For some teachers, the inevitable move to technology integration in the classroom, may be very intimidating. One of the best ways to ease that fear would be to get in contact with teachers who are already using technology in their classroom. Most of them will tell you it has been a great success and they are more than willing to give advice and ways to incorporate it in the classroom. But contacting those technology teachers, can also be intimidating. Here are two ways that make networking with teachers in this technocentric environment.
One of the simplest ways to contact teachers using technology is through their blog. On any blog post there is a comment feature. You can write directly on the blog post with your thoughts, concerns, and questions. Through this feature you can contact the author and others can also comment either responding to your comment or to author’s post. Not only can you comment on these posts, but many of the authors give you a way to contact them. Some do it through the blog directly and others give you a link to an email address.
One blog you can look at is Ed Tech Coaching by Krista Moroder. She writes about different things going on in the educational technology field and includes her own personal experiences. This blog is a little dull, but has some good information. She can also be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A second blog that might be useful is Tech with Jen written by Jennifer Kimbrell. This blog is slightly more fun while giving just as good information. She gives updates about professional development and resources that could be helpful. She can be contacted directly through her blog.
A second tool for networking with technology coaches is the LinkedIn page International School Tech Coaches Network. This complies a list of groups where you can leave comments for the group leader and other group participants. You can also hold discussions in the discussion section. This is a good place to start networking with other teachers because it is a more professional setting compared to blog posts. Unfortunately, you cannot contact the person through email or a private message without having a LinkedIn username and page. Signing up is free for the basic package and, in order, to get the premium package you’ll have to pay a monthly fee. There isn’t much difference so the basic package should do the trick for networking purposes.
In this quickly changing academic environment, it is a very good idea to start networking with other teachers who are already familiar with technology integration in their classroom. It can make the task seem much less daunting and it is always good to have support when starting something new. A benefit of these tools for networking is there vast array of teachers. These sites are popular all over the world and can make for some very interesting and varied experiences. Being able to contact anyone from around the world is a big draw to these sources and they are free for anyone to use, so there will be someone who understands your situation and will be willing to help.
(Image 1 Source: http://www.edtechcoaching.org/)
(Image 2 Source: http://blog.techwithjen.com/)