Tag Archives: Twitter


1 Jun

In February I was part of the 29 in 29 blog effort. Winter is now here and that seems so long ago. So I thought let’s try it for June. So here we go the 30 days of blogging in June.

I have been thinking recently about my role as Deputy Principal.

I strongly believe that, as educators, we need to share who we are.  Put ourselves out there.  Let people in.  Be more vulnerable.

I don’t meant that we need to do this solely through social media or indeed everything we do

We need to be comfortable with sharing more of our personal side – the moments of joy, sadness, success and challenge.  I believe as a teacher there is nothing I love more that hanging out and chatting with the students every recess and lunch. I get to share a little bit of who I am and I get to see a little more about who they are.

My students check out photos of my family in my office and constantly ask how they are doing.  I also really enjoy the informal dialogue with parents and staff at the end of the day.

Its really good when a parent or staff member comes to tell me something about an event or topic which they know I can relate.  When we do this, we humanize us.  Once this happens we are easier to reach out to. In our Catholic schools this common Catholic bond is a starting point always.



31 May

Before social media, there were pockets of brilliance in our education system but very few people knew about them.  We are as teachers not good at sharing. Hopefully tools such as the Pond will help us all do this better.

Schools competing with each other do not share ideas and, as a result, they do not grow as effectively.  What social media has done is allowed the spreading of great ideas in more efficient manner.

I am connecting with educators the world over abd can connect and learn from practices taking place anywhere in the world; in addition, they can receive feedback on ideas from any people interested in education.   Good ideas not only become viral but these same ideas also grow to become even better.

No Need to Tweet

23 Feb


Do you tweet? I know my Grandma used to tell me to stop twittering and be specific. This was well before the era of social media though. Twitter is more than people philosophising about what they had for dinner. I believe if you teach, then you should tweet. I was once cynical but I have changed. You might be thinking, do I really need another ‘online place’ to look at? Well, you don’t have to tweet, but you will love it once you give it a chance. Read a variety of posts and you will realize that sometimes 140 characters delivers a great resource, classroom idea, colleague collaboration, or even instant feedback. I have noticed that I usually read about the most current research on Twitter first.

Twitter has allowed me to meet other educators and collaborate with them. Be it through a weekly chat or once a month we are able to discuss current topics. People from all around the world are sharing ideas. This is awesome. Some of my best staff meetings have come from this.

If you are not a believer try the following to give it go. And I mean a fair go:

* Give it two weeks. Two weeks is the rule with most things.

* You have to “follow” people to read great stuff. Get alongside a peer and take some suggestions.

* Look for hashtags like #edchatnz or #SLTchat or scichatnz. Hashtags will connect you with educators like you. Cool eh.

* And remember social media get bad press. It’s not all about mindless photos and cyber bullying. It is a great educational tool.

Still not convinced? Just try it. Or maybe I have the wrong audience. I am sure you all are already ankle deep in it.

My iPhone and My Teaching

22 Feb

While many technological innovations have undoubtedly transformed the position in a relatively short period of time, perhaps there is none greater than the advent of the Smartphone. In my case the iPhone. Some of these are for good and some not so good.


I am still blown away by the number of school leaders who shut their desktop computer off on a Friday afternoon and come back to over a hundred emails when they return on Monday morning. By accessing emails in this fashion, I can give immediate attention to an issue, concern, or complaint instead of letting it sit. The negatives can be that you never leave work.

Twitter: I love it. Connecting, collaborating and great PD. Those who use it know. Those that ignore it are missing out.

Facebook: The iPhone allows users to fully maintain and update a school’s Facebook page while tracking usage and views through a user friendly “Facebook Pages Manager” app. I regularly use the camera feature to post pictures of various school events and also provide community members with “live” Facebook updates at different sporting events.

Google Drive: This powerful “cloud-based” platform has single-handedly changed the way that we think about word processing and collaboration. I regularly access the Google Drive app on my phone to take notes during classroom observations, to “collaborate” with colleagues throughout the day. Office 365 follows closely behind.

Let’s blog or tweet or poke or…

30 Mar

What has joining the online world about education and technology done for me? How has writing here changed me or the way I approach my work? Have I learned anything? How has this weekly reflection helped me?   I know this for sure……I know less than I thought I did. To me it has been a process of māramatanga (enlightenment I use Maori term for it is so much richer) From a practical perspective it dips into so many of the Registered Teaching Criteria for teaching registration in New Zealand buy I digress.

Education is about being willing to learn, being willing to take risks and acknowledging that we do not have all the answers. Not only do we have to admit to not “knowing” it all, but we need to be eager to look for the answers. Teachers must model this for their students. Teaching is more about guiding students to learn new skills for themselves as it is about telling students about what they should know.
Today’s students need to know how to research, work with a team, how to think critically and find information when they need it. All learners need to be able to read, reflect and respond. I think the most important thing that I have learned is that I must continue to learn! I know now that no teacher has learned everything they need to know about being an effective educator. We are always ako (students). We need to learn every day. What we learn today changes what we will do tomorrow……. teachers are in the best position to model this for the community.

Professional Readings

Teaching “Naked”

To balance things out I thought I might suggest this reading this week from Jose Bowen, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts


NCEA and Student Motivation

While doing some research on student motivation this week I came across this really good article.



6 Oct

I have been tweeting since June 2009. I have many followers and am following many more. It was sold to me as a way of connecting and sharing with teachers from around the globe who shared my passions in education. It is an important part of my Professional Learning Network (PLN).

Where possible, I include a link within the tweet. This is so that others can be directed to the foundation of your comment, idea or reply. I found these tips this week. My apologies as the source I have somehow lost but these are fabulous:

• Add a hash tag to the tweet. This just means the tweet can be more easily identified. The tags I use most frequently use are: #mathchat for mathematics related conversations; #edtech for applications of technology to the learning and learning environment; #edchat for general education conversations.

• Acknowledge the source for a retweet. If the original author is not mentioned then you are stealing the credit.

• Consider the value that the tweet will add. Ask yourself whether the contribution will help develop the conversation for most or if the conversation should be taken to a different medium.

My next step is to make twitter a significant part of Professional Learning at my school. I will update progress here on that.


Professional Reading

It is holiday time so no reading this week. I recommend you read Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones before seeing the movie.


Thought Of the Week

I loved this idea on twitter this week.

@gcouros Any time you walk by a student in a hallway and don’t acknowledge them, it is a missed opportunity to build a connection.




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