We’ve completed two of three days of our “Becoming a Connected Educator” course at school.Working with these fascinating and smart friends, colleagues, and amazing teachers is so fun. I’m able to learn alongside them and marvel at the reflection and dialogue amongst the group.
After two days the teachers are now on Twitter, using Hootsuite, have Diigo accounts and have joined and are sharing bookmarks to our Diigo group for the class. They’re reaching out to connect with others, finding educators to follow, and reflecting on their learning on a shared Google site.
Today we used a Google Hangout to have a conversation with Peter Skillen (@peterskillen) and Brenda Sherry (@brendasherry). I met both of them online via my work with PLP this past year. They supported me in my learning and have continued to do so. We met face to face at ISTE and they said they’d collaborate with me in my work with this class. True to their word, they shared ideas and thoughts about being connected with the group this morning. They are fabulous people and wonderful educators and I can’t thank them enough.
Our group checked out the #edchat at noon today. I assumed we’d lurking and talk about the experience, figuring out how to navigate the rapid flow of tweets that run on and on. Instead, many in the room contributed their thoughts, retweeted, and continued the conversation about homework face to face. What a group!
Later in the day we talked about blogging and especially blogging with students. Many teachers set up accounts with kidblog.org and are exploring ways to use that tool effectively with students. I wonder how many will keep their blogs open for viewing and commenting by a global audience. That’s often an area of discomfort for many of us. Writing for an audience that includes more than the teacher is so powerful.
Tomorrow we ponder the beginning of the school year and what being connected, to whatever extent we are at that point, looks like for us as educators and with our students.
It’s going well. There’s so much more to this journey. All of it requires patience, acceptance that getting connected is a process that doesn’t happen overnight, and building community locally and beyond.
Image: Creative Commons/flickr by Frank2216 http://flic.kr/p/aiGJbc