The question of ‘how would you establish a knowledge network and what would the purpose be?’ was one that myself and five other educators asked in early 2014 over dinner after a TeachMeet held at Google. We were all active users of Twitter who had connected individually yet we could see the need for an Australian community that would help to connect teachers from all sectors in a way that was relaxed and collegial. From this conversation, the #aussieED hashtag was born on Twitter along with the weekly Sunday night chat and the website – aussieed.com
Over the last two years, #aussieED has slowly become the largest educational chat on Twitter and has provided teachers across the country with many opportunities to connect both online and face-to-face.
Whilst surveying teachers to create my digital artefact, one of the questions was whether those completing the survey would be interested in developing a flipped learning PLN through social media such as Twitter or Facebook. There was an overwhelming response from respondents that they were keen on joining a PLN in order to develop their skills in flipping the classroom.
Using the four elements of networks mentioned in ‘Not everything that connects is a network’ (Hearn & Mendizabal, 2011) that this flipped learning network would involve include:
- Purpose: the purpose of this network would be to support teachers who are wanting to introduce or develop their skills in the flipped learning approach to the classroom.
- Role: the role of the network would be to provide these teachers with a social media outlet that allows them to ask questions of other teachers who are able to support them in their journey to flipping their classrooms. Basically, the idea would be that teachers would join the network of their own accord due to their interest in the approach and both help others and receive the help that they need
- Functions: the network would function to allow communication between members which facilitates learning at the same time. It could also act as a place for teachers to share resources that they find that other teachers in the network may find helpful. All in all, the network will be designed to assist teachers to be able to build the capacity required to be able take on the approach themselves
- Form: the network will start off as being one that is solely online with the hopes to build up a membership of teachers across all sectors of education throughout Australia. Being an online network ensures that there no individuals are disadvantaged or not able to benefit from the knowledge being shared due to their geographical location. Eventually, the network may grow enough to be able to hold face-to-face events, just like #aussieED has.
The motivation from writing this post has led me to create the ‘Australian Flipped Classroom Network’ Facebook page that can be found at the following link – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1666197380360423/
Hearn, S., & Mendizabal, E. (2011). Not everything that connects is a network. ODI Background note