Our presenter in class this week, Rick Schwier, suggested we watch the Ted Talk – “The Social Animal”.  I have been searching through Ted Talks to find videos relating to educational technology and so I thought this would be a good place to start.  After a few minutes into the video, I realized it wasn’t what I was thinking it would be about but decided to continue watching it, based on the recommendation. I wanted to find a way to relate this to my purpose and understanding for the course and after some reflection I found a connection.


In this presentation, David Brooks presents his audience with the issue of a lack of social connectedness.  One of the first points he suggests is that people learn from those they love which leads to future points of unconscious decision making, emotions being at the core of our thinking, and being social animals.

This presentation really spoke to me as he was explaining his research and discoveries.  I have set out to make this course personal and meaningful for me and to extend it into my teaching philosophy.  Brooks, reminded me of the importance of the connectedness we have with our learners.  In September, I am always challenged with behaviours of the students and the time it takes to administer new routines in the classroom.  It has dawned on me that I am still developing a relationship with my students and as they are with me.  We are both attempting to get to know one another and figure out what is appropriate and how we respond.  I am very emotional and have learned to deal with them but as Brooks says they are at the centre of thinking and so it is always directing the decisions I make.  I do this unconsciously and consciously.

I am also in the process of building the relationships with my families and so our communication is not where I would like it to be.  I have set up the classroom blog to open up a new window of communication and one they can share with their families.  I am using this strand of technology as a base for communication as many people have indicated how much easier it is to check things on phones or devices they have.  It will take time and I am very patient.

Any thoughts?  I assume I am not alone in my struggles and it would be interesting and helpful to know how others make their connections with students and families at such a busy time of year.


2 thoughts on “Connectedness

  1. We use Remind and Twitter to connect with our families. (I’m hoping to add a class and student blogs later this fall.) Not sure how much we are ‘seen’ but it makes me feel like we are at least reaching out.

  2. The majority of contact that I have with my school families is via text or email. I work at a school for students with social/emotional and/or behavioural issues and struggle sometimes to keep those families connected. Since purchasing a school cell phone, we have had much more open communication with our families and students, as many of them have text only cell phones. It’s so easy (and takes so little time) to fire off a quick text or pic of what’s going on at school that we are more likely to make the positive contact home (rather than when things go wrong) than we used to be.

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