Starting the Year as a Connected Educator

I have been teaching for 13 years now, and so I have planned for many start of the years. But this year is a special year for me, as this year I will be starting the year as a connected educator.  I am excited to start the year maximizing all the possibilities the Internet world offers for learning alongside my students.  My class blog is set up and running, we are registered for the 2013 Student Blogging Challenge, and Global Read Aloud 2013, we have a class Twitter account at @MrsTclass.  I am excited to find mystery Skype partners, and to work with experts as they arise.  And I will start the year working on Genius Hour projects!

Last year I discovered these things bit by bit as the year progressed, and so introduced parents to the work we were doing as we went along (sometimes with varying amounts of detail).  This year I am ready to start the year right way using these tools, and participating in these projects, and I feel it is important to try to get parents on-board right from the start.

The first thing I have been thinking about has been the development of some sort of consent form for parents.  Our district does have an Internet Proper Use Consent Form for parents to sign, but it does not explicitly address the use of blogs, classroom twitter accounts, or Skype. I feel that parents needed more explicit information about how we will be using these tools in our classroom, as well as guidelines for Digital Citizenship, so that they can give informed consent.  By accessing my PLN(thank you to @Chelsea_OLeary for pointing me to @KLirenman’s blog )   I was able to put together the following 3013 Internet Parent Consent Form. I liked Karen’s idea about including information about why she is using the tools she is on her blog for those parents that are interested.  My next project will be to work on that.