Have you ever tried an online book talk? Pretty interesting stuff, especially with a real life pirate! That's exactly what happened in early 2013 with over thirty staff members of the Chester School District in Chester, NJ who volunteered to participate in an online book talk with author Dave Burgess. The focus was on his critically acclaimed book Teach Like a Pirate. The web tool of choice to house the conversation: Edmodo. The insight provided by our staff on a variety of topics including passion, anticipatory sets, and making learning fun were tremendous.
The initiative provided participating staff members with an opportunity to understand the inner workings of a terrific virtual classroom of sorts. Edmodo enables users to create a virtual learning environment that can hold discussions, assess knowledge, analyze resources, and most importantly allow collaboration to flourish. Throughout the experience we read a few chapters and then responded to posted questions in the virtual class that was created in Edmodo. The best practice ideas shared were tremendous, especially from the author himself Dave Burgess.
The online book talk provided several opportunities for staff members. First and foremost it enabled staff to truly understand how passionate their colleagues were about educating our youth. Secondly, it exposed teachers to a best practice Web 2.0 tool in Edmodo as well as other fabulous resources. Last but not least, it put everyone in contact with a great educator in Dave Burgess. In fact, to kick off the 2013-2014 school year we had Dave keynote our In-Service. The entire experience strengthened our committment to do what's best for kids each and every day.