From Lurker to Connector

From Lurker to Connector

After reading so many insightful thoughts in this 1st Unit from “Lurker to Connector” I got immediately the taste of becoming a connector.

I used immediately the tag of COETAIL and tried to connect to the Facebook group and I am thinking which online platform might be best to use because there are so many choices outside that I didn’t know about it. 

I was very keen to read the posts of Mrs. Cofino and she was suggesting the following:

“ Join a Social Network

We’ve all heard of MySpace and Facebook, and while those are great ways to connect with friends and colleagues, an even better place to start is a social network with a focus, like Ning. There are quite a few networks on Ning that center around teaching and learning. Here are a few of my favorites:

So I will check one by one and see what is suitable for me.

Also the article which I was so eager to read and check all the other links:”First Steps Toward Becoming a 21st Century Educator (Cofino)” gives me great resources and I need some more time to explore this. 

I was very fascinated by the first text of Mr.Utech when he was questioning what does it mean to disconnect. This was a very good question which is resonating with me at the moment:

“I’m sitting here in my very quiet house eating dinner, no TV, no radio, just me my cat and this blog post. Am I disconnected?”Utech 

I think for me it’s hard to be disconnected because I have many parallel platforms online, where I am keeping in touch with the artists around the world and with my teaching profession, mostly via email, where I should be reachable most of the time.

Another good point of Mr. Utech was:

“Are you consuming, using or creating with technology?’

What we really mean when we say “Kids need to have balance” or “I need to disconnect” isn’t really about disconnecting, I would argue, but rather about being less of a consumer.”

I was also impressed by the article” Living with New Media” (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation) which totally opened my mind. 

A struggle which I tried to have with my own children every day. But with this article, I could have more understanding for them that nowadays the children build social skills in this way as well and they are more pushed to use those media than we used to do it in our childhood.  

A very good question from Mr. Utech was:

“How much time do I spend consuming vs creating?”

That makes me think for myself to try to make my own graf. I might come back later to this point.

Speaking about consuming first because we have to get inspired first, 

I liked very much Mr. Bevans tag about “#playfullearning” and the connection with Maker Space learning because it’s a good link about how we could combine design and technology. A great resource for me to get inspired by and think what is the difference between “Maker Space” and “Art Class”.

We had last week’s Global Play Day and we celebrated this event for the first time in our school. We gave the students the total agency to play free and be creative and I was amazed to see how dedicated they were building dollhouses and their own stories in a cardboard challenge type of project. Also, some other children are coming with Rubikcubes and exchange ideas about how to solve them, using algorithms and mathematical skills. Another great way of using creativity with abstract thinking.

2 Replies to “From Lurker to Connector”

  1. Hi Simona,
    I enjoyed reading your post.

    A social media that you did not list was Twitter. I highly encourage you to take a look at how it can support you as a teacher (even if you start out as a lurker there!) My teaching has done a 180 since joining Twitter and I can’t imagine what my classroom would be like without it. Fantastic connections and ideas are shared there!

    Consumption vs creation is something I also think about a lot in a 1:1 environment. For myself, for my students, and for my parents (of my students). This might sound weird, but I think about it a lot to fight FOR screen time for my students. This is because what they are doing on the device is what is important. Creating on an iPad is a different type of screen time than consuming on an iPad. Commonsense Media breaks it down even further here: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/screen-time/how-much-screen-time-is-ok-for-my-kids.

    Of course, a balance of creating offline is important as well, as you stated. In Studio 4 we have a weekly “Opportunity Time” where the students choose from a number of workshops offered and spend time creating. This year we do this on a Monday which I am loving. It feels a lot more meaningful and the students can continue projects during the week if they have time/can make it merge with other projects going on. When it was on a Friday it felt more like a bonus/reward time. Mondays are a winner!

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