What a blast these last two days have been. I have had the opportunity to visit with this year's crop of modeling workshop participants. It seems crazy to me that only 1 year ago I was in their shoes. It seems like such a long time ago. I have grown so much as an educator in the last year. This post is directed at these new "new modelers".
Today I gave the advice to join twitter. This was the best thing I have ever done for my teaching. (Well besides the modeling workshop of course.) So why Twitter?
1. Well it is a lot less of a time waster than facebook.
2. You don't need to "friend" someone to hear their ideas. If you get tired of watching someone's tweets you can unfollow them without the guilty feelings of "unfriending" them.
3. Hashtags make a great way to focus your twitter feed on a particular topic.
4. There is a huge community of educators already connected on twitter. There is a pool of like-minded professionals to answer your questions. Try the hashtags #scichat (meetings every Tuesday at 9), #edchat, #physics, #physicsed just to name a few. As you find people whose comments you like, follow them. Soon you will have a stream of interesting ideas flooding your way.
I mentioned Planbook. Great software that allows you to keep an electronic lesson plan book. You can post your lessons in an online calendar. It even allows you to attach documents and such so you can find them later. Very cool stuff.
Finally, I mentioned many great blogs. I have some of them listed in the table to the left. From there I'm sure you will find many others, but I recommend starting your own. I got a lot out of forcing myself to reflect on my journey into modeling. As an added bonus I began to get feedback that was invaluable on my journey. If you start one let me know. I guarantee you will have at least one follower!