The Art of Sharing

This school year has been a year of sharing, even if I have been slacking with new blog posts. With so much negativity in the press about teachers and education in general, I feel like it is my responsibility to share the great things I know are happening in my classroom. Unless we as teachers share our stories, the world will only have a single-sided, negative narrative of public education.

Last year I favorited a tweet with powerful images to share at a faculty meeting. A quote from George Couros about teachers in a district sharing what happens in their classroom using a shared hashtag really stood out. I was proud this year when my district set up a school hashtag to share student learning #hmslearning. The lesson tidbits do not have to be life-changing, but honest insights into how the students really learn in my classroom. I have also enjoyed seeing what other teachers have posted to the hashtag, but I wish more people would participate and less pictures were staged … yes, I can tell when students were just told to randomly raise their hand.

Another hashtag I have been sharing my classroom lessons with is #tweetlesson. Alice Keeler originally came up with the idea for teachers to share their lesson plans with the shared hashtag. There are not many people who do it, but I have enjoyed sharing my weekly lesson plans. It is interesting that within minutes of posting the tweet I can see 10-15 people viewing the Google Doc. That is motivating for me to continue sharing and I hope other teachers find resources or learning activities that would benefit their students. I use the same GoogleDoc to post to a Google Calendar for my class, so students who are absent are able to see what they missed. Sharing the lesson plans has many benefits and I have nothing to hide.

I created a hashtag for my class that I also use whenever I share student learning, classroom finds, or things I create for my students. Parents have followed the hashtag and commented that they appreciate knowing what is going on in the classroom. It is vastly different than the classroom that they would have attended; without concrete evidence of how technology is used to enhance learning opportunities it can be confused with just fun. By using a consistent hashtag on Twitter and Diigo I am easily able to go back to see previous resources. In previous years it always felt like I rediscovered digital treasures the week after it would have been best.

About Lisa Butler

Middle school geography teacher, tech trainer, Flocabulary MC, Nearpod PioNear, and Edcamp Hershey Founder. I have embraced the power of purposeful technology and am creative with their application. If I am not doing something with ed or tech, I am probably reading children's books, baking with a toddler sidekick, running around, or dreaming of traveling.
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