Monday, 23 May 2011

My Network Garden


My phone is lame. I wish it was something that was capable of doing something exciting but it cannot. It texts and receives calls and that is about it. Sometimes it doesn't even do that much. Maybe when I have a real career I can get a real phone. Then I can tweet where I want, when I want. It's a nice thought.

So I know in my last post, or the one before, I talked about how I have saved many links from using Twitter and reading my 355 classmates' blogs, and I think that is how I have been expanding my personal network. It began with my classmates and with some links posted in class, and then from there I am now finding my own links and people that I follow on Twitter that have great resources as well, always posting links to sites or to their own blogs, which I now subscribe to. So now now only do I have my 355 folder in my Google Reader, I also have a folder named "Educator Blogs" that I have found through Twitter and through links shared in class. Some of the ones that have been immediately valuable to me are:
  • The Creative Education Blog - Covers many different areas, includes lesson ideas, classroom management help... I found this blog after I started following @creativeedu on Twitter.
  • What Ed Said  - This is another blog I found after I began following @whatedsaid on Twitter. Also has many resources within it. 
  • Autodizactic - This is another educator-run blog that has many ideas and food for thought. Focuses a lot on technology in the classroom
    • Now, these are only a few of the blogs that I have started following that have great ideas and resources for a pre-service teacher such as myself. 
Now, there are also some resources that I have found on my own, and have slowly become obsessed with. One of them is CBC podcasts. Now, I know that there was talk about the Spark podcast and how cool that was. I have listened to Spark, my boyfriend was introduced to it by one of our teachers, and he introduced it to me. But I have always been drawn to the music podcasts and one that I have listened to for years now is the CBC Radio 3 Podcast with Grant Lawrence. This podcast focuses mainly on Canadian indie music, and it has introduced me to some awesome bands. Most importantly, Grant Lawrence is an awesome guy, he's funny and loves what he does. He has been the MC for the Regina Folk Fest for the past few years as well. Anyways, he wrote a book called Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck, which my boyfriend bought me for Christmas. After I read it, I decided that I would email Grant to tell him that I loved his book and how I was in education for drama and english and how I loved storytelling.

Well, he emailed me back! Here is a little snippet of his reply:
"Thanks so much for your email! Thanks also for your kind words... so glad to
hear you enjoyed the book. Once you get settled as a teacher I've love to
come to your class and talk to your kids about storytelling and writing. I do
it fairly frequently these days at high schools."


So I'm gonna say that Grant Lawrence belongs in my learning network, because he has already offered himself as a resource in my classroom and I don't even have a contract yet! Woot.

Another CBC podcast that I listen to religiously is called "Definitely Not The Opera" or as it is commonly called, "DNTO." DNTO is hosted by a lady named Sook-Yin Lee, and this podcast is all about people's stories. Each podcast has a theme, like "Can you go home again?" or "The story behind the photo" and the people telling the stories are all Canadian, and it is sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes totally gross or creepy, or totally inspiring. Everybody loves a good story, and it brings everyone together. I want to implement a form of this kind of storytelling into an english or a drama class, because it is somewhat performance based as well. DNTO is always giving me cool ideas, connecting me with authors to look up or websites to check out. Storytelling is a lost art, and in a digital age, I want to teach my students the power of storytelling.

I think that these resources are important to my learning because they help to shape me into the kind of teacher that I want to be. I want my classes to be engrossing, inspiring, to bring people from all backgrounds together. 

So, here is a video bringing together 2 of my personal network loves, this is a video of Grant Lawrence telling one of his stories (included in his book) for a DNTO special story-telling podcast/performance.

1 comment:

  1. That's exactly what networking is. You've made a contact with a real person. Community comes when you begin to be able to work closely with others on your passions. Seems to me you're heading in the right direction.