The Tower Pulse
The Tower Pulse is a new online component of Grosse Pointe South' student newspaper The Tower. Kelli Fimbinger and I are the adviser of The Pulse and we couldn't be any prouder of the work our students have put in to make this possible. This came about because one student was passionate enough to bug Jeff Nardone into convincing us to make it happen. :-) We are looking to have the site updated 3 times a week with new content in the sports, entertainment, clubs and features sections. We will grow as the weeks pass to include a variety of different content. Creating this site was not as difficult as it might seem and other schools might want to consider bringing this to your students. Check out this exciting new part of the South family and please leave a comment for the students. They would love to hear the positive feedback.
I spend a good deal of my time looking for great sites for teachers to use in their classroom to help students learn. I always try to find something for everyone, so when my Twitter friend, George Couros http://www.twitter.com/gcouros, started a blog dedicate to Principals, I had to make sure I shared it with the administrators in Grosse Pointe. In the blogs about me page it says, "This blog is the shared thoughts of school administrators that want to share best practices in education. All of the authors have different experiences in education but all have the same goal; what is best for students." I think this says it all about this blog. George has worked hard to bring great administrators from all over the country together to share their ideas regarding education. Just as it is important for teachers to talk to other teachers and learn from one another, it is just as important for administrators to talk to others outside of their district and see what they can learn. I would love to see Grosse Pointe administrators join this blog and share what we do in the best district in the State of Michigan. Consider that a challenge. :-)
Connect to the World Using Twitter
The other day some fellow teachers were giving me a hard time about using Twitter. They cracked jokes about not caring if I was going to the supermarket or pumping gas. I'm not going to argue those points. That information is not important. However, it shows the lack of understanding of how Twitter can be used. Twitter, like most social networking tools, is what you make of it. It can be used to share your every waking moment with the world, it can be used to share bits of celebrity gossip, but it can also be used to connect with like minded professionals. I have used Twitter this year with my students and it has been working out great! I post the days' homework for each prep on Twitter and those Tweets are sent directly to my website.
Students and parents can see the information on the front page of my teacher site. They can also check it from there phone if they have signed up with Twitter. Students have already commented that it has made getting assignments a little easier at the end of the day.
Here is a video a good Twitter friend of mine has put together. Shelly Terrell is an amazing person and she gave a Keynote Speech at a conference about using Twitter to connect with other teachers. I know have written a few posts on using Twitter, but I feel that it is important enough to harp on until more teachers get on board. Twitter is not a fad and it can be used to make yourself a better teacher and solve some problems you might be having in the classroom. It is the best Professional Development I have ever received and it is available 24/7. Here is a video that explains using Twitter to connect to other teachers worldwide. It's only 3 minutes, so please watch it and keep an open mind.
Progressive Phonics is a site I learned about from Kelly Tenkely's blog iLearn Technology and she got it from @rmbyrne's blog Free Tech for Teachers. Progressive Phonics is a free site that provides phonics books for download. You can print as much as you would like and all it requires is a simple registration. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, please click here for Kelly's full review of the site. I will say that this is a very cool site that would be very helpful for teachers of younger students and parents looking for good resources to use at home with their own children.
Professional Development 2.0 – the eBook
This is an e-book put together by my good Twitter friend Jason T. Bedell. He tackles some very great topics about growing as a teacher and using web tools to not only enhance the learning of the students in the classroom, but it also provides information on how these tools can make you a better teachers. It is a free book you can download and read at your own pace. Some of the topics include, social networks, bookmarking, blogging, unconferences and much much more. I would really like the administrators of the district to look at this e-book and see how the teachers in your building could be using these tools to help our students. Click here to go to Jason's website.
As always, thanks for stopping by and give it a try!