On Friday night I attended the 2014 Victorian Education Excellence Awards dinner at Crown Palladium in Melbourne. I attended this dinner as a guest, as last year I won the 2013 Primary Teacher of the Year award. A lot has happened for me in the last 12 months, it has been a huge year.
Whilst enjoying the night, I noticed something different. Twitter got mentioned in the opening address and the hashtag #veea was thrust onto the screens to encourage those in attendance to Tweet. There was also a scrolling feed of Tweets on the big screens throughout the night. Now this really isn’t something new for a social event these days. Last year I tweeted and there were a small number of attendees there who were Tweeting but this year was different. There were a lot more. I thought it was great, obviously so many more teachers had ‘jumped’ on Twitter and realised the potential of a PLN, I was excited to see lots of new names and Tweets popping up in the #veea hashtag. For a brief moment I had a thought that maybe, just maybe, a connected educator was becoming a standard. I began to explore these new people popping up on my phone, anticipating I would find some valuable members of the teaching community to add to my PLN.
I was wrong, and that fleeting thought I had disappeared quickly. While I am positive that the teachers in attendance are wonderful at what they do, after all, we were at an awards ceremony honouring amazing educators, it was obvious that these new names and profiles I was examining were not those of connected educators.
I wanted to scream and shout from the rooftops to anyone that would listen, I wanted to swing from the chandeliers of the Palladium, just to make them understand. I wish that more teachers could know what it means to be a connected educator with a mutually savvy PLN. It makes me a little bit sad. I learn so much everyday from those I am connected to online, I am blessed with such a wealth of experience at my fingertips, I have thousands of people who share their ideas, respond to my thoughts and questions, offer advice and share. It makes me sad because there are still so many teachers out there missing out on this.
The topic for my digital essay is ‘Teachers: The need to become productive knowledge workers in 21st Century teaching and learning environments’ and I have been reading about the importance of continuing learning and innovation.
My question is, how are teachers doing this if they are not connected? Is it even possible?
P.S- Congrats to @brittgow – 2014 Lindsay Thompson Fellowship award winner- definitely a connected educator and definitely inspiring others and continuing learning and innovation!