Thinking about the new school year

Posted on August 7, 2011

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Click to see your class page to see if your homework. The syllabus is posted there also. World views click here.  World religions click here.

This year World View class information will be on this blog and on twitter. My twitter name for the class is @philoteacher. You should check twitter first for information. Twitter will generally tell you if you need to check the blog or not.

You will need to have a twitter account. If your parents do not want you to use twitter, please let me know and we’ll figure something out. But, if your parents will allow you to use twitter, please go ahead and go to twitter.com and sign-up for an account. If you already have a twitter account, that’s great, but I don’t want to hear about how you are checking in at Central or vote on your new haircut, so please get a “professional” twitter account – meaning an account that you will only use for your own professional or educational purposes. Twitter in school is not the place to tell us what you are having for dinner or for posting pictures of your beach trip. This is a place for us as a class (and across classes) to interact in a professional manner. It is also a place for you to follow and interact with other students, philosophers, periodicals, websites, etc…. for your own learning. And yes, when I say learning, I mean grade.

We will be using a variety of web tools this year. We will briefly go over how to use them as we begin using them. For tonight’s homework, please get yourself a twitter account for class. (If you have trouble signing up, here’s some help.) From now on, we are going to call your twitter account and all of the followers your PLN – professional learning network or PLN – personalized learning network. (More information on PLNs & using them effectively here.) This is a common acronym among real live grown-ups (like me) who use technology in their work. I have personally learned more from twitter in the past summer than many teacher workshops.

All you need to get a twitter account is an email and an internet connection. You can access twitter at twitter.com. Right now just concern yourself with the basic features of twitter – tweeting and replying. If your parents wish to see what you are doing or see how I am using twitter to communicate with the class, they can go to my twitter page @philoteacher or search for “philoteacher” for twitter.com.

We will spend some time discussing online safety and digital citizenship in the next few lessons. Use your common sense and remember that what you post is never truly private. Keep your work for class professional. Use your first name or nickname (that I call you in class, if you can) only. Do not reveal your location. Here’s a cautionary tale about what you post on the internet. It is a little funny, but it would not be funny if it were you.

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