The first ever scenario-based #PTchat occurred at ESMS on April 16th. Joe Mazza was our featured guest. Based out of Philadelphia, Joe is a recognized leader in the area of parent and school engagement. Joe graciously presented to a group that included educators from several area school districts including North Kansas City, Liberty, Lee's Summit, and Excelsior Springs. In addition to Mr. Mazza, there was a panel of crowd-sourced experts who volunteered to answer questions about school-community relations.
Our "Take Aways"
Cultivates School Pride and Being a Witness to the Good
Increases Access and Communication
Allows Two-Way Communication and Collaboration
Increases Opportunity for Student Voice
Meets Stakeholders Where They Are
One big take-away from last nightâs #PTchat was meeting your stakeholders where they gather. In the case of our Excelsior Springs Middle School students itâs on Instagram.
On April 16th, the Excelsior Springs School District hosted the first-ever scenario-based #ptchat. Special guest Joe Mazza kicked off the night by sharing 20 ideas on how to build a connected learning community before the official #ptchat started. Joe then led an incredible panel of experts, including Kyle Pace, Laura Gilchrist, Tom Murray, Tony Sinanis, Joe Sanfelippo, Carrie Jackson, Jeff Zoul, and Jimmy Casas, in a Google Hangout to discuss how to leverage hashtags to create connected and transparent learning communities. Michelle Nebel facilitated a local chat focused on the same topic that included administrators, instructional coaches, and teachers from Excelsior Springs and beyond as part of the larger #ptchat on Twitter. The map above shows the amazing reach of the night's #ptchat. Through Twitter, participants were able to discuss and share ideas with other educators from across North America and beyond, including Australia, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. The Twitter chat focused on eight questions:
Over 300 people from across the globe participated in the chat, with a combined following of over 640,000 people. The impact score from Tweetbinder reports that the hashtag #ptchat had over 4.5 million potential views, including tweets leading up to and during last night's chat. The graph below shows the fast and furious pace of the chat itself between 8:00 and 9:00 PM Central time.
You can view an archive of the April 16th #ptchat at the following sites:
These kinds of learning opportunities are only available for educators who have made the leap to connect through social media. The Excelsior Springs School District is committed to learning out loud, and last night's Twitter chat was an amazing opportunity. Thank you to Joe Mazza and all of the guests at last night's panel, thank you to Michelle Nebel for organizing this opportunity, and thank you to all of the administrators, instructional coaches, and teachers that participated!
Hosting #PTchat is giving us the opportunity to showcase transformational learning for educators. Technology is providing us with opportunities that were previously inconceivable. We now have the ability to connect, communicate and collaborate with educators throughout the world. Are we taking advantage of this ability for our professional learning? Is our professional learning "above the line"? What makes professional learning transformational?
Collaboration and Feedback from Outside Experts
#PTchat will be joined from experts in the field to discuss innovative practices for building home/school connections.
Collaboration with Other Educators
Educators from within and outside our district will be joining us in person and virtually to ask and answer questions regarding tonight's topic. The goal is share what is working in your district so others are able to replicate.
Through connecting, we are able to bring the world to us and our work to the world.
Innovative Use of Technology
The use of Google Hangout allows us to create a panel of educators not bound by space. Streaming the Hangout allows educators to view the live discussion. Twitter allows another avenue of communication and acts as a backchannel to the live discussion.
Tonight Excelsior Springs Middle School will be hosting the first “scenario-based #ptchat” LIVE from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM! Parent Teacher Chat (#PTchat) is a social media professional development conversation that enables parents, family engagement practitioners, teachers and others to develop new and innovative approaches to partnerships. It happens on Twitter every Wednesday at 8:00-9:00 pm. PTChat is beginning a new series of scenario-based chats to crowdsource answers to difficult questions regarding engaging families and communities that schools face today. This Wednesday's chat will kick off this series.
People from around the country will be joining us face-to-face and virtually through Twitter and Google Hangout. Excelsior Springs School District has made it a priority to build connected educators over the last few years and strengthen channels of communication from the district/buildings to families. Now we are looking for innovative ideas to build stronger two-way home-school connections and create connected classrooms/students.
Joe Mazza and Laura Gilchrist have organized an amazing group of educators to crowdsource answers to questions we will be presenting. We’ll be discussing how schools/districts can leverage hashtags to create connected & transparent learning communities. Special guests panelist will include Patrick Larkin, Joe Sanfelippo, Jimmy Casas, Carrie Jackson, Kyle Pace, Jeff Zoul, Tom Murray, Chip Dumais and others will share their experience in leveraging hashtags for teaching, learning & leadership.
Join us in person and learn from the experts. Joe will be speaking at 7:00 on Home & School 2.0. This portion of the event is free and open to anyone. #PTChat will be held following at 8:00.
Another option is to join us virtually by watching the Google Hangout streamed live starting at 8:00 pm and/or participating in the #ptchat via Twitter. Do you need more information on participating in a Twitter chat? Check out Chris Hubbuch’s blogpost on Twitter chats.
Twitter can be a powerful tool to collaborate and connect with educators around the world. One powerful way to use this tool is by participating in one of the many educational chats that occur weekly. This evening Excelsior Springs School District is hosting the first ever live scenario-based #PTchat. Tonight’s topic is “How we can leverage hashtags to create connected and transparent learning communities.”
Step one to participate is having an active Twitter account. Assuming this is a non-issue let’s move to step two, how to follow a twitter chat. There are many different ways to approach this topic.
Social Media Dashboards
Those who are familiar with Twitter and the chat process may opt to use a social media dashboard such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite to setup a grid with multiple streams of content. Three streams are suggested with this approach: (1) The hashtag you are following - #PTchat in this case. (2) Mentions - This allows you to know when someone is interacting with you. (3) Retweets - Quickly see what others have retweeted from your contributions.
Twitter Chat Pages
If you are looking for a simple process that allows you to follow one hashtag there are several options. TweetChat is a great way to follow a chat as it unfolds. Simply signin to your Twitter account through TweetChat and this resource links to your account. From there you simply enter a hashtag you wish to follow, again #PTchat for this evening. Another resource similar to TweetChat is Twubs.
Post by Chris Hubbuch | Excelsior Springs Middle School Principal
Nod at your computer screen if this sounds familiar. You have just finished a profound conversation with your class that had each student completely engaged, and you ask the thought-provoking question that when answered, will tie everything you have been doing in that unit together. You do as you have been trained to do and allow for some wait time so each student has some time to ponder the question and formulate a response. The wait is killing you, but finally you ask the class, “So, who would like to share their answer with the class?” And then, crickets... Now panic is setting in. You begin to question whether or not your instruction was proficient enough. You wonder if anyone was really paying attention during the last two weeks of class. You think maybe the question was misunderstood, so you ask again only to get the same response. If you have been in teaching long enough, this has happened to you.
What you need to remember is that as much anxiety that you are feeling as the teacher, the students themselves are feeling it twice as badly. In these particular situations, most, if not all, students might have the answer; they just might be too timid to share their response publicly in fear of what the response of classmates might be. In some classes, this is never a problem. In these classes, we have what Fred Jones calls the helpless hand-raisers that want to answer every question asked. Regardless of your class makeup, there are a couple of back-channeling tools I would like to share with you that will help both the students that are nervous to share out and the students whose arms are always in the air.
For more information on using back channel tools in the classroom, please click on read more below.
I can still remember the first time I tried a clicker response system. I was sitting in a presentation about a clicker system in Jonah Albertson's room, and as I learning about the small piece of plastic in my hands, I was excited by the possibilities. I could assess my students' learning on the fly with the press of a button. I could graph the responses on the screen to have my students discuss the merits of their answers. I could collect the data I needed quickly and efficiently. The world assessment and data was open before me. I can also still remember the profound disappointment I felt when I learned that the system was over $1,000, not to mention the cost of periodically replacing over 100 batteries. My excitement slipped away, but the hope of quickly and easily collecting classroom data stayed. Other options showed up over the years - PollEverywhere, Socrative, and InfuseLearning are amazing systems every teacher should know about - but they all required technology that was not immediately available. Recently, I learned about Plickers, short for paper clickers, a tool that allows you to use simple QR-style codes and a single iOS or Android device with internet access to easily and quickly collect responses from your students for free.
For more information on how to use this tool in the classroom, click on read more below.
This will be a resource built by the staff for the staff to encourage integration of 21st century skills into every student's learning.