“The way to modernize our work is not to use a computer instead of a typewriter and call it innovative. It is to replace existing practices.” Heidi Hayes Jacobs in her book Curriculum 21 (p 18).
I am now a Twit as I have said before here. I am increasingly convinced that Twitter can be the change that education so desperately needs. If only those who should read the tweets would give Twitter a try. For example, I just had a conversation with teachers in my building today and how they are tired of the newest “fad” (read Twitter) that comes along when in a few years everyone wants to go back to the way it’s worked all along. This was in response to a department meeting I am hosting where all the social studies teachers are encouraged to bring an example of a hands-on, project based, student centered lesson to share. I was hoping that sharing would facilitate the needed conversations about how to “replace existing practice.” Though discouraged, I still plan on showing what my students have done, especially the Google Earth landforms vocabulary they created in Geography instead of a using a worksheet. Students found an example of the landform on Google Earth, put a push pin with the definition, then gave a non-example of the word. My students also are on Google Docs in English editing writing, etc.
The administrators, teachers, ITRT’s, etc that I follow on Twitter “get it” – I continually am amazed at the research, ideas, conversation, and links that I am able to bookmark and use in my classroom. What a wealth of information and best practice. This is why I am convinced that those who make decisions and are looking for what is working in schools need go no further than those professionals on #edchat, #gtauk, #ascd, etc, and also just those of us individual educators who work to bring change -even if it is one classroom at a time.
Just some thoughts on tweeting the change, and we’ll see how it goes with my meeting this week. I am not going to give up, thanks to Twitter. Feel free to post some other ideas, thoughts on how to start the conversation.