science educators making connections on twitter and google +, creating a presentation to share in a google hangout, learning and supporting each other with the tools, celebrating during and after the event and then sharing via a reflective blog post for the education community. As part of my collaboration with Cath I was interviewed by Melissa @NZScienceTeachr on behalf of the New Zealand Association of Science Educators. You can read that interview here.
Using Social Media for learning
My goal this year is to understand how social media works and so I have been investigating how everything links across platforms and how traffic is driven. I observed the TeachMeetNZ youtube channel with interest and was particularly interested in the way the channel took a spike during each session and then how this was sustained over a period of time after each event.. Through my online involvement I stumbled across Thunderclap which is a social media tool that allows broadcasting across several social media sites at the same time. A thunderclap was activated to help broadcast the TeachMeetNZ Science session and also to see how traffic was driven. In addition I set up tickets in Eventbrite and could identify the integrations that this site has with Facebook, Twitter and instagram. In addition, I have reactivated my Mailchimp account that has been dormant for a while as this allowed access to subscribers to events.
I used the TeachMeetNZ meets Science session to play with many of the social media tools.
Recently I had a discussion with Julie Lindsay and she asked me what my goals were for TeachMeetNZ. My goal for TeachMeetNZ is for the process to continue to evolve. I have identified that my work with teachers and the site is moving into relation thinking using SOLOtaxonomy because each year I have had a teacher take on the task of hosting an event. Therefore other educators are making the link of the importance of teachers sharing their practice. A few other educators have indicated a willingness to host a session. So far I have had Tim Gander hosted a TeachMeetNZ meets PE, Steve Mouldey hosted TeachMeetNZ meets Geography and now Cath Battersby hosted TeachmeetNZ meets Science. Coming up there is a session for Samoan teachers and a session for Maori teachers. In October Matt Esterman has agreed to cohost with me again as we run a second ‘Across the Ditch’ TeachMeetNZ where we combine TeachMeetNZ with TMSydney.
The real goal of TeachMeetNZ is about educators making learning to network and make connections with each other outside their school bubble and having fun learning collaboratively.
Youtube as a vehicle for sharing continues to evolve and for the next topic focussed TeachMeetNZ I recommend a drop in presenter numbers and having a larger support team. For example having a separate time keeper then enables me to move silently in the background and concentrate on cameras and sound. In addition having the twitter broadcaster join the hangout and even have a live blogger record the event in progress. It does take time to train a team, however the event quality is worth it. For the next subject specific TeachMeetNZ these recommendations will be put to the host because ultimately the session is for a teacher to practice reciprocity and help with coordinating and running the session.
Leaving a legacy
TeachMeetNZ is about teachers leaving a legacy for the education community. This can be in the way of twitter microblogging and being curated using storify, it is in the youtube clips, the slides that are made available to the community via the wiki, it is in the reflective blog posts that eventuate about the sessions and the process.
Where to Next:
Currently TeachMeetNZ educators create their own presentations on something they are passionate about. Each session is about bringing a group of educators together to make connections with each other online and to share their learning.
Using all of my own learning frameworks, I have identified that my next big step using youtube is all about collaboration. I am planning for teachers to work together and create an artefact like I learnt how when becoming FlatConnection Certified. Through the work I do with Pam Hook, I have identified networking to learn as thinking relationally because teachers working collaboratively together strengthens their understanding about making links with each other and with a topic.
If an artefact is co-created then abstract thinking is extended. This was highlighted in the edbookNZ project that happened during Connected Educators month. The educators taking part informed me that they had more fun learning with each other during the process.
Teachers collaborating and networking to learn
So the edbooknz collaborative site is ready and I have put my hand up to organise and coordinate this during Connected Educator month in October. I will use all my learning around social media and educators to drive this years #edbooknz project. It will be wiki based so all learning will be public. This will drive extended abstract thinking because many educators come together, make links and cocreate a product in live time and with a realtime audience.
Will you say yes to this collaborative opportunity? Will you allow your learning to be on display in real time? If you are keen to be one of the team leaders, then let me know.