Connecting As An Educator: What it looks and sounds like @kkidsinvt

This past week was an amazing one in Kindergarten!  I am so excited and thrilled at how my students, their parents and others are reaching out to connect, share and use technology in meaningful ways that capture what we are learning.  This is happening in a variety of ways.

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Last week we visited the food shelf in our community and dropped off food that we had collected.  My students reminded me that we needed to blog about our trip because others would be interested in how we made a difference.  When I asked; “How will they know?” My students shared that they see the triangles blinking on our map of the world on our class blog and that is how they know.  Wonderful!  The gadget on our class blog gives us feedback about where in the world people are from who are interested in Kindergarten Life.

I had a wonderful opportunity on Friday where I was invited to be a part of a class  discussion at Clemson University in South Carolina, facilitated by Ryan D. Visser, Ph.D.  So during my lunch time I was able to give an overview of how and why I use technology with my students, families and myself.  I was also able to share about what I am seeing in terms of engagement and how my students are interacting with technology and the positive impact it is having on their learning.  This was a great way for me to connect with others and have a meaningful conversation via Skype.  Ryan and I connected on twitter.

I needed to check in with a parent and thought of this while at my computer.  I noticed she was online(thanks to Skype) So I was able to call and have a quick conversation.  This was easy and seamless because Skype is part of my classroom culture.  We started using Skype on the 1st day of Kindergarten.  My point here is that once you begin to use technological tools in authentic ways that enhance connection, reflection and transparency, you begin to transform and your learning is open to others and others will begin to connect and collaborate through your learning.

Twitter is on all day in my classroom and my students are great about sharing what they want to tweet. Social media is used and part of my classroom culture because we use it to reflect, share and connect what we are learning and experiencing.  Last week we were beginning to read the live feed from others that we follow and my students began asking how do we tell them we are doing that too.

We are also part of a Flat Classroom project and we created a padlet about what the view is like from outside our window.  My students reminded me to tweet this and email this to their parents so that others can post their window view. This is another easy way to connect and share what you are learning.  I got this idea because another teacher from Ma. contacted via Skype over the weekend and asked me to post on her padlet.  We connected through Skype play last year.  Again connections are everywhere!  They are active and inactive, but they are always connections.

One of my students parents called us during snack time via Skype to say hello and ask about our day.  This is a part of our culture, not a disruption.  My students are excited to have conversations with others about what we are doing in Kindergarten.  Through authentic opportunities to engage, we connect and get inspired because we are wondering what is next.

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Try twitter, Skype, blogging, create a padlet and connect. Showcase something you are doing with your students.  For me it is always about the learning, but most importantly about how I am going to share my story with others.  Through sharing we get inspired, make connections and gain insight about learning.

I want my students and their families to feel a part of Kindergartenlife.  Learning is fluid, ongoing and exciting.  Communication is constant and helps build strong relationships which impacts learning in endless, positive ways.

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8 responses to “Connecting As An Educator: What it looks and sounds like @kkidsinvt

  1. Sharon thank you for taking the time and having the energy to connect with everyone. I always feel like I’m right in your classroom!!

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  2. Sharon, Although I have been using a lap top for quite a while, your class inspired me to buy my first IPAD. Now, when I’m in your class, I can keep up with the KKids. I’ll get Georgia to teach me all the IPAD things she has learned.
    Ms. Fran

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  3. Sharon, I am in a school where last year we were promised one to one ipads in k-2 now the community is in an uproar about it and we are on the verge of not getting them next year as promised. Do you have ideas, tips, etc about how I can explain to the school board and community that this isn’t about just plopping an IPAD in front of my kids and not teaching. I teach kindergarten and currently have 7 ipads and 6 laptops. I use them all the time and have followed your blog for a while now making notes and getting ideas for next year when I have them one to one. I am going to be just crushed if it doesn’t happen. Any help you can share would be appreciated!

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    • Good Luck to you! For me I am always focusing on the richness of the learning that happens when young children are using digital tools. I am also thinking about how becoming a digital citizen is really important and as a Kindergarten teacher you want to have authentic opportunities for your students and their parents to experience this. It makes sense that this starts in Kindergarten, but you need the digital tools so you can be explicit and model how you use technology in seamless ways with your students. I would also think about ways that you could share your students voices and their parents. Have them speak out about how iPads, etc. helps them with their learning. Other voices are important to hear, especially the young voices. They will surprise you at what they have to say!!! I hope this is helpful. Best, Sharon

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  4. Help! My school blocks skype and we don’t have computers/ipads for each student…I want to connect like you do but I don’t know if I have the tools. I do have a Promethean board and we are on that a lot – but we are not connected to the outside world like I think I would like to be. It was fun to read about your class – inspiring! I teach preschool and PreK.

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    • Hi Robin,

      You don’t need a device for each student to connect and enrich learning with technology. Start with taking photos of things ideas you are exploring with your students. ? Skype blocked? So sorry. Do you have Google Plus? Facetime?

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  5. Nikki Vradenburg

    This was such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing! I just started blogging with my K-1 class and I am loving it!

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