Learning from Community

I find that although I didn’t think I belonged to a learning community, I do conduct research for different tools and support for teaching Spanish to my home school students. I like to find new activities, games, and resources for my classroom but I didn’t realize that the use of some of these sites were actually considered learning communities.

I found some interesting articles and resources on Pinterest.  This was a pin from a home school parent that actually shares on her blog various teaching tools including many online apps and I found an interesting set of tools for my Spanish program.

http://paradisepraises.com/free-online-programs-for-learning-spanish/

Here I found not only a bunch of resources like handouts and activities, but also actual free programs and workbooks.  I can’t say that I added or collaborated much with her or added any wealth of information to her resources but because I do share these “pins” it allows for others to find these resources for their needs as well.

I also just recently joined ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education, through their website, facebook and twitter.  I recently enjoyed an article about a Student Led Genius Bar that they shared on their website.  This really was exciting to see how students are taking their knowledge and learning by applying their expertise with a real-world learning application.  Students are given the opportunity to gain technology experience, develop a mastery of not just simple computing skills, but an understanding of underlying concepts of hardware, software and connectivity.

Again, ISTE was something I just started looking into but the fees are preventing me from really getting connected with a professional group.  But I have used this site for gaining a wealth of information.  I am clearly on a huge learning curve when it comes to using technology in the classroom so I am merely what others might call “lurking” on most sites as I continue to learn and gain confidence in the knowledge that I’m obtaining from all these different learning communities.

There are so many other opportunities to share with other like-minded individuals.  I find that even in our classroom discussion boards I find a wealth of information and I don’t feel that my lack of knowledge hinders my contributions to the community.  We each have our own strengths and experiences that makes our learning experiences unique and engaging.  I so appreciated a classmates post about making a list of resources so much that I’ve started my own list.  Each of us are approaching our classrooms or work environments using whatever resources have been provided by our employers/administrators and it’s been very informative to hear how each of us makes use of those resources.

I hope to gain insightful wisdom from joining a professional learning network and perhaps be able to share some of my own experiences, struggles and successes to others who are finding themselves in similar situation.  I hope to actually search out more homeschool technology groups.  I ran across a website the other day in my research that talked about using iPads for teaching; http://www.homeschooltablet.com/.

There are very few in my homeschool community that would choose to use technology in this way, but I think that we need to become more aware of the resources available through technology and to find new ways of expanding our students knowledge and experience.

I am hoping to find other opportunities or communities like The Homeschool Tablet where I can actually connect with other individuals that homeschool that are willing to explore using technology in education.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to contribute to any one particular community except through Facebook and Pinterest but I do share my knowledge personally with my homeschool community in the hopes of getting more families to be willing to learn and use technology.

Homeschool Teachers Lounge:

Pearland Homeschool Moms:

Pearland HomeSchool Moms

Unfortunately, most of these sites are not active communities that have a lot of participation but I do hear from parents who are looking for information about homeschooling, resources for teaching and other information that I do share with from time to time.  I also work for a homeschool group and am their website coordinator, providing basic maintenance on the website, and sharing information through this site.

Pearland Homeschool Alliance: http://www.phsapearland.com

Even though I don’t have a lot of experience with professional learning communities I do see a great value in communicating with others.  I am looking to see how I can share even a portion of the information I’ve learned on this blog for others to learn and share with as well.