Twitter Chat on STEM and Sparking Creativity

This post is in advance of the Microsoft TweetMeet coming up on September 19th at 1.pm. EST. Find related information on the Microsoft Education blog.

Why Chat?

It wasn’t that long ago, before I started this blog a few months back, that I would have considered a Twitter chat antithetical to everything I thought about myself as a person and an educator. Then after continuing to interact with the Innovative Educator, Lisa Nielsen, I learned that there was a benefit to opening myself up to those new opportunities. So, I sought to step outside my teaching bubble and, despite my introversion and discomfort, I participated in my first NYC Schools Tech Chat. I was continually frustrated trying to keep up and keep under 140 characters, but it was akin that pleasant frustration that I would find in a complex video game level. Unlike the game though, I could still learn just by listening to the chat when I didn’t feel particularly loquacious.

So several months later I was still chatting and I had started this blog to keep the conversation going. I wouldn’t say I was hooked as it is still mildly uncomfortable and not even close to natural for me, but the benefits far exceed the slight stress. I have met many wonderful educators from China to Israel and even a few I liked in New Jersey (I lived there a while so I can say that). It’s forced me to refine my thoughts (140 character-style) on teaching and helped me learn some new methods for reaching my students.

So the next evolution I am taking is to host the upcoming Microsoft Education TweetMeet lead in conjunction with some amazing educators from across the globe. We will be discussing the topics of STEM and sparking creativity. These are topics that are important to me because I am a STEM coach and I believe deeply that STEM instruction plays a crucial role in guiding students in the type of 21st-century learning which includes creative and critical thinking as key components. I look forward to continuing the discussion at 1 p.m. EST on Tuesday, September 19th.

Combined Headshot - Name and Twitter handle

Meet the Teachers

The teachers are all certified Microsoft Innovative Educators with expertise specifically in STEM instruction. Some of the participating teachers include Neeru Mittal in India, Guillermo Medrano in Spain, Satyendra Arora in China, Darina Poljak in Serbia, Simon Johnson in England, Serdar Karaman in Turkey, Ben Eilenberg in Australia, Luca DiFino in Italy, Cheryl McClure on the west coast, Kathi Kersnowski in New Jersey, and me in New York City. I’ll even be discussing personal learning networks with a group of teachers at the time of the chat so we will be able to all join in live.

You can find introductions from some of the participating teachers inside of the MSFTEduChat FlipGrid. You can see my contribution as well. Feel free to follow any of us during the chat to access the questions and resources we will share.

STEM

I have posted on STEM topics a few times already discussing our current shortcomings when teaching math and sharing some helpful tools. I then confronted science denial and instruction. I also gave some specific STEM professional development opportunities for New York City Teachers as well as makerspace lessons and resources. I will provide some more during and after the discussion. It behooves you to check out some of Microsoft’s STEM Resource Collection which includes their Hacking STEM project-based learning lesson plans. Check out the questions below in advance to prepare yourself. You will also likely want to review the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) as well.

  1. What excites you most about #STEM in the classroom?
  2. How can we spark creativity in our students with #STEM education?
  3. What are some low-tech or no-tech ways to get creative with STEM?
  4. What role does #STEM play in 21st-Century Learning skills?
  5. How can we use STEM to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals?
  6. What’s your best tip, resource or person to improve #STEM learning?

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