So in case you have not heard yet, #3rdchat is going to join a long list of spin offs from the #edchat growth in the Twitterverse. If you are not familiar with Twitter, the pound sign at the beginning of any word makes it a hastag- a topic to post relevant ideas regarding that topic under. #Edchat is simply where educators meet, hash out ideas, pose insightful questions, share links, etc., to discuss among the communty of educators who follow. Many different areas of education have added hashtags and created chat opportunites as a way to connect with educators across the WORLD to better what we all do each day in the classroom. So as I started getting involved with a variety of chats under various hastags I realized I was not seeing a #3rdchat- Other grade levels had chats that were ongoing, but sad little 3rd grade sat with no talk! So I sent a message to Tyler Hart who teaches 3rd grade in Virginia… He suggested that together we create #3rdchat for our grade level– and I thought that was a fabulous idea. Within days… #3rdchat was born. So that is the back story… but what does that mean for you… especially if you aren’t on Twitter, or you are on Twitter, but do not use it as a professional resource as of now…. Well here are some thoughts..
Think about your classroom as a fishbowl… You can see out.. look around- make observations about what it is that is happening around you. You compare yourself to the teachers in your hall… your wing.. your school maybe. You might even compare yourself to others within your school district. Perhaps you are using that SMART board daily, having kids on a computer program daily, using your online math or reading digital textbook frequently, and use online forums to facilitate activities. All this makes you feel like maybe you are running one top notch program where kids are getting the very best of the learning environment. Then you look farther than your fishbowl has ever let you look. You look at a classroom in Virginia, or Utah, or Switzerland, or Alberta and you and get a different perspective. You see things you aren’t doing, things you don’t know much about, let alone stand a chance of using in a room full of kids, and it hits you! Why shouldn’t your kids be getting the same technological experiences that other kids their age are getting? How are you supposed to give them the same opportunities if you are still using paper and pencil tasks 75% of the day? Where in the world do you go to figure this out? Ahhhhhhh—- perhaps #edchat! If you do nothing by simply sit and observe a chat on Twitter, do at least that. Watch as ideas, suggestions, thoughts swirl. I promise you will take at least one thing away from every chat to process and use. Seek out things you don’t know much about… or want to get better at… Daily5 is one of those for me… and guess what… they have a chat too! #Daily5 chat is a great place to learn more from people who are already doing it and have discovered through trial and error what works and what doesn’t! Why not use those resources to work smarter and not harder?
I hope that maybe I have given you something to think about.. and if you think I may be on to something check out the links below. I am attaching the #3rdchat page as well as Cybraryman’s Page where you can find every known chat among a million other fantastic resources! If nothing else… book mark that one!