What A Difference A Year Can Make!

From 12:00-1:00 today, I presented on Classroom 2.0 Live. This was a webinar where I discussed using Web 2.0 tools in a Grade 1 classroom. At one point, there were almost 90 people in the room, and they were typing questions and sharing information in the chat window while I was talking about how I use these tools in my classroom. I’ve sat in on many of these webinar presentations before, but never presented at one, and it may have been one of the most incredible experiences in my life! Here I am interacting with people from all around the world (there were teachers attending from this Board, an administrator from Alberta, teachers from all over Canada and the States, and even a teacher from India), and they were here listening to me … me!

I know that I feel comfortable using technology in my classroom, and I know that I see the benefits of using these tools with my students, but I don’t consider myself an expert on using technology in the classroom. I’m still learning too. In fact, on some days, I think that my students know more about these tools that I do. I still don’t know how to record audio or insert video clips on Glogster, but all of them do, and I didn’t realize that you could add images on Twiducate, but the students all know how to. They took chances, they explored these tools, and they felt comfortable enough to take the risks.

Using technology in the classroom is about risk-taking. @zbpipe taught me this, and if it weren’t for Zoe, and her inspiring me to even join Twitter and start using Web 2.0 tools with my students, I never would have taken the risk. So thank you, Zoe, for encouraging me to try something new, and thank you to my entire Twitter PLN for continuing to inspire me to take more risks. Thank you to my students for sharing their learning with me too, and showing me that they can be the leader just as much as I can be, and thank you to @gcouros for reminding me about the importance of letting students lead. Thank you to my incredible teaching partners that support me as I continue to try new things, and explore these new tools with me too: I’m a lucky teacher to work with such incredible people! Finally, thank you to all of the parents, and my principal and vice principal too, for supporting me as I take these risks and believing that I really will, and always do, put children first. I’m a lucky teacher to work with all of you!

A year ago, I didn’t use any Web 2.0 tools, but thanks to my PLN (both the one on Twitter and the one in person), I can’t imagine teaching my class without these tools. This year has been one of the most incredible learning curves of my life, and I think that it peaked today! Many thanks to everyone that attended my Classroom 2.0 Live Presentation: I’ve learned so much from all of you, and I can’t thank you enough for all that you do! Today has been one of the best days ever … now there’s just the question of what comes next?


16 thoughts on “What A Difference A Year Can Make!

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  3. Congratulations on your success today. Regardless of the age difference, your experiences in your classroom parallel mine. Isn’t that the best – when kids teach you the coolest parts of the Web 2.0 tool? Indeed, they are the leaders, we are the moderators.

    • I completely agree! Thank you so much for your comment. It sounds like you enjoy learning from your students just as much as I enjoy learning from mine.

  4. I think that you are amazing, Aviva! Your presentation today was exceptional. I’m looking forward to watching it again and investigating some of the tools that you mentioned, when the summer holidays begin. You have been very inspirational to me as I carry on with my journey. You are always posting interesting comments, examples, etc. and I enjoy reading your blog entries! By the numbers attending today, it’s very clear that I’m not the only one who thinks so! Your students are very lucky little people!!

    • Thank you for such a lovely comment! That’s so nice of you to say. I feel very fortunate to connect with so many wonderful educators through Twitter and through my school, and I know that I learn a lot from all of them. I learn a lot from my students too. Thank you for all of your support as I continue to learn too!

  5. Her students ARE very lucky little people and as a parent of one of them I am really sad this amazing learning year is drawing to an end. I think the advantage she gained this year is one that will stay with her for life.
    The other day she asked me when the Internet was invented. She couldn’t imagine what the world was like then 🙂 It took a while to recollect life before ubiqtious computing and Internet, and it was pretty jolting to notice that her worldview is going to have a very different breadth than mine….
    Congratulations on your success Aviva, and I hope you have many more successes to come!

    • Wow! Thank you so much! I am speechless after reading your incredibly kind words.

      It has been a pleasure working with you and your entire family for the past couple of years, and I am going to miss having your daughter in my class next year. Thank you for your continuous support!


  6. Having worked with Zoe last year and hearing all the amazing web 2.0 tools she used I was very intrigued with the idea, but I wasn’t quite ready to venture into that world. I then went to ISTE in Washington last year and learned about so many more tools.

    This year was my first year using web 2.0 tools also. I was often looking to what you were doing with your students to see how I can incorporate that into my class. My students, like yours, have really embraced technology. Thank you for all your support, including the many times you didn’t even know you were supporting me (when I would check out your website). I look forward to trying even more new and wonderful tools next year.


    • Thanks for such a lovely comment, Isabel! Glad to hear that your students had as much success as my students did with these tools. I can’t wait to see what you try out next! I know that I’m already thinking about what to try out next too: I think it’s going to be some more work on Wikispaces. I feel a summer project coming on.:)

      So glad that I can collaborate with you through Twitter! Have a great week!


  7. Dear Aviva,
    Congratulations on successfully presenting and keeping track of the chat room and this goes without saying how amazing you are to not only use web 2.O tools but to use so many – successfully. I have just watched a recording of the elluminate session and already follow your class on Twitter. While watching I kept track of all the tools and websites on my iPhone and will spend the next few days sorting out (already using iPods, laptops, Smartboard, blogs, Twitter, Edmodo, Wiki’s …. and working out where I am going to go next! Thanks so much for motivating me. Gill (Daveykids)

    • Thank you so much for such a lovely comment! I would love to hear what you decide to do next. There’s just so many amazing tools out there for us to use to motivate our students and help them learn. Glad that I can be a part of your PLN!

  8. Aviva we were thrilled to have your present on classroom 20 Live!! let me share some of the comments from our survey with you.
    “Aviva was amazing! Lots of great information in an easy to understand format. Wow! Thank you.” “I thought the experience was amazing and I learned so much. It was nice to know what other educators are doing. I feel inspired to try
    some of the ideas.””It was great to hear another classroom teacher share how she uses the 2.0 tools and to collaborate with other teachers from around the world!”

    Look out high school teachers!!

    • Wow! Thank you so much! I’m speechless. I get inspired by so many other educators that I meet in person or on Twitter, and now I’m excited to collaborate with even more educators thanks to this presentation opportunity. Many thanks again!

  9. Hey Aviva,

    I honestly believe that what comes next with kids is what you have been already doing with your PLN. Sharing and learning from people all over the world in a meaningful way is where kids are going to move. We have to be thoughtful about this as there is definitely a reluctance with many in how to do this. We have to work on safety on the Internet just like we would with any activity.

    Thanks for mentioning me in this post. You have done SO much for the PLN and I appreciate not only how much you contribute, but the quality of what you contribute. Thanks so much!

  10. Wow George! Thank you so much for such a lovely comment! I’m so glad that I’ve had the opportunity to connect with you through Twitter. You continue to inspire me with what I can do in my classroom to best meet the needs of all of my students. I completely agree with you about teaching students how to be safe online. I also believe that with firm guidelines and a mutual respect, safe communication online is definitely possible. I know that I’ve been doing this all year and with no problems at all.

    I can understand educators that are reluctant to use these tools, as I was reluctant too, but now that I have used them, I cannot imagine not having them as part of my program. They motivate my students to read, to write, to think, and to learn, and this is what teaching is all about!

    Thanks for encouraging me to take risks! I’m glad to have you as a part of my PLN!


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