Last week, I was fortunate to have @burgessdave, author of Teach Like A Pirate, Google Hangout into my classroom and share with the Milford staff the highlights of his book. What a powerful experience to listen and visit with the author. (I actually collaborated with Dave and his wife @burgess_shelley via Twitter -- two summers ago -- discussing our daughters blog.) If you have read Teach Like a Pirate, you know it is a high energy book which keeps the reader engaged and wanting to learn more. Dave was the same way, while “Google Hangouting” with the staff. He even previewed another engagement strategy he is formulating! On a side note, my middle daughter (age 7) thinks it is really cool that I know an actual pirate...because she saw him on my computer!
Due to making a Twitter connection with @karlarohde, the next day, my Computer 7 class was able to “Hangout” with the Amherst Middle Level Computer 8 class. This Hangout was an opportunity for the students to meet after a collaborative “Where in the World Am I” project through the use of Google Docs and Google Forms. Students were able to introduce themselves and also briefly discuss what they liked about the project. Reflecting upon the project, I hope @karlarohde and I can continue this collaborative project in the fall, as we both know things that we could change to better the project!
Fastforward a few days later, @hcallihan and @wolfep were able to “Hangout” with both of my Computer 7 classes to discuss digital citizenship. “Hangouting” with these two digital citizenship experts allowed my students to learn how other tech integrationists are promoting such an important topic around their schools. It was interesting to hear my students talk about being more aware of what they post. In all reality, students can never hear enough about positive digital citizenship and I found it exciting to listen to these two discuss being more conscious of what one tweets, posts, texts, etc.
All the above activities would have never occurred without Twitter and Google Hangouts. Two very useful technology tools that have left a positive impact on my classroom. Through Twitter, I was able to make connects and collaborate with others hours and time zones away. Through the use of Google Hangouts I was able to have above author, teacher, and tech integrationists “enter” my classroom and leave a lasting impact with those inside my classroom. Where do go I next? I may just have to drink some “Google Kool-aid” and collaborate with my Twitter PLN to build/enhance the next lesson that is formulating in my head.