On May 12 I wrote an email to colleagues which was documented on a blog post, Becoming a Connected Educator – More Thinking. Some could argue that sending an email is sooooooo ‘yesterday’; however, one has to know audience and context to connect. As such, I chose email as the means to reach out and engage with colleagues. In saying that, I know there will be a day when communicating via means such as shared documents, blogs, wikis and sites with DBB colleagues will become the norm. There are already signs that some of these, as well as Twitter, are gaining some traction with some colleagues, but that’s for another post. Anyway, here are the two (and only) replies I received.
I can’t say I am really using Twitter for PL. I have used it a bit but mainly I find myself scrolling through, maybe picking up bits and pieces that are like an alert for me (e.g. a recommendation from Dylan Wiliam). I have tried to share some things but am wary of sending things through that are of limited value.
So, my self-evaluation: I’d give myself a 5/10. I’ve tried a few things and will keep investigating, but I haven’t been blown away yet (and I doubt if I have blown anyone else away with my own tweets).
More to learn! I’d appreciate a catch up in the next holidays (maybe in week 2).
I must admit I have become quite addicted to Twitter – something I never thought I would say!
Initially I couldn’t really see how it could be beneficial to our work but I’ve always been one to jump in when technology is involved so the only way was to put myself out there and make myself search for topics of interest.
In the past four weeks I have been involved in chats with educators from all over the world sharing ideas and teaching practices with different topics such as Professional Learning, Student engagement, Differentiation, Student choice and assessment.
The most useful part is not necessarily the comments that are made but the links to resources and other ideas that build up my resources folder. At first I couldn’t follow how quickly the tweets seemed to move but I have used a platform recommended by an educator in Singapore called Tweetdeck. https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/ This allows you to set up columns to track the #hashtag conversations or users you are following.
I see it as a great way of ensuring that I am keeping current with what teachers are discussing and sharing techniques and resources to ensure that I do not become limited in my role as an Ed Officer and focus solely on RE and Mission. We are always searching for innovative ways of teaching and implementing them into the RE Curriculum.
I had no idea of the potential of Twitter and am amazed and excited at the possibilities that could be used to connect students to the world. WYD is a perfect way for our pilgrims to begin the conversation leading up to the event in Krakow @wyd_en #Krakow2016
Thanks Greg for introducing us to the brave new world! Looking forward to catching up in the holidays.
The two responses partly represent a range of conversations I have had with colleagues since introducing them to the idea of Connected Educators and Twitter on Monday 13 April. 22 Educators attended the workshop and approximately another 8 followed up with me soon after the workshop. There are, of course, a number who have engaged little, if at all, with Twitter. Many of these people have commented about the lack of time or lack of value as ‘C’ expresses when they write, “I can’t really say that I am using Twitter for PL.” There are also those people who just ‘lurk’ and not contribute by posting or retweeting because they are, as ‘C’ writes, “wary of sending things through that are of limited value.”
It is pleasing to know ‘C’ and others “will keep investigating” even though they, “haven’t been blown away yet”. My question is, are ‘C’ and colleagues expecting too much too quickly? Maybe this is my fault because I am thinking two-part artefact spoke too much of the benefits and not enough about the time required to connect to the right people and organisations who provide the ‘benefits of connection’ as joyously described by ‘R’.
“R” positively comments on her experience. In doing so ‘R’ acknowledges that she, “couldn’t really see how it could be beneficial to our work” but worked at it. Soon ‘R’ became, “involved in chats with educators from all over the world sharing ideas and teaching practices with different topics,”, utilised the expertise of someone in Signapore and found Twitter to be, “a great way of ensuring that I am keeping current with what teachers” and is, “excited at the possibilities that could be used to connect students to the world.” I look forward to ‘R’, and other colleagues including ‘C’, becoming educators who lead teachers and students to connect with others across the world.