martes, 9 de julio de 2013

What happens when we mix teachers and social media?

     On Monday 7th July we had a very interesting meeting at Learning2gether as part of the regular sessions Vance Stevens hosts either on Sundays or Mondays with educators from all around the world to talk about different topics regarding the use of technology in education.  I have already mentioned how I met Vance.  He was the first one of many teachers willing to share, and help, and listen, and learn with you. By you I mean anyone interested in whatever the topic at hand.  The topic today was Social Media Management and the special guest was  József Horváth, from Hungary, who has given his classes a special twist so that his students wouldn´t look at the clock to see how long it is till the bell rings.
1. Picnic in the Punctuation Park How many times did we glance out of the window on a glorious Summer/Spring day wishing we could all be outside enjoying the outdoors?  József takes his students outside to teach a topic which suffers from a bad reputation among them and pretends he is not teaching, but having a picnic instead. (which they actually do because they bring food and drinks and everything else)
2. Befriend your students on Facebook.  József is in touch with his students through Facebook, and by doing so he learns a lot about them.
3. József gives his students the possibility to write for a global audience.  By using Feedbook his students´ work is available for everyone to read. The original work includes the book cover design as well. Mind you, students are not required to write a book, however most of them do!
4. Emphasis on freedom.  His students usually have a range of ten tasks to choose from and they end up choosing three or four.
5. Collaborative work.  The writing of the book is done in pairs and each student has the chance to be a writer and an editor as well.
6. Evaluation is provided by the student and the teacher, the teacher being the one who usually assigns higher marks!
What I reflected about when I heard about all these techniques and practices had to do with why I did not attempt to do any of those! I was missing all the fun in the world!  The freedom given to students has to do with acknowledging their part in the learning process and recognising that they have something to say and there are people out there who are willing to listen. (or read in this case)
A few years ago I was isolated as a teacher. I did not have access to proper internet until a 2 years ago.  Methodology books have always been extremely expensive, and the Teacher´s Seminars full of theory oriented lectures.
Fortunately things have changed.  If you ask me what I like best about being a connected educator it is the contact with teachers like József whose enthusiasm is contagious because you can tell that he is enjoying his teaching.  After all as good old Paul Seligson says it all comes down to that: "Enjoy your teaching, if you  don´t, who will?"  So eventually it´s not about what technology you use or don´t use in your class, after all as Jozsef put it very simply: "The most important app is the person´s mind.", but rather it´s about making us all want to be there!

Szia!      See you!    ¡Nos vemos!

Check out for the latest podcasts by József Horváth!

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