Finding Inspiration

 

Finding

When I set out to pick blogging back up after years away, I thought it would be no problem.   When I decided to do it weekly, that was the kicker!  I am enjoying it, but it is challenging my noggin.  The first several blogs came easy but as the weeks come and go, I find that I am reading more educational sites, researching instructional journals, reading more books, and reading other blogs.  I do this for professional growth, but also to find inspiration.  Finding inspiration yields sparks of inventiveness, creativity, and innovation.  Finding inspiration is a challenge but doable.  I’ll share a few of my tips for finding inspiration and hope that it helps you find yours.

Pinteresting (1)

It took me a while to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon.  I mainly thought it was a site relegated to crafting, gardening, and home repair.  Personal side note, we recently pulled all the carpet off the stairs and are going to paint them.  All inspired from Pinterest boards!

If you are not familiar with Pinterest, it is a social network that allows you to visually share, and discover new interests by posting (known as ‘pinning’ in a digital corkboard) images or videos to your own or others’ boards (i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned.  For a visual explanation, check out this video.

Whether you are looking for classroom organization ideas or technology integration boards, you can find many inspiring boards on Pinterest.  Here’s a list of Educators whose Pinterest you should follow for inspiration.  Thanks to Shake up Learning!

Name/Organization

Types of Boards

All Things Algebra Math and Algebra
Cari Sturch iPad apps, curriculum and PD
Carrie Baughcum Special education and edtech
Charity Preston Classroom ideas, themes, organization, and lessons
Clever Classroom Social skills, literacy, classroom organization, and games
Education World Projects, lessons and free resources for teachers
Edudemic EdTech and technology integration
Edutopia PBL, technology integration, mobile learning, PD, critical thinking, and more
Elizabeth Eastman Technology integration and blended learning
Eric Sheninger Digital leadership
Erin Klein Ideas and resources for the elementary classroom
FISD Facilitators Apps and digital tools
Innovative Teacher Over 45k pins on ideas and lessons to innovate the classroom
ISTE EdTech and social media for educators
Joan Gore Wide variety of educational resources, including apps and technology integration
Kasey Bell, Shake Up Learning Edtech, technology integration, Google Apps for Education, apps, and more!
Laura Candler Literacy, classroom management, cooperative learning and tons of teaching resources
Matt Gomez Elementary classroom ideas, technology integration and apps
Richard Byrne Free technology for teachers
Science Stuff Biology, chemistry and all things science
Shelly Terrell Digital storytelling, 30 Goals Challenges
Smart Apps for Special Needs Resources and apps for special needs students
Sue Gorman Google apps, iPad apps, technology integration
Tami Brass EdTech, iPads, PD
Teacher Vision Teacher time-savers PK-12
TCEA EdTech and technology integration
Vicki Davis Technology integration and productivity

Pinteresting

There are days when finding inspiration is challenging.  You have ideas or topics percolating in your head but would like to know if it can spark change or prompt some discussion among colleagues.  More often than not, there are others that are on your same wavelength.  I’ve found there are many educators, technologists, and bloggers that have similar passions as I do to lean on and bounce off ideas.  I turn to my fellow contemporaries in the field of instructional/educational technology for inspiration.

Here are some bloggers that inspire me to make a difference in education.  There are many more out there, find those that help inspire you.

Blog/Site Twitter Authors
Shake Up Learning @ShakeUpLearning Kasey Bell is a digital learning consultant, speaker, and blogger with a passion for technology and learning.
EdTech After Dark @EdTechAfterDark Created and moderated by Alex Stubenport, Zac Leonard, and Dan Koch, this blog and site is rich in EdTech talk and ideas. There’s a weekly chat every Monday night @ 10PM EST.
Alice Keeler @alicekeeler Alice Keeler is someone you should follow if you are involved with Google Apps.   She’s usually the first person I look for when I have a question about Google.
Calliope Global @ProfeEdTech

@JenWilliamsEdu

Jennifer Williams and Fran Siracusa are two more educators that strive to inspire others to drive change in education.   

PLN

I found a great source of inspiration from my PLN (Professional or Personalized Learning Network).  A PLN uses social media (Twitter, Periscope, etc.) and technology (smart phones, computers, etc.) to collect, collaborate, communicate and create with colleagues.  Connect with inspiring people at any place and at any time.  In the past six months, my PLN has grown close to 1,500 on Twitter.  I chose Twitter as my conduit for connecting with others worldwide.  Through Twitter chats I am able to learn from others as well as share my ideas on how to improve education.  At times, my fellow educators will share a post that either supports or builds upon what’s simmering in my mind.   My PLN is definitely one of my go to places for inspiration.  If you haven’t connected, setup your own PLN or not sure how , here’s a quick how to:

  • Start a Twitter account and connect with other educators..
  • Build a circle of connected educators on Google+.
  • Follow education blogs (read and comment).
  • Follow education chats that are specific to your content area.
  • Join and participate in education groups on other social sites.
  • Accept invitations to collaborate.

After connecting, spend some time a day interacting and collaborating.  How much time depends on each individual’s preference.  Try spending 20 minutes a day connecting with others to start.  If you participate in chats, those usually last an hour.  Participating in three chats a week means three hours a week.  Start slow and build from there.  Good luck building your PLN!

***

I think many of us have those moments when ideas and thoughts don’t seem to flow as fast as we would like.  Looking at other’s collections of images and pins will switch that proverbial lightbulb moment.  Read those blogs you’ve subscribed to, to get back on track with your thoughts and plans.  When you get stuck, use your connections in your PLNs to draw ideas.  Chances are you will be able to reciprocate when others draw inspiration from you as well.

“What is Pinterest and how does it work? – Infront Webworks.” 2014. 4 Jul. 2016 http://www.infront.com/blogs/the-infront-blog/2014/1/20/what-is-pinterest-and-how-does-it-work

“35 Educators You Should Follow on Pinterest – Shake Up Learning.” 2015. 5 Jul. 2016 http://www.shakeuplearning.com/blog/35-educators-you-should-follow-on-pinterest/