This week I began another course where I hopefully can encourage and support more educators on their journey to getting connected. I’m working with 9 fabulous educators representing many different areas and levels of education in our district.
So far, we’ve explored Twitter, Diigo, Edmodo, Google+, and networks such as the Educator’s PLN, Classroom 2.0, and Educlipper. Everyone is feeling overwhelmed while striving to keep track of usernames and passwords. And yet… they’re still smiling. I love teaching teachers!
Instead of ‘sustained silent reading’ time, we have 20-minute Twitter Time each morning. During those minutes that fly by, our participants are finding new people to follow, retweeting someone else’s tweet, replying to a tweet, and composing a new tweet of their own. They’ve begged for more time to continue and it certainly wasn’t silent!
Near the end of the day today, only day 2, one participant asked if from my perspective I could see any growth. The answer is a resounding YES! These fabulous educators are tweeting, +1-ing (is that a verb?), saving and sharing bookmarks, and much more. They added their thoughts on a slide on a collaborative Google presentation and shared a Google drawing representing being connected in our private Google+ community.
They don’t see the change in their level of comfort, but I do. They’re using the lingo, supporting one another, and taking risks as they learn to trust and share in larger communities and on new networks.
We continue tomorrow with blogging and commenting- both as professionals and with our students. I truly love this opportunity to grow and learn along with my colleagues, build relationships, and ponder new challenges.
Beyond this week, it will come down to each individual. Will they continue to explore and delve deeper into any networks? Will they make/take the time? Will they engage and connect with others? Will they see the value of being connected? And most important, will they help other educators get connected as well?