“Growing my professional learning network…literally changed my life!” – Scott Titmas, USA
Technology Integration Specialist
Old Bridge Township Public Schools
New Jersey, USA @sdtitmas
For many of the educators we speak with here at Daily Edventures, teaching can sometimes feel very isolating. MIE Expert Scott Titmas was one of those educators. Then he read a book that changed his life.
“Too often as teachers we live on an ‘island’ in our walled-in, door-closed classrooms,” Titmas says. “When a colleague of mine mentioned all the learning she did on Twitter I was intrigued. Then I read Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, and along with other amazing educational practices, he encourages his readers to connect on Twitter. Joining Twitter was the equivalent of entering a whole new world of education.”
There, Titmas found thousands of educators sharing ideas, positive messages, and support. “Being connected gave me the opportunity to brainstorm ideas for outlandish lessons, instilled confidence to get out of my comfort zone, and linked me to thousands of educators to use as resources anytime I needed anything,” he adds. “Growing my professional learning network through Twitter chats like #TLAP, #KidsDeserveIt, #MakeitReal, and #FlipgridFever literally changed my life! I am a proud moderator of the #FlipgridFever chat, Flipgrid Ambassador, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, MIE Fellow, and Skype Master Teacher. Without these learning communities, I don’t know where I would be today.”
Titmas’s favorite classroom activities revolve around collaboration, and “mixing-it-up” to get his students working together. Whether that’s a project in Office365 (Teams, OneNote, etc.) or on Flipgrid, Titmas says his students yearn for authentic learning experiences.
“We used tools like Teams and Skype in the Classroom to connect with classes all over the country and world,” says Titmas. “We would #MysterySkype, go on virtual field trips, and work on projects with students hundreds of miles away. We made great friends in Florida, visited the Ringling Brothers Elephant conservatory, and played Mystery Skype with kindergarteners in London. We accumulated over 25,000 miles in just one school year!”
While Titmas is no longer teaching on an “island,” he is still very aware of educators’ challenges, and he does his best to not add to the unprecedented pressure today’s teachers face.
“Inherently my role as Technology Integration Specialist could add additional pressures on teachers, since I’m tasked with helping them integrate technology into their instruction,” he says. “My response is to work alongside teachers. I am always upfront about the pros and cons of certain implementations and tools. Further, I love to be IN the classroom with students and teachers as they try new things. Co-teaching lessons with the classroom teachers takes away the pressure technology might add. Having patience with everyone is also very helpful and goes a long way.”
About Scott Titmas
- Educational background: Bachelor’s in Psychology and Elementary Education, currently pursuing Masters in Learning and Technology
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Microsoft Teams, OneNote, and Skype
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Take the risk!!!
- Website I check every day:Twitter!
- Favorite childhood memory:Summers down the shore with my grandparents.
- Favorite book: Teach Like a Pirate!