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TeacherTools: Personal Learning Networks

 

Personal Learning NetworksHiRes1

I like to consider myself a lifelong learner and consistently pursue professional and personal knowledge.  And I think it’s important to model that behavior for children so they understand that learning doesn’t just occur in school.  When I became a teacher, one of my first objectives was to locate and add professional connections to my Personal Learning Network (PLN). I have found these connections to be invaluable and recommend a robust PLN to both new, and more-seasoned, professionals.

My recommendations:

  • Subscribe to a website aggregator like Zite. Instead of searching individual websites, Zite will retrieve articles and online information specifically tailored to your interests. The more articles you open and “thumbs-up”, the more focused Zite’s searches for you become.
  • Find a blog that provides you with valuable information and subscribe to its RSS feed (like WPE’s Teacher Tools blog!).
  • Take advantage of all the great webinars on org.
  • Join a social learning network like the Knowledge Building Commons (KBC) of INFOhio.org.
  • Join an educational listserv specifically geared towards your interests.
  • Read! Or better yet, start a workplace book study. (I recommend the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck)
  • Set up a group in a Course Management System (CMS) like Schoology and invite like-minded professionals to collaborate and join online chats.
  • Become involved in community organizations that support the schools like Westerville Partners for Education (WPE), Westerville Education Foundation (WEF), your school’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), or Westerville Parent Council (WPC).
  • In addition to attending district waiver days and individual building meetings, try out an educational conference like one listed in the following article: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/09/26-great-conferences-for-teachers-to.html

Whether you decide to try out one new thing or several, the important thing is to keep learning! Not only will you benefit from the others’ knowledge, but others will also appreciate your contributions.

-Jean Trimble

Westerville Partners for Education

Pointview Tutoring Initiative

 Westerville Partners for Education is excited to announce a new partnership with Pointview Elementary. This year, we are sponsoring and overseeing a tutoring program for 2nd graders in conjunction with the Columbus Tutoring Initiative. We Tutor Recruitment-1have recruited some wonderful tutors from Westerville Community United Church of Christ and are still in need of others. If you are willing to commit one hour of your time a week and enjoy working with children, please consider joining our tutoring initiative!

Tutors must attend one training session: Sept.11 or Sept. 25 from 11:30-1:00 pm at Grace Polaris Church, 8225 Worthington-Galena Rd, Westerville, OH, 43081.

Tutoring dates: Tuesdays, 11:30-12:30, October 7 through April 28

Contact Julie Nisbet @ 614 657-3028 OR sign up online at: tutorcolumbus.org

Tutor Recruitment-3

What do WE mean by STEAM?

steamimageScience. Tech. Engineering. Art. Math.

Are these specific five fields the best? Is that what we are saying?

STEAM is a great buzzword right now. STEM too. It’s everywhere. You can’t search for education on Twitter without reading about STEM or STEAM in education. If we aren’t talking about STEM or STEAM, we aren’t moving forward, right? We aren’t cutting edge. We aren’t being innovative, right? That’s the vibe right now. But what do we mean by STEAM? Let me tell you what we, at WPE mean by STEAM. When we talk about our STEAMHub and when we refer to Starry Night as a STEAM Learning Expo, I want you to know what we mean.

We are developing a STEAMHub for Westerville City Schools, and we are pretty passionate about it. The idea behind it is to create a network of organizations and businesses interested in working with and supporting our schools, educators and students in a variety of ways. We use the acronym STEAM to refer generally to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, but more broadly to refer not to promotion of any of these fields individually, but to the cross-pollination of education and to interdisciplinary learning. Our use of STEAM includes service learning and world cultures and leadership and reading and vocal education and robotics and creative writing and sign language, and refers to how learning inter-relates and cross-pollinate. How architecture relies on art and physics and math. How music draws on math and rhythms and art and, sometimes, athletics, too. And that vision of supporting interdisciplinary learning is our vision for supporting STEAM learning at Starry Night and in creating the STEAMHub-to build these relationships between organizations and our schools.

We are very excited about STEAM in education. We are passionate to support it here in Westerville. We’re always looking for organizations and individuals who share that idea for our schools. Join our email list to stay informed about our STEAM events, opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and ways to help support the schools! Click here to join our email list of supporters!

 

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