Posts tagged Twitter
Posts tagged Twitter
I am in love with podcasts. They are my newest self-improvement obsession. I love them because they are easy. I search a few on my iPhone, download them, and then play them in the car as I commute to and from school, errands, etc. I must say that I have not found many that are stricly educational in focus. I need to spend more time exploring, but I do love my podcasts. Some of the podcasts that I have listened to include The Accidental Creative, How Stuff Works, Unofficial Linchpin, TED Talks - I love the TED Talks, and Stuff You Missed in History Class.
The thing about podcasts is that they are simple, but you walk away a bit smarter with limited effort or time spent. I have learned about “Shotgun Houses” from Stuff You Should Know; ”Leveraging failure” from The Accidental Creative, the concept of “Optimism Bias” from TED Talks, “Taking Risks” fromUnofficial Linchpin, and all about PT Barnum inStuff You Missed In History Class to name a few.
I write about podcasts because they illustrate yet another example about how professional growth can occur in so many ways these days. It used to be that the only way a person could learn and grow as a professional was by reading a book, attending a workshop or seminar, or by enrolling in a university class. Now, the worldwide web opens up possibilities to collaborate through Twitter, meet over Skype, share ideas through email, learn from a variety of sites like PD 360, share photos and beauty using Instagram, discover answers through YouTube, and now better yourself as you drive down the road or lay on the coach with ear phones through podcasts. The world is changing and the world of our students will hold so many different possibilities.
I had the privilege to be around a group of 20 young adults aged 19-24 recently. Technology and all of these appraoches are so tightly woven into their world, they don’t even bat an eye. They shared videos of themselves as three-year olds with my wife and me using Facebook. They tweeted about the progress on the project they were working on. They shared the beauty of the world around them on Instagram. They texted back and forth to coordinate logistics. They communicated and collaborated with people two hours away on Skype. They pulled up videos on YouTube. And as one person so eloquently put it, when the question “Is Mel Brooks still alive?” - I can’t believe we are even debating this, “Google it”.
So, I will wind back to where I started. My newest love: Podcasts. They are amazingly easy to use and make you smarter, entertained, and/or better with little effort. Try one. You might become as addicted as I am.
What is in your professional library? I have two book shelves in my office. One holds children’s books and one holds professional literature. I looked up the other day and thought, “I need to re-read some of those books. They have a lot of good stuff inside.” Todd Whitaker’s books are very helpful, Seth Godin, Robert Marzano, Mike Schmoker, Barry Lane, and others are there staring me in the face each day - offering me reference if needed to overcome an obstacle or to find a solution.
What is in your professional library? If you are a teacher, your library should include information that heightens your craft. If you are a principal, your library must include books about teaching craft, communication, educational philosophy, and even marketing. I find that my library is beginning to extend beyond the book shelves in my office and in my home. I find that my library includes EBooks on my Nook, links I receive from my Professional Learning Network (PLN) from Twitter, and blogs I find on Tumblr. I have written before about the fact that sometimes I love to read a book on my Nook and other times I love to hold a book in my hand, and when finished - hand it off to someone else.
My professional library contains mostly books that I have read, but I admit there are a few whose bindings haven’t been creased. The books have changed as well. I used to find it necessary (in my mind) to leave the book in pristine condition after reading it. Not any more. Now I write in it, I stick Post-it Notes inside, and I dog-ear the heck out of the book. Because I figure, if I need to find the value-gained again, it’s at my finger tips. I also figure that someone who wants to borrow the book will just have to cope.
I remember when I taught fifth grade that I entered the profession with a philosophy. Five years later, it had changed, and when I left the profession, it had changed again. I find the same thing happening in my role as a principal. I find that through experiences and time, my philosphy grows and evolves. I also find that I gain insight from others that share their world in books from my professional library.
As professionals, educators must constantly evolve and grow. This requires a non-stagnant approach: One that includes many perspectives and much time in thoughtful insight. Whether you are reading an EBook, holding a paperback, reading a blog, or following a link from a Twitter Feed, your professional library is important and helps define not only yourself as a professional, but the course you set for children. What is in your professional library?