Ways to Connect

I enjoy connecting to my students (and peers, more on that later) outside of school. I think it’s important to know about their interests and hobbies. It is equally important to be able to bring that into the classroom. I do this by attending sporting events, community service events, musical performances, and art events. One of the other ways that I do this is through digital media. I am fortunate to work at a school that does not restrict online usage but encourages the faculty and staff to model appropriate behavior. I use Facebook and Instagram (follow me: artwitholiveri) to connect with my students. I follow their photostreams, tag them in photos, and like my favorites. I share my photos using Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. Instagram makes it easy to share to all three in one click. This way parents, students, faculty, and administrators can be updated on a daily basis about the happenings in my classroom.

I also believe in the importance of connecting with my peers. Just the other day I was waiting around the coffee machine with two of my fellow teachers, Mrs. Duver (Middle School Earth Science and Physics teacher) and Dr. Thompson (Upper School Biology teacher). They were discussing a new timeline tool that they found and how they were going to use it in their classrooms. It’s called Dipity and upon further discussion I will be using it with my 6th graders when they work on an art history related project. These kinds of personal, face-to-face connections are invaluable. However, it is entirely possible to have phenomenal interactions with teachers who live in other counties, regions, cities, states, and countries. Here are a few

  • WordPress helps me broadcast my own ideas but also view other teachers lessons
  • Pinterest has helped me find countless lesson ideas, classroom management suggestions, and visuals for teaching
  • Google Reader is the dumping zone for all of the blogs that I follow, it even alerts me of new material and allows me to share with other teachers through these pages – Art Ed PrimaryArt Ed SecondaryIndependent Education
  • Twitter is the one resource that I look at on a daily basis – so – much – information

I also use nings* like Arted 2.0, Curriculum 21 and Classroom 2.0 to connect with my peers. Sign up and take a look around. I think you will be surprised by how much you can find.

*Ning is an online platform for people and organizations to create custom social networks, launched in October 2005.Ning offers customers the ability to create a community website with a customized appearance and feel, feature sets such as photos, videos, forums and blogs, and the service layers in support for “Like”, integration with Facebook, Twitter, Googleand Yahoo! Ning, Inc. is owned by Glam Media and, the operating company, has its headquarters in Palo Alto, California. (FROM WIKIPEDIA)

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