Breaking Barriers Is for ITS (#4its)

This Friday’s live #4its Chat will be held on 3/1/13 from 1:00-2:00 PM but feel free to contribute your thoughts and ideas throughout the day.

Next week, Forsyth County Schools will be hosting its own conference as a celebration of our successful learning initiatives.  That event is called Breaking Barriers  – Technology Site Visit, and it is planned for March 6, 2013.  In addition to hands-on professional learning activities to be conducted at the Forsyth Conference Center, the event will include site visits to Coal Mountain Elementary School, Kelly Mill Elementary School, Whitlow Elementary School, Otwell Middle School, Forsyth Central High School, Almon C. Hill Center, and the Forsyth County Board of Education and Professional Development Center.  Descriptions of these professional learning experiences can be found on the Breaking Barriers wiki.  Throughout the event, we are welcoming all of our attendees and participants to discuss their experiences in Twitter at #fcstour.

Here are two guiding questions for this Friday’s #4its Chat on 3/1/13:

  • What are the barriers that exist within schools and districts?
  • How do you work toward breaking these barriers?

We are planning on sharing your ideas and suggestions with our guests to Forsyth County Schools next week during the Breaking Barriers event.  We are looking forward to chatting with you!

Twitter Chats Are For ITS! (#4its)

What?

We’ve been contemplating the notion of a weekly Twitter chat specifically for the Instructional Technology Staff (ITS/MS) of Forsyth County Schools.  A chat in Twitter will provide us a space for collaborating and communicating as we share ideas and strategies particular to our role in the district.

When?

Because we all of have different responsibilities throughout the day, it is challenging to set a specific time for a weekly chat.  We’ve decided to have #4its Fridays.  We expect everyone to “check in” to the #4its hashtag sometime each Friday.  On some Fridays, we will have a particular topic or theme that will be planned and led by a moderator (maybe even some of you).  Those topics will be announced ahead of time, so you will know how to arrange your schedule to attend the chat.  We know that there will be Fridays when you will have to miss the chat time, but you can still search for the hashtag #4its whenever you are available to review the discussion.  Also, feel free to tweet out resources to #4its throughout the week that you want to share with the group.  There is no need to wait until Friday!

How?

Log in to your Twitter account and follow the hashtag #4its.  In your responses, use that same hashtag so others can benefit from your ideas.  If you’ve never been in a Twitter chat before, simply search for #4its t in a column-friendly twitter app like Tweetdeck or go to tweetchat.com and type in the hashtag you want to follow.

Where?

Eventually, we plan on making this a swanky house for the archives of our chats and to post upcoming topics.  This resource is still under construction!  For now, just search for #4its in Twitter.   You can join in the chat from wherever you have Internet capability!

Why?

We need to model the 4 C’s of digital age learning – creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, and we enjoy working together as a group.  Twitter is a great way to develop your PLN (Personal Learning Network) because it allows for both synchronous and asynchronous participation.  In this way, we can fit sharing into our hectic schedules.  Plus, it’s fun! J

Theme for #4ITS Friday, February 15: It’s District Collaboration Day. So our inaugural #4its Friday will be an open sharing of resources.  Feel free to tweet out resources, questions, and ideas to #4its throughout the day.