#teaching2030: A Thursday Chat for Tech-Based Education Reform
For today’s post in our Connected Educator Month series, we’re handing our blog over to Shannon C’de Baca, a science teacher with 30+ years of teaching experience and member of the TeacherSolutions 2030 Team at the Center for Teaching Quality. She is also a host of the #teaching2030 chat, a chat focused on the future of schools and the teaching profession. Many thanks to Shannon for sharing her experiences of connecting with educators to improve classroom outcomes for all. If you’re interested in connecting with educators about transforming schools with technology, be sure to join tomorrow’s #teaching2030 chat at 8:30pm EST!
A couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough to co-author TEACHING 2030 with eleven other K-12 teachers and Barnett Berry, president and CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ). The book focuses on promising trends in educational reform, including the potential for educators to spread their expertise virtually via new technological platforms.
What better avenue for discussing these ideas than Twitter? When CTQ invited me to co-host a new Twitter chat focused on the themes of TEACHING 2030, I was elated.
The chat is part of a multi-pronged strategy. Each month, CTQ invites a diverse group of teachers to discuss a particular theme of TEACHING 2030 on the blog Teaching Ahead: A Roundtable, published by Education Week Teacher and supported by the MetLife Foundation. In the midst of this discussion, I work with another teacher co-author (Jennifer Barnett) to lead a synchronous Twitter chat on the same topic.
Jennifer and I take a peek at the Teaching Ahead posts, then craft thoughtful questions to begin the conversation. The staff at the Center for Teaching Quality help us spread the word about the chat.
The group is generally about 50 tweeters strong, although the composition shifts according to topic. We know from retweets and direct messages that there are quite a few folks beyond that number who just follow and do not post during the discussion. It’s been interesting to see that principals and even state-level administrators are learning from (and taking positive action on) the chat topics.
Our focused questions help the discussion stay on track. This chat is not about promoting the book TEACHING 2030, or the Teaching Ahead blog… instead, it’s about engaging teachers in substantial debates about issues that matter. Some of our most popular chats this year were focused on professional development, teacher leadership, and how schools make use of instructional time.
This collaborative group shares resources and links throughout the conversations. At a participant’s suggestions, we now use Storify to post our summaries.
Our Twitter chats take place the third Thursday of each month—you’ll see plenty of reminders if you follow @teachingquality. Joining the chat is as simple as logging onto a Twitter account and searching #teaching2030.
The group functions much like a PLN: synchronous conversations and connections become rich sharing experiences over time. CTQ (@teachingquality) and several teachers (including well-connected media specialists like @shighley and @cybraryman1) keep the #teaching2030 hashtag alive, following up with tweets about new resources. I am always looking for good ideas, solutions to vexing problems, and navigators who can help me find the right resources. This chat attracts folks who are eager to share this kind of information.
One of my online chemistry students recently told me that he and his peers don’t mind that their school blocked Facebook—they’d already migrated to Twitter. Here’s hoping their teachers have done the same, and that they’ll join us at #teaching2030 every third Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET. (Yes, that’s 20:30 in military time!)
Shannon C’de Baca is a 31-year teaching veteran (K–12 science) who moved from face-to-face teaching to teaching online years ago. She developed a lab intensive chemistry course for Iowa students who did not have an available chemistry teacher. She has worked with seven states and two national organizations in the development of science standards and teacher professional development. Shannon’s teaching has been recognized with honors from the Milken Family Foundation, National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the Iowa Department of Education, Sertoma, and PBS.