How Can We Help?

The "Fail Whale" made an appearance at the #140conf meetup

It was the last question asked from the audience at the #140conf meetup at the New York Times building yesterday in Manhattan. Just over 70 social media gurus gathered to listen to three members of the NY Times team speak and then a panel of educators (of which I was honored to participate in) moderated by founder Aparna Vashisht.  Liz Pullen, Deven Black and I fielded questions regarding how Twitter was being used by educators for professional development, with students, and as a social networking tool in education.

Here’s a link to the  Ustreamed recording of the panel if you are interested in listening/viewing the discussion that Aparna moderated. I think that many in  the audience were surprised at just how networked teachers CAN be. So I think that when Chris Kieff closed the conversation that evening with “How can we help?” we were right to answer with Donors Choose and to just continue supporting educators as professionals.

5 thoughts on “How Can We Help?

  1. Lisa,

    Thank you for the call out and link. I thoroughly enjoyed the panel and learned a good deal about what is happening with social media in the schools.

    I just wish there were more I could do. An easier and more rewarding way to contribute than simply donating money. I’ll it give some more thought, and I hope you will too.


  2. I really enjoyed your post! I am a student at University of South Alabama, I’m studying to become a teacher and a tech savvy one at that. I was assinged to read your blog for my microcomptuing systems in education class. I will be following it for the next three weeks upon which I will create a summary of your blog posts on or before March 21st. If you are interested you can visit my blog at

    I viewed the panel discussion and found it to be very helpful, I’m in the process of creating my PLN and it reinforced the fact that I will need this in order to be an effective teacher. I loved how Aprana Vashisht opened the discussion stating that everyone only hears what is bad about what is going on in the education system and no one places emphasis on the positive! As the panel discussed, there are so many great things happening in education right now that are easily accessible! We are in the midst of so many great things and I want to be a part of it! I look forward to following your blog. Oh, and by the way, you have a really cool job! You must really enjoy it!

    1. Poppy,
      I do enjoy my job, thanks. You have posted on some great topics – I look forward to seeing what else you explore this semester. Thanks for including me in your journey.


  3. True as you said teachers need suuport to be professionals. Unfortunately not all educators see the benefits of new technologies in the improvenment of both teaching and learning. So what do teachers need?
    1. need training
    2. need to see the merits of new technologies and that a combination of new technological tools and traditional means can only have positive outcomes.
    3. need to change some teachers mindset to accept change and to be involved in change.

  4. Brook McNair says:

    Very good post Ms. Thumann. I am a student at the University of South Alabama, I was assigned to read you post and comment on three. My class is microcomputing and our main focus at this point is PLN’s which is the point in this post. I was never sure what a PLN was and your voice thread cleared it up even more for me. Twitter is going to be a asset to my PLN. I love how your post shows the importance of being technology literate and using technology as a advantage in schools these days. The things said in your discussion will be very helpful to me and my career as a teacher. I loved all the good ideas you all came up with. I can tell you are passionate about your career. I will be posting my journey through your post on my blog you can view it at we also have a class blog

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