So here is my first post of 2015, Happy New Year to everyone. So my main focus for 2015 will not only be taking my teaching to another level, but also more reflection on how I can take my teaching from point A to point B. I always tell my students that you never stop learning, and that you should enjoy learning. Even though I am an educator, I am still a student, as I never stop learning. One of the best platforms I have found that has made a big impact on my teaching is Twitter. I have always said you learn from watching other practitioners, there is no right or wrong way of putting information across, it depends what works for you. I like to watch, and then take the ‘good bits’ from what I see and use some of their ideas, and then the ‘bad bits’, think to myself I will not be using or doing that in my lessons. The thing with social media is not only is it the best Professional Development out there, it has other educators that want to share their amazing ideas. When @pewithmike first introduced me to Twitter, I told him I did not want to know what famous people were doing, but he showed me how it would help with my teaching. OMG I was blown away. Idea, after idea, after idea all for Physical Education, there at my fingertips. So many amazing PE teachers sharing what they are doing in their gyms.
At first I was just a ‘voyeur’, watching and looking at resources people would post. I then got involved with the Physical Education Professional Learning Community (www.peplc.net / #PEPLC ), concentrating on ‘Innovation and Technology’. The conversations we had over the year really did push my teaching to a new level. Really working with technology, and seeing what was possible. I remember reading @MissHartl article on the PEPLC site and reading this made me think:
“When you go to the hardware store to buy a drill, you don’t actually want a drill, you want a hole, they don’t sell holes at the hardware store, but they do sell drills, which are the technology used to make holes. We must not lose sight that technology for the most part is a tool and it should be used in applications which address educational concerns” Fletcher, 2006. I love this quote because it shows that technology needs to aid learning, and enhance and be a component of instruction not just for the sake of using it. We as teachers need to find out what it is we want to achieve with our students and then find the appropriate technology to aid us. As Dr. Ash Casey explains it, we need to put the pedagogy before the technology.”
I totally agree, but if you can enhance the learning that takes place during a lesson through the use of technology, it will start to change peoples perceptions about Physical Education. It has changed a lot since the days of KES, and those roll the ball out days for the majority of us!!
Throughout 2013/14 I was happy with my venture into social media and how it was changing my teaching. The teachers on there not only wanted to make a difference for their kids, but wanted to make a positive change for the profession. Sharing this good practice was helping to evolve PE.
2014/15 I was introduced to Voxer, and this took twitter to a new level. Twitter you are limited to 140 characters, Voxer you are unlimited with the amount of characters, you can use it to share ideas in much more depth, with a maximum voice message of 15 mins allowed. It is a bit like listening to podcasts, but all things PE. Through Voxer I have not only been able to listen to some amazing ideas but also collaborate on ideas. The main PE group started out reasonably small, but now I may wake up to over 100 messages each morning! It gives my trip to work some purpose, as I can listen to what is happening in other peoples classrooms all over the world. There is truly some amazing educators out there. From the original PE group, people have smaller groups branched off from there, with me being in a few:
Physical Education Chat – General PE Chat
#PHYSEDME 2.0 – Being one of the founder members of the Physed Middle East Group along with @osama13 & @reema_kahar, arrange google hangouts to share good practice and discuss issues in PE. These hangouts can be found on youtube.
Solo PE Group – Discuss Solo Taxonomy in PE with some amazing PE teachers who are implementing this method into their teaching
HS roundtable – Being part of the original Physed Summit earlier in the year, and now the next one, we can make a head start on what we are going to talk about. This one is going to be even better than the last one.
Elem PE Assessment – What other assessments are being done around the globe in Elementary PE.
Voxer has also allowed me to collaborate on a number of projects, http://wp.me/p4skD2-2z & http://goo.gl/3CKruH and allowed me to start to think outside of the box. How can I use technology to aid in my teaching. How can I work smarter? Collaborating through Google hangouts and Voxer has certainly taken my teaching to a new level.
With the #physedsummit just round the corner ( http://goo.gl/NcMI8E ), I know it is going to be even better than the last one. So many amazing ideas to share. Over the winter break I went to visit my neighbor, who use to be an elementary principle, and he was telling me how lucky educators are today. When he was teaching the only way of getting new ideas was to go to conferences, now with social media, every one from around the world is sharing ideas every minute of every day. There is no excuse to not stretch the boundaries of your teaching, and strive for excellence.
Thankful to the new friends I have being able to connect with while being on this amazing learning journey, and advocating what education should be – Physical 😉
Are you on Twitter? If not why not? Take the twitter challenge http://goo.gl/u0MmjK
Are you on voxer? Do you want to take the PE chat to a new level? Join us
Are you a PE Teacher in the Middle East? Do you want to share what goes on in your classroom? You may have an amazing idea that you can share with the world.