Summer is the perfect time to get organized! I love the reprieve from daily travel into the city (and daily lunch-making x 4 people!) and enjoy the opportunity to bring together all of the ideas that have been percolating in my brain these last ten months. Time to bring it all together!
My usual challenge is….”Where” to begin?
The “How” is much simpler: TECHNOLOGY.
I am edging towards that feeling of needing a “one stop” central hub. For the longest time, that hub was my classroom website, my “6F” Grade 6 Learning Community (which, incidentally, needs renaming since I will be teaching a 5/6 split next year….add to my list of “must dos”: change branding on hundreds of pages…there is value in not being too specific in our online labels).
I was one of the first teachers within my board to create a FirstClass hosted website seven years ago……and am still proud of the pages I have crafted, which collectively have taken hundreds of hours to create, and were shared as an exemplar with other educators. The web pages became a repository of information for my students & their families, then other Grade 6 teachers…..but have always been a go-to source of information for me since I post links to all sorts of places I needed to go online: HWDSB, my school website, Ontario Curriculum documents; favourite websites for research; social justice, peace education and music education advocacy links, etc.. It became a “scrapbook” of sorts to chronicle student work and performances, our board-wide Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, the Peaceful Schools initiative I began with parents and admin at my school before a focus on “school culture” became mandated, etc..
The class website will be updated this summer, but will no longer be my one stop shop….rather it will be a branch off my WordPress blog, connected to our HWDSB “Commons” online community. With WordPress today, I explored bringing together all of my online identities. Although some identities will only go with my personal WordPress blog, I am attempting to bring together all of these: FirstClass website, Twitter, YouTube, Linkdin, Pinterest, Flickr, Ancestry.com, Facebook….and probably more that I haven’t considered. Add to that, links to student voice through student blogs, tweets, comments and projects. EXCITING!
I have a need to communicate and connect, and cultivate my teaching practice for the benefit of my students……and also to benefit myself by helping me to serve others in any way I can. Hopefully something that I have to say will be of use to someone else — I certainly draw inspiration from hundreds of other people every single day! Nothing beats technology to make all of that happen.