Tonight will be my first live broadcast of our Council for Exceptional Children Chapter 877 meeting. As president of our local chapter, I am always looking for ways to reach members and have meaningful meetings. About a month ago I joined the Twitter community and social networked with others and learned about how to do live broadcasts. I attended live broadcasts of seminars and collaborations that were so interesting and exciting that I realized that this would be a great way to get our members to our meetings. Over the years I have heard that people were too busy to travel to the meetings or that our county is so large that it is too long a drive to attend meetings after a day of work. I am hoping that by doing this I can overcome those two obstacles and motivate people to join us. Of course since this is the first time, I’m a little anxious about how the video and audio will sound but it is worth a try.
We will be talking about the topics that I posted in http://loonyhiker.wikispaces.com. I encouraged people to bring their own laptops with wifi connections because Panera Bread has free wifi. In fact Panera is even reserving the back comfortable “living room” area for our meeting. I am also anxious about whether anyone will show up, either in person or on line. We have sent out reminders to everyone we have email addresses for and anyone else I know that might be interested.
I don’t think I will discuss this over 30 minutes because I feel it will overwhelm them. I want to whet teachers’ appetites so they can see what is out there. The list of topics is not all that is out there and I’m finding out new things every day that I would not have known about if I hadn’t started to connect with others in education from around the world. I never realized that there are so many people out there who know so much and are willing to share this information. All you have to do is know where to look and who to ask. If these people don’t know the answers, they usually can direct you to someone who does know. I’m hoping that once they see some of these things, these teachers will realize that it is just the tip of the iceberg and there are plenty resources out there that we can use in our classrooms.
I know that this information can be intimidating but if I can convince them to try at least one thing at a time, it will be worth it. I know that teachers don’t really have the time to search and try out all the resources that may be out there and since I’ve retired from the classroom, I really do have the time. I guess I use others to filter a lot of this information for me and I look at links that other people recommend. As I look at the suggested resources, I can tell whether or not I like the same things this person likes so I will know whether to continue to look at links they recommend. If I see that they have different interests than I do or I don’t agree with them, I usually skip their links. Teachers don’t need to reinvent the wheel by going through all the gazillions of stuff that is out there. By using Twitter I have used a lot of the people out there as my “filter” for information.
My personal goals for this meeting:
• I am hoping that the teachers at this meeting will use me as a resource and learn of other resources out there.
• I hope that teachers will gain some new information out there that they can use in their classroom.
• I hope that teachers will be motivated to explore some of these new things and be motivated to want more.
• I hope that teachers will learn that technology is not something to be feared and instead see how it can improve the quality of their teaching.
• I hope teachers will share ways that technology can be used in the classroom to improve student performance and understanding of knowledge.
If you have time, pop in and join us on Wednesday, February 27 at 6:30pm ET at http://ustream.tv/channel/cec-chapter-877-meeting---22708