A little hope, a helping hand, education and an Internet connection can go a long way towards building individuals and communities. Watch and be inspired!
Thank you CDI!
Founder, Bon Education
Teaching tips, technology tools and links to free literacy resources on the web
Tomorrow I will present my paper, “Curricula 2.0: Improving Education Access and Quality” at the Gulf Education Forum in Dubai. To read the paper, I welcome you to view the document on Scribd below. -Anna (@bon_education)
I recently discovered a blog post by Lisa Nielsen on “5 Things You Can Do To Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network“. It contains a wonderful video (see above) by Will Richardson on why teachers should “get outside of the classroom and build our own classrooms and our own curriculum. The change here is that we can really connect around ideas that we’re passionate about” regardless of where we are physically on the globe. After all, in order to fuel the spirit of others, we must fill that of ourselves!
As Lisa points out, the following are easy ways to start/continue building your PLN:
I am so thankful to the thousands of educators and passionate learners I’ve been able to connect with through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twine, Twitter, Ning, and more from sunny sandy Dubai! Through you all, each and every day (every tweet!) is a learning moment.
To one giant global classroom!
Founder, Bon Education
image by Enrique Burgos Garcia
I am in the middle of conducting comparative research in the UAE about teacher use of and attitudes toward technology in the classroom – looking at teachers across a variety of curriculum systems (British, UAE, Indian, etc.).
Recently, while conducting focus groups with both teachers and principals, I learned that one of the things schools across all systems struggle with is parent engagement. How do you get parents to understand the importance of participating in their children’s education, especially in cases where parents don’t have many formal schooling experiences to draw from? Second, when many parents are offline, but on SMS, how can SMS be used in creative ways help parents learn about and engage with the schools’ curriculum at home in the case where parents simply won’t come to school?
While there are no magic answers to the questions above (although feel free to share recommendations and anecdotes in the comments section of this blog), the Open University has put together a very useful free online course for teachers called, “Parents as Partners” aimed at helping teachers 1) understand why parents do and don’t participate in school initiatives/activities, 2) develop a framework for working with all types of parents, and 3) prepare for the challenges and successes that arise when working in partnership with parents.
If you don’t have time to do the whole course, I recommend thinking about the activity Why work with parents? as a way to help you articulate to parents the variety of reason why they should be involved.
For more research on the topic of parental engagement, check out A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement (Southwest Education Development Laboratory 2002). And, for those educators working with parents that are engaged and online, feel free to share Digital Tools for Homework Help with classroom moms and dads. Make sure to check out the curriculum tab to see a wealth of homework help resources including: