The facility to connect and collaborate with other educators through new media has made my learning grow exponentially. What’s new and different? Just about everything. Sharing through Twitter and Twitter chats, being part of groups in Diigo, Google, Facebook, (not doing the LinkedIn thing though), being fed RSS feeds, as well as being part of this Masters course, has provided an anywhere, anytime PLN, which is not limited to the face to face opportunities which preceded it. So absolutely, I have moved beyond cooperation.
I have to say though that I have often found it challenging to have like-minded educators using social media to be connected, in my own school. One former principal described it as having a “courtyard mentality” where it spent time navel-gazing. Despite my belief in the importance of embracing change, it moves at a glacial pace. Perhaps it’s my recent arrival as a teacher librarian, coming from a language teaching background. Or even not being a 25 year old, career-building. Baby steps I’m told constantly. Like trying to turn the Queen Mary on a sixpence, my English husband would say. I am working with like – minded people, as much as possible, but many of them are wedged in the traditional ways. i do feel the passion for being connected and I do believe we are short-changing our students when we are not prepared to learn and change.
The literacies I find most surprising? My effective filtering and curating strategies, which have been a revelation. I am not very organised, (terrible for a librarian to concede) but finding ways to gather, filter, organise, share and connect students and teachers to information, has been as surprising to me as anything in my teaching career.