Resources, Support and Challenges

Where does one look for resources for teaching? My recommendation is to have a Personal Learning Network, PLN.  Personal is the key! Creating a network that fits your needs. My PLN includes Twitter, Facebook, Diigo groups, eSchool News, Pinterest, PSEA Current News in Special Education, Reading Rockets, Teacher Pay Teachers, Educational Research Newsletter, Brenda Powers/Choice Literacy, Stenhouse Newslinks, LD OnLine, ReadWorks, and a few more. It is a bit overwhelming, but I pick, choose and read whenever there is a moment while waiting for appointments and so on. Mind/Shift: How We Will Learn blog is my favorite. Articles on new trends and research are daily included. I love learning about new technology that is available to help students who are struggling and about neuroscience research on how the brain works. Previously I had subscribed to many educational sites with Google Reader, but found the turnover rate too fast to read.

Who should one look to for support and research for new ideas? In my opinion it might be best to look in your educational community in which you teach. Administrators should be supplying support and research based on the path of the district/system in which ones teaches. However, that probably is not going to be enough to satisfy a growing and driven mind.  Educators in your local community might give one insight into what is going on in neighboring schools. For me, taking classes and self-exploration through my PLN provide me with my best support and latest research for trends and developments in the field of special and regular education.

ed is easy

For me, I do face many challenges as I try to incorporate new ideas and research with my students. Being a learning support and intervention teacher that implements research-based scripted programs designed to increase performance in reading or math stifles my creativity.  Having little technology in my classroom is bothersome…Tech Stone Age. However, I am hopeful that at some point I can be involved with the Hybrid Learning model that might begin this upcoming year. Right now I feel like a resource person that shares information that I have learned from my personal searches and classes. Another challenge is “time”…need I say more.  A challenge that I encounter is lack of training by colleagues and unwillingness to step outside the box to try innovative ways to teach  due to anticipated failure to produce positive results in learning. My positive attitude never lets me give up. For anyone else in my shoes, keep the faith. Someone will hear you sometime. New ideas will become great ideas in time.


6 thoughts on “Resources, Support and Challenges

  1. Deb,
    From your opening plugs for PLNs it looks like you have taken EDIM 510 recently. At least that is where I first heard of them. (Perhaps I’m just behind the times; it wouldn’t be the first time!) That class is what prompted me to finally get a Twitter account. Like you, I do a lot of my research through classes I take and through my PLN. The thing I like about taking classes is that it forces me to learn about new technologies and try them out. For some of the classes I have even been able to get feedback regarding project ideas.

    • Hi, Troy,
      You guessed it right! I did take EDIM 520 Web 2.0. It was truly a great class! It was the start of my PLN. I keep adding to my list of resources, and find that I really have too many, but I can’t stop myself! I really like Twitter, but once I start using it, I can’t seem to stop, which causes some problems with the rest of life. Since I will be finished with my classes in August, next summer I will have more time to read and share.

    • One example of something that I use from my PLN is my Diigo group “Cool Tools and Ed Tech.” I receive posts from it through gmail and occasionally have used some of the ideas. I requested joining this group about a year ago, and in March became a member of the group. I haven’t had the time to add to the group post yet, but plan on doing so throughout this summer. However, Diigo is my best friend. It’s free for educators. When I find sites that I might use as a resource in my future, I bookmark and tag them in my Diigo library. Also, during Project-Based Learning, my group of peers collected resources by establishing a Diigo group. love my Diigo!
      Another example is through the use of Pinterest. I’ve discovered a few people that have common interests and also share educational resources that relate to my teaching. I follow some of their boards. Some people follow my boards.

  2. Debra,
    I have the same problem with too many subscriptions and not enough time too read them. Lack of technology plagues me too and also a lack of skill on other teachers part on how to use technology can be frustrating.

    Thanks for the resources.

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