Sunday, September 26, 2010

Twitter, Moodle and the History of U.S. Education

I've had a draft started for a blog on why I use Twitter and why I think Twitter is a real professional benefit to teachers, but I haven't had time to write much in this last month as school began. The only writing I was able to manage was this post on Dr. Scott McLeod's Blog, Dangerously Irrelevant about my use of Moodle in my classroom. The topic of the post was reconciling 21st Century skills with standards and accountability- I'm not sure I really ever reconciled them but...

Scott and I don't always agree, but the next time I'm in Ames I hope he'll be able to spare some time from his family and demanding job for coffee. I know about his family and job because of Twitter.

Yesterday via Twitter I was connected to this great blog by Cecilia Coelho , an obviously very committed educator who has a different kind of classroom than me, but who uses many of the same tools I use. Her insights enrich my practice. Next time I'm in Spain, I'm hoping Cecilia has time for coffee, too.

Then a bit later yesterday, I was surprised and deeply honored to read my name in this post by Ira Socol whom I've come to regard as a friend even though we've only spent an hour together over coffee last summer after corresponding for 18 months via Twitter. Ira and I share a lot of interests. I value his research on the history of education almost as much as I value the knowledge about technology tools that he shares so generously - and then there's his novels, and his insights into all things Irish. Ira's inclusion of me on this list makes me blush- "Teachers, and most teacher educators, are, as Dr. Becker says, "blindly focused on their classroom and kids." From Linda Darling-Hammond to Lisa Parisi, Dan McGuire, Patrick Shuler, Punya Mishra, Pam Moran, Dave Britten, Dave Doty, and tens of thousands more, are working with students every day, trying to make the changes we can in the lives and learning of our students. "We" are the William Alcotts of today, the Maria Montessoris of today. "

None of these valuable connections to the things important in my life would have come my way without Twitter, I think. Twitter is not a waste of time; it connects me to many educators all over the world who are working hard to be better at their crucial work. That list continues to grow and I can't name them all here, but in the last couple of days I've shared correspondence with: Melissa Benson, Kelly Tenkely, Ben Knauss, Pam Moran, Joe D'Amato , They make me feel like I'm part of team that extends way beyond the walls of my classroom and school. I would like that richness available to all of my colleagues in their place of work. Twitter needs to be unblocked again in the MPS.


  1. Next time you're going to be in Ames, let me know!

  2. Hello Dan! Really flattered by your mentioning me and my brand new baby in your blog, especially in such a way. Thank you! Twitter really is impressive in how it enables us to connect to people we'd never have the chance of meeting otherwise. (BTW I love Scott's blog too!). And despite us having different classrooms, different settings the essence of our jobs is the same, and we share more practices than not. It was a pleasure learning of your blog today.

    And next time you're in Brazil (just a little ways south instead of East;-) I'll definetely take you up on that coffee.

  3. I'm happy to be a part of your team! I feel the same way, Twitter has allowed me connections to brilliant educators and thinkers around the world, not only do I have connections with them, I have conversations. I often feel as if I have sat down over a cup of coffee with my Twitter PLN after a great conversation. I hope to do that in person with as many as possible in real life! If you are ever in Colorado, let me know!

  4. I made the cut!!!

    If you make to the Northside, hot chocolate and cinnamon twists at Steamworks are my treat.

  5. I had intended to also include Carl Anderson,, in the list of people with whom I'd been exchanging correspondences; he's actually the person with whom I've exchanged the most tweets in the last week. Carl has a lot of very worthwhile things to say, too.

  6. Thanks for this post. I've been neglecting Twitter lately and I think I'm at a loss for that.


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