Category Archives: social media

Supporting New Colleagues

Whew! Kansas teachers have just about the first month of school under our belts. Heck, Homecoming is this weekend here in El Dorado. You may finally have the feeling that your feet are on solid ground, having made it through all the new faces, rosters, seating charts, data sorting, lesson planning, meet the teacher nights, etc. Of course, now we’re into our first big assignments to be graded, parent-teacher conferences are just around the corner and if you’re also coaching your away games mean at least one night a week is taken over by bus rides, encouragement and fast food. Now try to remember what it was like figuring it all out for the first time. Wow.

 

School Teacher Children Classroom Playmobil

We know that schools in Kansas haven’t exactly flourished in the past few years and that has really effected teachers. The Wichita NBC affiliate KSN ran a story that Kansas is down 1500 teachers for this school year. Is anyone surprised that our young people aren’t flocking to the profession? So I’m asking that if there are any new teachers in your building, please check in with them, even if they’re not a fellow social studies instructor (we’ll forgive them this once). Ask them if they need anything – help them navigate the teacher’s lounge, or share the trick about fixing a jam in the copier. Let them know there’s a lifeguard on duty in case they start to feel like they’re drowning.

We need to encourage and support our new colleagues so we don’t lose them; lock them in before they figure out there are actually jobs that end at 5:00 and have weekends off. In addition to personal outreach, there are a lot of good resources out there for new teachers to tap: Edutopia has a Toolkit for New Teachers, the National Education Association has a good selection of articles for new teachers on many of the issues that don’t necessarily get covered in university programs. Parent-teacher conferences are just around the corner and ASCD has a good set of guidelines to get them started.

There are also a wealth of networks new teachers can join that are on-going. You might have caught my post back in March on #sschat. They’ve seen the need and created the new hashtag #NTsschat just for New Teachers (NTs). The National Council for the Social Studies also has their Twitter account @NCSSNetwork and Facebook page and the Technology Community has the handle @TechNCSS.

In fact, @TechNCSS will be hosting a Twitter Chat of their own tomorrow (Tuesday, September 19) just for the problems faced by new teachers. Please encourage your new teachers to join us (once again, even if they’re not social studies, maybe learning about Twitter Chats will help them to find their way to one in their curriculum). You can feel free to join us if you want to help answer their questions or you’ve been interested in checking one out. This is one that will have a lot of basics if you want to lurk and pick up some new resources.

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Find the best apps, games, and sites with Graphite

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The digital landscape that you and your kids have to navigate has exploded. Mobile technology, apps, instant access, digital content. The stuff is everywhere. And all of that stuff is changing how we do school.

But sometimes it feels like there is just too much. Sometimes it’s easier to just throw up our hands and try to ignore everything out there. How do we sort through all of it? We need unbiased and relevant information that can help us find the best of what we’re looking for.

And now there’s help. Enter Graphite, a free tool designed just for educators.

Graphite is a service Continue reading Find the best apps, games, and sites with Graphite

Get the KCSS fall update. And try out Smore

KCSS is giving an online tool called Smore a test drive for publishing our quarterly newsletter. First things first. Head over and get the newsletter here.

But I also think that Smore is a handy tool for teachers and students for creating all sorts of products and projects. It seems very easy to use and has some cool sharing tools.

Create a free account and Continue reading Get the KCSS fall update. And try out Smore

Sweet Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic lesson plans and instructional goodies

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Are you looking for some sweet Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic instructional goodies? Here’s what I’ve got:

Start with the basics

News

Social Media

Mobile Apps
(I’m part of Team Apple so . . . these are iPhone / iPad apps. I did some checking – Google Play and Android also have tons.)

Lesson Plans / Instructional Materials

Have fun!

#NCSS13 in St. Louis, Missouri

Greetings from the “Show Me” State!

I happen to be at the premiere social studies education event in the country.  Approximately 2500 social studies educators, professors, and exhibitors have crowded the St. Louis America Convention Center for the annual conference of the National Council for the Social Studies.  I always look forward to this event and find it to be one of energy and it recharges my batteries after I hit the Fall Doldrums of the School Year.

It is also exciting for me.  My hotel is literally a stone’s throw from the arch and the Edwards Dome where the Rams play.  I walked to the conference last night in the rain, mist, and fog and in looking up, the upper half of the arch was covered.  It was beautiful.  Continue reading #NCSS13 in St. Louis, Missouri