Twitter in Education

Many teachers look at social media tools like Twitter and say things like:

This seems like a waste of time to me.

I’m already busy- what does this offer me that I can’t get elsewhere?

Why do people think this is so great?

What’s the value to me and my students?

Isn’t this just another distraction?

Where am I going to find the time?

I’ll be the first one to say that Twitter, for example, can be a blessing and a curse.  It can be a great way to share information and links, and it can be a great way to waste time as well- it’s all in how you use it, just like books can be used for learning or entertainment.

What Teachers Say about Twittter

Mrs. Pripp, a teacher from Wisconsin, made this video to show what she gets out of Twitter and why it’s become an important resource to her.  This is probably a much better description from the eyes of a teacher than I could provide, so if you are curious at all about Twitter in education, take a few minutes and check it out.

What About the Experts?

The Pearson Center for Policy and Learning in the UK posted this article on their website about using social media tools to support professional development. Their full report, entitled Tweeting for Teachers can be downloaded by clicking here., run by the k-12 Teachers Alliance, published a great article about the 50 Ways to use Twitter in the Classroom. This list includes all sorts of ideas about how Twitter can be used to help engage students and parents, work as a research tool, and even act as a reminder service for assignments to help everyone stay on track. If you are intrigued about Twitter, this is a great resource to prompt ideas as well as show potential use as a teaching tool.

Twitter for Professional Development

Twitter has become a great way to engage with other professionals in the same field, in short messages, to share resources and ask questions. Some of the folks who help curate sites like Classroom 2.0 and Web 20 Education regularly host and participate in “Twitter chats” weekly online discussions about topics such as “how do we get parents more engaged in their child’s education” or “What is the best professional development resource you’ve seen?” to “Ideas for using my interactive white board”. The topics are always changing, but it’s great to connect to this virtual Staff room and share challenges and successes with other teachers.

Education “chats” on Twitter:  If you click on this link, you can find a list of dates and times that educators are gathering on Twitter to discuss topics.  You can even subscribe to this calendar in google calendar, tobe reminded of the time of any chat where you’d like to follow along or discuss issues important to you.

Give twitter a try. If you need help setting up an account, or figuring out who to “follow”, drop me an email at ldpodcast (at) and I’ll send you a list of interesting education folks on Twitter, in order to give you a good start at listening in to compelling discussions.


Education Week: Building the Digital District

This is a not-to-be missed article on how a district, which sounds a lot like ours, went one to one, and how it has fared.  As we consider whether or not this should be a goal of ours, everyone should consider the stories out there of how one to one programs have been implemented, and take note of successes and failures, so we can chart a good path forward.

Education Week: Building the Digital District.

– Top 10 Sites for Educational Games




Many teachers consider using games as a way to engage their students, but how do you find the ones that are worth while?

This blog post with links to ten top education game sites was shared recently on #edchat-a twitter discussion with teachers from all over the country that takes place at various times each week.– Top 10 Sites for Educational Games.  Let us know which sites are most promising, and where you find games to help encourage your students and reinforce skills!

Apple’s New iPad in Education site

Apple has a new section of their website, dedicated to the iPad in education.

The site included downloadable e-books/manuals/guides for things like using the iOS (mobile operating system devices) in the k-12 classroom. This guide is comprehensive, covering apps, podcasts, iTunes U and more. It’s truly impressive and helpful and a great resource for any teacher.

This site also includes:

  • Guided tutorials for apps (videos)
  • Learning with the iPad (Educators speaking about how they are using it)
  • Apps in Education- a list of educational apps for use in the classroom (they also have a bulk app purchase program for districts considering “iPad carts” or other programs) and sections of the site for teacher-centered an, student centered and accessibility centered apps.  There are apps featured for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
There are also some great tutorials for teachers in managing classroom work flow, supporting writing in Pages, guides to creating student-led documentaries, curriculum and more .
Check out this video of how Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphia is using Macs in a one to one environment.  SLA is also the host school for Educon in January, a fantastic education conference you really shouldn’t miss.

New Grants and Resources Page

I came across a great website called We are Teachers which, in addition to offering resources, is a great clearinghouse for teacher grants, offers, and more. There seems to be many ongoing opportunities and rolling deadlines for applications, and many of the application procedures appear to be simple and not as time and energy intensive as some grant applications can be. This makes this site exciting, and something to consider putting on your weekly “check it out” list.

We’ve added a page to the website to allow us to put grant and award opportunities in one place, with links as appropriate, to make it more convenient to consider applying for a grant for your classroom.

We’d appreciate any help and websites you might know of that we can incorporate into this page, so we can share resources throughout the District. Please drop an email to Whitney at ldpodcast(at) with any suggestions or ideas for this page or any other portion of this site, or simply leave a comment below! Any feedback is helpful.

10 Mistakes We Make with Trying to Change Behavior

I was browsing around, trying to find some great educator blogs to share for this site, when I came across this slideshare from Stanford University, posted on the Adventures in Educational Blogging site, and had to re-share it with you here.

One of the mistakes I think parents and teachers make is not understanding how behavioral change works, something you might not come across unless you’ve taken a developmental or behavioral psychology class. We all want to change some of our own behaviors, as well as those of the and even significant others in our lives-but long term change is difficult- just look at how many people drop out of Weight Watchers, for example. We want to do the right thing, we intend to, but somehow, we get lost on the path.

This slideshow brings the common motivational errors we all make to light. If you want to read more about how to help kids make long term positive change, I would highly recommend Rick LaVoie’s Great Book- The Motivation breakthrough- 6 ways to turn on the tuned out child. He also has a DVD program you can purchase here.

Take a look at the slideshow, and take a look at the videos below from Rick LaVoie, to help understand how to help kids become more motivated to learn in the classroom.

Tips for Google Reader

Google Reader can be a powerful tool for sharing information and articles found on the web, and sometimes, even I take it for granted.  Here’s a list of links about Google reader for those who are thinking of using it in conjunction with their classroom.

A PDF about Using Google reader in the Classroom with suggestions created by CUE and WestEd for Google.

Google Reader in 5 minutes or less:

Using Google reader to subscribe to websites (pdf)

Using Google Reader to Teach Collaborative Revision with Writing for Teens,a Weekly Reader publication (lesson plan, tips)

Step by Step directions for setting up Google reader for Classroom use


Educon 2.4 Registration is Open!

Educon is  an Education unconference located at The Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia.  It’s one of the best education conferences I’ve ever attended, and it’s located in our backyard.  I really think of you are considering  making one spend on personal PD this year, this and the ASCD conference which will also be in Philly this year, should be at the tops of your list!!

What is EduCon?

EduCon is both a conversation and a conference.

And it is not a technology conference. It is an education conference. It is, hopefully, an innovation conference where we can come together, both in person and virtually, to discuss the future of schools. Every session will be an opportunity to discuss and debate ideas – from the very practical to the big dreams.

The Axioms

Guiding Principles of EduCon

  • Our schools must be inquiry-driven, thoughtful and empowering for all members
  • Our schools must be about co-creating – together with our students – the 21st Century Citizen
  • Technology must serve pedagogy, not the other way around
  • Technology must enable students to research, create, communicate and collaborate
  • Learning can – and must – be networked

EduCon takes place at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA on January 27-29th. It costs $150 to attend for non-School District of Philadelphia folks, and $100 for Philly teachers. Act 48 credits are available.

I have been every year, and I wouldn’t miss one.  Nationally known educators and experts such as Chris Lehmann, Gary Stager, Sylvia Martinez, Wil Richardson, Kathleen Cushman, Jeff Han and more have attended in the past, making it a great opportunity to really talk to some of the leaders in the educational space. You can check out a list of who attended in person and online last year by clicking here.  But at Educon, it’s not about celebrities- it’s about teachers talking to each other and sharing what works, and even discussing what doesn’t.  Don’t miss it.

How to Use this Site

Don’t forget to check out the other pages on this site through the links above. On separate pages, rather than in the front-page blog posts, we’re going to try and create smaller information resources, like the videos on the Interactive Whiteboard page, to try to allow you to find tools to check out quickly and easily.

If you’re finding things are getting unwieldy, let us know right away. We’re trying to create a bit of an Ed tech library here, while keeping it as friendly and user friendly as possible. However, being geeks, we may occasionally fall into the trap of “Wow! Look we can cram more info into here!” so feel free to kick us if it starts to become overwhelming- we’ll only know if you let us know.

The year of the iPad in Education: they’re being distributed in more schools every day. | Emerging Education Technology




There is a great article online about how the iPad is being deployed across the country in Education.  While no one wants to go too gaga over any particular gadget or new technology, the iPad is a really interesting piece of technology with many advantages, many of which you can see on our  page dedicated to apps in education.   Check out the article if you have a chance- well worth the read.


The year of the iPad in Education: they’re being distributed in more schools every day. | Emerging Education Technology.