Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tweet Chat & Cheeseburgers

Did you dip in to #engchat last night? The weekly guest-hosted conversation about English language arts topics was hosted by one of my teaching-heroes,  Sara Kadjer last night. She talked or tweeted  about digital storytelling.  I'm mining the archive this morning, reviewing the resources and listening in after the fact. Isn't it amazing that the Internet let's us do that? Record, post, review, archive, collect, annotate, the process amazes me.
Hard as a rock, but no mold yet. Purchased 1-11-11.
Web 2.0 content is sort of like the month-old cheeseburger experiment I have running in my classroom right now. Content doesn't go away, doesn't decay, doesn't disappear or crumble. It's preserved. More on the cheeseburger later, to sum it up, we're running an experiment to test the claims made about fast food in the "McDonald's 4 year-old Cheeseburger" video about an aged Happy Meal (we're studying argument structure and reading Fast Food Nation; here's an excerpt).

A couple of weeks ago I hosted #engchat and like Kadjer's chat, the chat I hosted is also preserved, archived at the #engchat wiki. A whirlwind hour of abbreviated conversation on the gradual release of responsibility model, the chat darts and dashes between and around the hedgerows of teachers' ideas. I enjoy following the trails and revel in the rich resources shared. I debriefed with a critical friend the morning after my own chat. She's not sold on it as a means for her own learning. Too distracting, too "sound-byte-ish", too much to learn in terms of the tools to feel rewarded by the 140 character lines. Me? I get a lot out of twitter and twitter themed-chats: resources, questions, thoughts, teaching friends. Twitter and #engcat buoys my teaching spirits and opens my eyes to new resources while validating my practice and making me wonder about my own walk in the classroom. Have you tried it yet?

Next week, #engchat will will talk about the challenge of National Board Certification. I renewed my National Board certificate over a year ago now. It's one of the best professional development experiences I've ever had. The state of Florida pays National Board teachers a bonus for being certified--for the first ten year certification that is. The state also used to invest in teachers by paying NBCTs a bonus for 90 hours of mentoring.  Those monies have all but disappeared, but for teachers in my state I know the salary increase (nearly $10K at it's peak) worked to convince teachers to certify.  What motivates Florida teachers (and others) to become nationally certified now? I'm looking forward to hearing what others think about stepping up to the NBCT challenge. Check out the #engchat wiki for how-to help if you're new to twitter.  You can learn a lot lurking. If you haven't jump into the Twitter stream as a participant yet, why not try lurking? See what you think.