I joined #lrnchat Thursday at 5:30pm (PST) to talk about community!
Here's a Storify of my second Twitter Chat!
I joined #lrnchat Thursday at 5:30pm (PST) to talk about community!
Here's a Storify of my first Twitter Chat!
I joined #engchat today at 4:00pm (PST) to talk with fellow educators about poetry!
So this 20% Project is off to a rougher start than I had hoped for, but today I read a really helpful article (CLICK HERE) that shared "7 Tips for Shaping Your Writing Career." One piece of advice author Frances Kazan gives writers is to develop a routine - a time where you sit down to write at least once a day.
I'm going to try this out starting tomorrow! Hopefully I can get a couple ideas down in the next few days to make up for my hiatus.
In the meantime, enjoy this slideshow of some of the hilarious things my Korean high school students said/did/created during my time as their English teacher. This is only a small portion of the quotes I have saved - if you want to see more let me know!
Writer's Digest: "How (& Where) to Get a Short Story Published"
I thought it was also time to start exploring the steps to getting my work published.
The Writer's Digest published the article, "How (& Where) to Get a Short Story Published" (LINK HERE) back in 2012. It was written by guest columnist Michael Kardos, and it provides a nice overview of some of the steps to consider on the road to publication.
Options for WHERE to publish a short story include: Literary (and Online) Journals, Magazines, Anthologies, and Short Story Collections. Each of these choices vary, as individual journals and magazines have their own writing style and/or genre that they gravitate towards.
Before I decide where to submit my work, Kardos explains that it is critical for me to do some research and actually read the work that is printed in these publications. Not only will this provide me with more creative inspiration, but it will also help me to see whether or not my work fits in with what the anthology or collection tends to produce.
One of the most important things that Kardos stresses is that most work that gets submitted to a journal gets rejected. Rejection is normal, frequent, and should not be taken personally. I think I found my new mantra...
I feel like this article has provided me with a good foundation with regards to publishing, and something to keep in mind as I get closer to the end of my project. I will have to add reading through different journals, magazines, and collections to my list of things to research!
Instagram Scavenger Hunt
In this blog post (CLICK HERE to read), teacher Caitlin Tucker describes an Instagram Scavenger Hunt that her students completed in Chinatown, San Francisco. Her class had read Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, and Tucker wanted them to be able to connect to the story on a deeper level.
The process of creating this Scavenger Hunt is fairly simple. It requires a public, "for educational purposes only," account and a hashtag that is unique to that particular class or activity. Teachers can upload a list of things they want their students to hunt for, and students will use the specific hashtag to catalogue the pictures they post.
I really like this idea, although at first I was hesitant, as most schools no longer have the funding for field trips. However, as an English teacher, there are still many ways that I can use a "scavenger hunt" of sorts in the classroom. Images and visual representations can be applied to novels, and a variety of the concepts that I teach throughout the school year.
Students can hunt around the school to find visual representations of vocabulary (see my previous blog post for a great idea on how to use Instagram with vocab - LINK HERE), ethos/pathos/logos, characters from stories, in support of student opinions they are using in an essay - the possibilities are seemingly endless. Tucker, once again, proves what a useful tool Instagram can be in the classroom!
Reflecting on the Use of Instagram in the Classroom
It goes without saying that technology is always changing. By the time we learn to use one application, it seems an updated version is in the works - or, in many cases, already on the market. As teachers, this is the way we need to view education. There is always something new we can try; a different approach we can take to further engage our students in their learning.
One of the ways that we can (and should) implement this, is by integrating some of the technology that we know our students already use. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other such applications are ways that our students connect with their peers on a daily basis - why not use it to help them to connect to their schoolwork, too?
There are definitely things to consider before implementing social media applications in the classroom - parent consent, privacy concerns, online ethics, cooperation with the administration - all of which should be given the utmost concern. However, I don't think these issues should deter teachers from trying to utilize modern technology into their lesson plans.
Student-centered learning is paramount, and part of curriculum design involves considering what our students are interested in and how they approach those interests. If we want our students to buy in to our teaching, we must buy in to modern sources of information, communication, and expression. I am definitely not a technology expert. I still have a so much l to learn, and it will take a great deal of practice and familiarizing myself with these applications before I can successfully bring them into the classroom. But I'm willing to try.
One of the most common questions students ask about their studies is: "When am I ever going to use this?" Through the implementation of applications like Instagram in the classroom we can give our students freedom of expression, the opportunity to be creative, and the best answer this question could ever receive: "Right now."
I think this is a great tool, and I would love to use it in my classroom! I also love the fact that Munday collaborates with Martín on this project, as she is a teacher in Spain. Using technology is an exciting tool for students, especially if they can connect to young people around the world. Networking is a critical life skill, and exposing students to other cultures, belief systems, and ways of thinking by allowing them to work with real students from other nations will help them to develop this necessary ability.
Giving students the opportunity to work with others - both in the classroom and across the globe - helps them to engage with their studies, and also helps them to understand that what they do can have an impact on the world. Providing our students with this level of agency is a powerful thing.
I wonder if some of my co-teachers in Korea would be interested in a collaborative activity...hmm...
#InstagramELE (A New Approach)
Almost a year later, Pilar Munday revisits her original post on the #InstagramELE Challenge with some updates (CLICK HERE to read). More than 10,000 images have been shared by students in Spanish classes all around the world!
Munday shares a modification to the challenge made by teacher José Ramón Rodríguez, who awards his students with badges for their participation.
There are a total of 15 bages that Rodríguez gives to his students. The three pictured above are for their first post, when an image they post receives 20 likes from other participants in the challenge, and when one of their images has received 50 likes from other participants in the challenge. The badges add a bit of structure to the project, which can increase student motivation.
Other badges have to do with the type of pictures students post (pictures of meals, at home, etc.). Personally, I like this modification to the challenge activity. It gives students something to aim for, and is a way for the teacher to acknowledge the work that they put in to their posts. I think that knowing their teacher is paying attention to what they create will encourage students to try harder, which will lead to better outcomes for the challenge as a whole. In addition, it might be an interesting idea to have the students come up with ideas for the badges as well, pushing their incentive even further.
Overall, these two blog posts and the #InstagramELE Challenge prove what a useful instructional tool Instagram can be in the classroom. Not only can it connect students to their learning, but it is also allows them to connect their learning to the world.