Saturday, January 17, 2015

A New/Not-so-new Approach to Essay Writing in WHAP?

This week was the launching of the #WHAPchat Twitter chat for AP World teachers.  As I was building the Storify, I realized that the conversation was asynchronous, so it wasn't always easy to follow the conversation.  I wanted the flow of the conversation to be more like a thread, so as some of the more astute of you may see, or if you look at the flow of the #whapchat hashtag in Twitter itself, the timing of some Tweets may be somewhat out of order. Hopefully, this doesn't take away from the experience.

 My preliminary thoughts are that this was an interesting experiment to see if having a in-depth Twitter chat is helpful to grow our approach to teaching some specific skills. I learned a few things about Essay Writing that I hope to try on my students.  What do you think?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Launching of #WHAPchat

Thank you for your responses to the Google survey and the support that you have given for this new #WHAPchat Twitter launch!

Results from the survey indicate that using the Slow Chat format is most attractive to APWH teachers who responded. This will allow those in different time zones to join in the discussion and for busy teachers to participate when they can.  If there is more interest in live chats in the future, we can keep that in mind.

If you are still unsure about joining #WHAPchat, please take a look at some of the resources I have listed in my previous post: Twitterverse for WHAP'pers. 
 
The overarching response for the request on topics of interest was teaching essay formats, so that's where we will start!

Finally, I appreciate those who have started using the #whapchat hashtag to share resources and links.   This will definitely help as we continue to grow this particular PLN.


At the end of the week, I will be collecting Tweets that utilize the #WHAPchat hashtag.  Below is an compilation of those who are starting to use the #whapchat hashtag, which collects all the resources and responses for those who cannot join or want to review what has been discussed.

https://storify.com/mrshistorylee/whapchat-new-tweets-2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Twitterverse for WHAP'pers


I recently discovered the great use of Twitter for personalized, focused professional development.  As someone who is usually curious of all things tech, I had signed on to Twitter for the first time in 2009 because I did NOT go to the AP Reading and had "extra" time on my hands.  It was just as Twitter was on the rise, and Time magazine had done a cover story.
Close-up of an iPhone displaying a tweet
June 15, 2009 Issue of Time Magazine: http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,20090615,00.html
Coincidentally, my first tweet was on June 16, 2009 because I was suffering from some insomnia.   I was excited and brought the magazine to school to announce to my students -- "I'm on Twitter -- let's do something fun with it!"   One student audibly groaned, "Mrs. Lee, Twitter is for OLD people."  Well, that response deflated my enthusiasm, so after a few more tweets, and occasional ones over the next few years, and since I received no responses, I stopped.   There were a lot more things to take up my time, like my children and students, and other social media outlets like Facebook.

A few months ago, my Assistant Superintendent sent me an email saying that she saw that I had met the Boston Public School's Director of History & Social Studies.  What?  A picture of me floating in Twitterverse?  How did my Asst Super know?  Apparently, she's on Twitter, and connected to many great educators from the Boston area, and from those I started growing my own network.

Since then, I had discovered the excitement of being in the Educational Twitterverse -- the discovery of educational Twitter chats that are focused to my interests.  My favorites have been: #nt2t (new teachers to Twitter), #satchat (Saturday, general edu issues), #sschat (social studies chat), #tlap (teach like a pirate) and it's offshoot #sstlap (social studies teach like a pirate), #edchatma (ed chat for Massachusetts educators), slow chats with #asiaed, #africaed or #bookclubed, and my favorite which takes the place of coffee every morning, #BFC530 (Breakfast Club 5:30 am).  No, I don't do these weekly or I wouldn't have time for anything else, but in these social media circles I have found like-minded educators.  I started searching for other AP World teachers, and those who were on Twitter were primarily using it to tweet their classes.  Nothing wrong with that at all, but I wanted to share my enthusiasm for the other uses of Twitter that can connect teachers in a more global way. 

With this in mind, my WHAP friends, I bring you #whapchat that will be handled by @WhapchatTchr.   If you are interested at all, please visit some of the links below if you have never been involved in Twitterchats.  I still consider myself a newbie in this Twitterverse, but I'm learning new tidbits everyday, and feeling more and more comfortable with it.  I need to learn how to use Storify, for help in curating discussions once the new chat launches.

If you aren't interested at all, then you can stop here :)


1) Craig Kemp's quick guide to Twitter chats:  http://mrkempnz.com/2014/07/twitter-chats-the-ins-outs-and-my-top-8-chats.html

2) @Cybraryman has the best website on all things Twitter:
http://cybraryman.com/chats.html
He also curates a list of educational Twitter chats in a calendar that will organize by time zone within the continental US (it's not exhaustive, but couldn't find anything for APWH, thus the need for #whapchat):
https://sites.google.com/site/twittereducationchats/education-chat-calendar

3) Learning and Connecting through Twitterchats
http://teamingup4tech.blogspot.com/2014/09/learning-and-connecting-through.html?m=1

4) 10 Ways Teachers Can Make the Best of Twitter:
http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2014/12/10-ways-teachers-can-make-best-of.html


And anything you want to learn about Twitter -- Follow @TweechmeApp <-- this is where I learned almost everything I know about how to use Twitter for a personalized PLN experience.

Please help make the Twitter Chat launch successful and answer this short (less than 5 min) Google Survey:



Friday, January 2, 2015

Something Pinteresting for AP World

Two years ago, my school librarian introduced me to PINTEREST, and I have been pretty hooked ever since.  There's something about the visual and social aspect of this digital bookmarking site that captured me in a way that Delicious and Diigo never did.  I hadn't really considered using it for curating teaching material, but then started to realize that I had quite a bit in my Board entitled "AP World," but it was overflowing in a way that made it difficult to utilize.  Finally, I decided to split the boards up into the 6 APWH Periods, and then had boards dedicated to Primary Sources (for DBQ building), CCOT and C&C.  I had built a small following, mostly of other history teachers, and even had someone come up to me at the AP Reading last year and tell me that they loved my boards. Wow, I did not know I could be a minor Pinterest celeb! 

This summer, while I spent almost the whole of it in Asia, we had very limited access to social media networks such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter due to The Great Firewall so most of my downtime on my phone was devoted to browsing and adding links to my Pinterest boards.   I also created a board entitled "Study Tips" that would be directed at my students, many who would enter my class with mediocre study habits, so this is the place I would point them when they meet with me about how to do better on exams.  You can follow them all, or just follow select ones.

Visit Angela's profile on Pinterest.
There are many other terrific Pinners out there devoted to AP World curation, all of whom I follow regularly to glean more links.  This is not at all exhaustive, and is in no particular order:
Sonya Sullivan: http://www.pinterest.com/sonyaann1974/
Annette Parker: http://www.pinterest.com/kachinacloud/
Pamela Hammond: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelahammond/
Beverly Bushell:  http://www.pinterest.com/mamabooshell/
Jennifer Mitchell:  http://www.pinterest.com/peabodyjen/
Maureen Landwehr: http://www.pinterest.com/maureenlandwehr/
Dawn Rohm: http://www.pinterest.com/dido227/ap-world/
Kevin Zahner:  https://www.pinterest.com/ZahnerHistory/