There are so many amazing educators in so many platforms on the internet and in blended classrooms. What can we learn from Blog writers, language instruction, online courses, math tutoring, and our colleagues on social media?

As an educator, I want to see the good in all these different ways that we can work with learners’. Most often I can learn something, too. When I look at these sources I try to see how the person or app approaches the end goal with the learner. Sometimes, I try to emulate or incorporate their best practices into my own routine.

I must admit, though, sometimes as I wander through twitter and other social media platforms looking for inspiration I find that much of what is really good, is common sense – or what we all, as educators, should know as best practice. It makes me wonder how I slide down the hole of forgetting some of the simplest things – like respect, regard for each other, and paying attention to our own integrity. I must admit, as I get busy in the day to day task I am not as mindful as I want to be about these best practices. This is when I am glad for the reminders from my colleagues. Reminders about what is important and to stay focused on best practices.

Here are some of tips I am finding most helpful right now:

  1. Virtual High School – Collaborating with each other provides more offerings for learners. It allows learners to take courses they are interested in – and the learner meets a teacher outside of their regular circle of influence. Collaboration stretches everyone.
  2. Tom Murray – Slow down! See the good in what your colleagues are doing. Take the time to listen and learn how people outside of your own organization are listening to and learning and supporting students.
  3. George Couros – It is not about the technology! Learning and thinking go hand in hand. Be sure to engage learners in activities that make them think. You have to know your learners to know what will inspire them to work hard.
  4. Nicole Stulak – Know your kids, know the teachers you work with, stretch yourself.
  5. Dwayne Reed – “Kids have to have Maslow, before they Bloom”
  6. Dan Steele – It takes hard work to be good at anything. Good teachers and leaders have to work at building relationships and planning to teach. You don’t just get good!
  7. Jennifer Anderson – Every learner is one caring adult away from a success story. Having adults who deeply care about kids is the only way we will ever have the best outcomes for ALL.
  8. Bea McGarvey and Chuck Schwann – Rethink school: courses, time, place… Kids learn in different ways on different days. Get out of the industrial model.
  9. Amy Fast, Ed.D. – Education is about increasing human capacity. Teach and learning helps us to get better and better. We have to believe that we all can change our mindset to learn every day.


So, what have you learned? I asked my colleague Anita Young, she is a Virtual Learning Specialist who teaches Spanish at IU8’s World of Learning Institute. Here is what she said:

I love building relationships online with other educators in the field and doing what I do around the world.  One of my favorite people I follow on Twitter and have learned A LOT from is Annabelle Allen (@lamaestraloca).  She is such a passionate teacher and believes all children deserve an opportunity to learn about another language and culture.  I remember reading her tweets about brain breaks and thought, “GENIUS!”  I have used brain breaks to engage my learners ever since- they love it and such a cool way to infuse language in the classroom.

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