- checked out and added one new follower
- searched for the hashtag #steconf to find out what was happening yesterday at the Social Technology in Education Conference
- Saw this tweet and thought it was worth reflecting on in my blog
This is particularly challenging for me as my school has about 100 students total in the Upper School. Sometimes it's difficult getting my students past the assumption that they know each other too well. And sometimes it's an advantage for them to know each other so well.
One of the reasons that I have jumped into using web 2.0 tools is because they are an avenue for facilitating these personal connections. I have used discussion boards to not only encourage students who are less likely to speak up during class discussions to voice their opinions, but also to connect different sections of a class so that we could get more opinions and ideas into our discussion of a topic. Of course, blogging and helping form connections with students in other schools is valuable too in gaining a broader perspective, which is so important for my students in their small, insulated school experience.
As a teacher, I want my students to know and discover who they are and who they want to be. In this journey of self discovery, seeing the potentials offered by the experience of others is invaluable. Of course, breaking down stereotypes by recognizing generalizations and assumptions are a means to this end of valuing others. It's not about mastering a particular curriculum or who knows the most. Instead learning is about seeing what others have to offer and whether that insight can help you develop yourself in positive ways toward your own goals in learning and in living a rewarding life.
I learn and gain so much from the social connections that I make online everyday by following others' blogs, skimming tweets on Twitter, and the various Nings that I belong to. Thanks to all of you for sharing yourselves and helping me to develop my ideas and learn new things about myself.