Effective 21st century education must be about the 4 C's- Connect, Collaborate, Create and the Conversation that follows.
With this in mind, I continue to utilize and be impressed by my professional learning network (PLN). Social media such as blogs, wikis, Google Reader and especially Twitter have become a part of my every day life. These tools enable me to connect with teachers and administrators from all over the world. From them, I learn new techniques for classroom activities(lesson plans), technology(cell phones, Ipads, Ipods and netbooks) and current trends in education(1:1 laptop initiatives, four day school weeks etc.). Simply put I am more knowledgeable and effective because I can connect with others who share similar passions.I know Twitter from time to time is misunderstood by many as a "why do I need that" type of service, but I find it more beneficial each and every day. I recently discovered back channel hashtags# as a method of answering questions and eliciting feedback from students. I will also utilize these back channels for my professional learning classes coming up the end of the month and then again in November. I'm looking forward to learning not only from those taking the classes but also from those who may chime in through Twitter. Once again, 21st century education is about being able start conversations and connect, collaborate and create with people outside our own area we call home.