I am an early adopter of new educational practices, trying them out in the classroom just to see if they work any better than what we were already doing. What’s the worst that could happen if we try something new? If the new strategy is a flop I apologize to the students and we all move on with our lives. This practice now has edu-speak associated with it; I Fail Forward, and indeed, even the word “fail” is an acronym for First Attempt in Learning. Educational jargon is coined with such speed and regularity that it becomes very difficult to even determine its original source. I sometimes ponder whether the coining of a term improves the practice it is designed to label.
I recently decided to challenge myself by doing something completely new to me: vlogging. If you are a nascent blogger or vlogger your next big challenge after deciding to do so is to decide what to blog or vlog about. This has stumped me repeatedly and I have many failed starts at it. Because I am an early adopter of new educational practices, including technology tools, I have a wealth of knowledge of various web-based programs and apps. I resurrected my first educational blog site, Leslie Teaches, and will dedicate it to “edutorials” that could help other teachers learn how to use any of the programs with which I am already familiar. I told myself that I would create one tutorial vlog per day for the month of November and/or until I run out of things to talk about. I am one day behind, but I will catch up tonight.
If you are curious as to what you will find if you visit Leslie Teaches and want to know without actually clicking on the link, the first three entries discuss social media use (Twitter, TweetDeck, and Crowdfire) in support of the development of a professional/personal learning network (PLN). The second three entries showcase some formative response/feedback tools (Kahoot!, Socrative, and Padlet) that have worked well in my classroom. All of these support Blended Learning in my classroom. If you want to hear more about Blended Learning in my classroom you can watch a short video about it here.