Hi! I’m Porter. Here’s my short intro:
This week, we’re asked to consider three questions about finding new teaching ideas. While I am not in a classroom to try out a lot of ideas, I am exposed to new teaching tools and ideas almost every day. Where do I find the majority of them?
In my career life, I have the great pleasure of supporting one of the largest most active professional learning communities for educators in the world, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN). I connect with teachers across the US, Canada, and the UK on a regular basis through a variety of in-person and online avenues.
While I attended in-person which is a bit more formal, more than a thousand educators attended the event from the comforts of home or at small viewing parties at schools and in homes. I also attend and host PD webinars where I learn about new tools and strategies for teaching.
I follow these people on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. I subscribe to a few blogs too and use Feed.ly to stay caught up.
Who do I look to for support and research for new ideas? I look to this Discovery Education Community for help. There’s no smarter teachers and administrators anywhere than those in the DEN. When I need help, one of the first places I go is to a Facebook group DEN Friends. I’m not the only one who relies on this group to look for support and research new ideas:
What challenges do you face as you try to incorporate new ideas and research with your students? The greatest personal barrier I face is that I don’t have access to students to incorporate the ideas. But let’s not focus our attention on that. What I lack in actual students, I think I make up for in numbers of teachers who share their experiences with me. I know teachers with full autonomy, materials, and devices to incorporate new ideas. There are not a lot of them who have everything they need, but there are a few. Most teachers I know face challenges with access to devices or supplies for new activities and ideas. Access to new web tools can be complicated in some districts too if there are a lot of filters and processes for access to the Internet.