Beyond the Screen: Connecting with Teachers and Technology

In the last month I have learned some incredible things about apps and technology in education. Becoming involved in the Twitter-sphere has been awesome, and has allowed me to connect with some incredible people from around the world! Ok, so most are in Canada and the USA right now, but that’s going to change! Through Twitter I have learned about some fantastic blogs and apps and have tried a few of them out. Some of my favourite finds include: ClassKick, Idea Sketch, Haiku Deck, ClassDojo, and Science 360.

water colour of app logos

Photo Credit: Frau Hölle via Compfight cc

While it is all well and good to go out and search for cool apps, it’s even cooler to have people share their finds! But aside from scouring Twitter, how does one do this? By talking to other teachers of course! As a pre-service teacher that can sometimes be a challenge though. We are not in the classroom much, and have little connection to the actual teaching world other than the minimal classroom visits we may get to experience. So finding just one teacher to connect to in person is difficult, let alone a whole group!

Lucky for me, I have a sister who is a hair stylist (and a great one too!), and she has some great clients at her salon. And lucky for me my sister talks about me to her clients who are teachers! One such client and I connected over Facebook and she invited me to join some great #edtech events through #edcampyqr and #rbeappyhour! At the end of September I had the opportunity to join several teachers for some informal discussions about using technology in the classroom, and through that was then able to connect with them via Twitter. I also have attended two #rbeapyhour events. Appy hours are a great opportunity for a few teachers to get together and share your app finds with other teachers. It’s great to hear the different ways that teachers have incorporated the apps into their learning, how they manage them in large classes when there aren’t enough devices to go around, or how some apps can work for multiple grade levels.

This week I learned about Only 2 Clicks, a great web site that allows you to manage and categorize great web pages, and PickMeBuzzer, which can bring a game show style atmosphere into the classroom. I also had the chance to really talk with some current teachers and build relationships with them. I am excited to continue to foster these relationships through sharing the apps and ideas that I am finding and learning how real teachers are incorporating technology into their classrooms.

There is also usually a live feed of the #appyhour and it’s archived so you can access it later.

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