I just opened Bloglovin’ for the first time in… well, long enough that I had to log in. Can you believe it? I had to log in.
Honestly, I did almost immediately find a really cool idea: Dom posted about using news headlines as a vocabulary gap activity and it struck me as a great hook for any lesson in any unit.
The problem is that I’m rarely able to browse quickly, find something I need to use/bookmark/pin, and leave it alone. I open too many tabs and get sucked into the overwhelming paradox of choice: too many choices means I’m immobilized and don’t make any progress at all. You can see why I’ve spent the past 7 months slowly disconnecting from paralyzing interconnectedness and I’ve made no secret about how much more peaceful and happy my life has been.
But notice I said paralyzing interconnectedness, not any interconnectedness. There are days when the news feed from (insert person of power’s name here) makes me want to take the Benedictine option but usually tempered reason prevails and I realize how much my interconnectedness has made me a better teacher, mom, neighbor, blogger.
Still, the partial disconnect means that this year, in contrast with the last 4 years, I have zero blogs to recommend to you. (I know! Last year it was EIGHTEEN!) But what I do want to do is share my not-so-secret secret, and then ask what your recommendations are.
Let the PLN filter them for you.
As when I recommended that you let the PLN make your simmer sauce, why not let others filter the blogosphere for you as well? Four keys here have made sure a lot of great ideas get to my classroom without paralyzing my inbox (and mind):
- I check #langchat (but leave my Twitter notifications off).
- I subscribe to the CASLS InterCom, which comes to my inbox every Monday with articles, activities, ideas, posts, research, and more.
- I subscribe to Maris Hawkins’s blog (which is actually how I found out about the InterCom). She sends out a Brillante Viernes post almost every Friday containing the best stuff she’s seen that week.
- I participate in the Facebook group Global Innovative Language Teachers. The majority of members are teachers outside the U.S., which is a stark contrast to the other three things I’ve mentioned here and has broadened my horizons immensely.
You tell me.
I know I’ve missed some great things in my partial disconnect.
(Side rant: Not only do I despise the acronym FOMO and think it makes grown adults sound like insecure tweenagers, I refuse to open my mind and heart to the feeling itself. What better shows how social media contributes to our mental health crisis, I don’t know. I’m doing the best thing for myself, my family, and my students by “missing out” on some “great” things. /soapbox)
But as with many areas where collaboration has made the difference for me in the past, I’m sure together we’ve caught them all. Share them here and I’ll make a list! What blogs and resources should others consider watching in 2018, as their schedule and personal well-being allow?
- Maris predicts 2018 will be the Year of the Podcast. She recommends the upcoming Inspired Proficiency podcast and We Teach Languages.
- Emily recommends The Cool Cat Teacher – including the morning podcast!
- Laura’s found powerful perspective in the first two posts of Sarah’s brand new EdAdventuras. She also highly recommends Annabelle’s La Maestra Loca (and so do I – it’s one that comes to me through my Twitter PLN).
- Lindsay of CASLS gets a lot of her nuggets from the ELT ResearchBites. Check them out!