Control, FOLE, Pedagogy and Hugs

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Students, Teachers and Control

Control is a curious word. Many of my colleagues at the Tecnológico de Monterrey know me as “that flipping teacher” which comes from my embracing #flipclass four years ago and evangelizing that approach to colleagues on campus, across the system as well as nationally and internationally.

Yes, #flipclass has been good to me but it tends to pigeonhole me with that label. I do so much more in my classroom (connected classrooms, #oer, giving my students voice, active learning) which I consider going beyond flipped class. I really should blog more about my classroom. Hmm.

The key component of #flipclass to me and the most important “flip” for me is the flip of responsibility in the classroom. I want my students to take control of their learning while I slide into a role as a guide and mentor.  Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams talk about this in their book “Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day

Guide on the side and not the sage on the stage.
— Bergmann and  Sams

Another inspiration on my pedagogy is Keith Hughes (@hiphughes on Twitter), go search out his #TeacherTips which should become coffee table books for teacher’s lounges.  One key concept I take from Keith is the term “Facilitator of Learning Experiences”. I love that expression and use it often to explain my role in the classroom.

I would prefer you go watch and listen to Keith explain this:

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Using Twitter with my Students

creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by marek.sotak: http://flickr.com/photos/30032901@N04/3275031724

Communication is Key

I am a big believer in the Flipped Classroom and the focus on “the best use of classroom time” as Jon Bergmann (and many others) describes it.

For my classes and in particular my style of working with my students I find that the time outside of the classroom is equally important. The issue becomes how to keep connected with each other outside.

I’ve used many tools for this over the past 20 years or so:

On to Twitter

creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by marek.sotak: http://flickr.com/photos/30032901@N04/3275031724
creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by marek.sotak: http://flickr.com/photos/30032901@N04/3275031724

I want the ability for my students to express their ideas and calls for help to the entire class (and course since I usually teach multiple groups) as well as the world at large.

We use a hashtag (#TC1014 and #TC1017 for the courses this semester) to communicate about the class. Students often send me direct messages (DMs) as well but I am trying to encourage them to be more open.

Is it Working?

I tried this in previous semesters and it did not “stick”. I think the reason is that I offered other options like the course LMS and a Facebook group for each course. Now this is the main option and (some) students are using it.

Here is one example, note the communication using images (screenshots) as well as the time stamps here. I can’t be sure but some other students might have learned from this conversation and I used this example of communication in class time to stress the importance of:

  • Asking for help is okay.
  • Asking in public increases the chances that others will answer.
  • Showing details (screenshots or links to code) is important.

Permission before Posting

By-the-way, I asked Samir if I could post this conversation.

How are you using Twitter?

Your turn now. Is Twitter useful for you with your students or in your professional practice as an educator? Let us know in the comments.

 


feature image is creative commons licensed (BY-2.0) flickr photo by marek.sotak

Twitter for Teachers

Courtesy of http://www.edtechspot.com/7-ways-educators-can-effectively-use-twitter/
Courtesy of http://www.edtechspot.com/7-ways-educators-can-effectively-use-twitter/
Courtesy of http://www.edtechspot.com/7-ways-educators-can-effectively-use-twitter/

Are you on Twitter?

I’ve been using Twitter for over five years apparently but my use has picked up significantly in the last year. Twiage.com tells me my “Twitter age” to the day as seen below.

But I don’t want to tweet about what I ate.

Yes, there are many people tweeting about what they ate for breakfast/lunch/dinner or their location on any particular time of day. Twitter is a social media platform and we can use it for whatever we choose.

So how do I use it for Education?

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Engage Students with Facebook

Facebook image, click image to see original at Flickr
Facebook image, click image to see original at Flickr
Facebook for Your Classes. Photo credit, click the image.

Go where they are: Facebook

A long time ago I was able to engage my students via newsgroups (nntp) or the forums in Moodle or Blackboard. Lately getting students to post on the forums in my LMS has become a chore.

So I decided to try something different last semester and “go where they are”: Facebook.

This worked amazing well. Engagement of my students in discussions outside the classroom exploded.

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