Posts Tagged ‘Social Networking’

I was recently to share about the power and usefulness of Twitter at a recent conference and was given 10 minutes to do so. Ten minutes! That was a true challenge.
I turned to my PLN for help. I knew I wanted to share this video that I came across on Twitter. I need to thank the faculty and staff in District 123, wherever you are!

As I was preparing for this presentation, I tweeted this out:

“Preparing presentation. Please finish this sentence: I use Twitter as an educator because…”

And the responses came in and kept coming all day long! I’m sharing them here because I think they’re not only an illustration of the power of the PLN, but also may be helpful to share with those who don’t understand the value of Twitter.

Why Twitter?

  • because I want to learn from/interact with the best educators in the world.
  • because I get to connect and learn from people across space and time. The collective wisdom of my PLN is needed!
  • because it opens up thousands of new resources and perspectives that I wasn’t aware of before
  • because it is a place where I go to be inspired.
  • because”…it keeps me in a learning frame of mind!
  • Twitter connects me to smart, passionate innovative people who push, encourage and inspire me everyday.
  • because the sum of us is greater than we are individually (the wealth of knowledge and ideas)
  • because when I have questions, Twitter colleagues may have answers or resources to help me find answers
  • because I find great resources for learning & we can share our school’s work.
  • I can curate my own learning anytime anywhere. Oh & collaboration!
  • because it fertilizes ideas and cross pollinates them
  • because when I have questions, Twitter colleagues may have answers or resources to help me find answers
  • it’s a quick and easy way to collaborate with high quality people that care.
  • because I want to take ownership of my own PD- discovering & sharing great resources, being inspired by others.
  • because it helps me access learning for my students I could not do otherwise
  • because I can quickly read professional articles & be inspired by others to improve my practice…on a daily basis.
  • because I want to learn from the very best educators in the world.

Want to add any of your own?


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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to work with 12 colleagues to get them started on the road to connecting. Here’s the post where I shared some of the reflections from our time together. We learned about Twitter and Diigo, as well as other great networks and tools like the Educator’s PLN and KidBlog. The group was energized and ready to get connected.

And then school started. 


Now everyone is overwhelmed and incredibly busy. Despite my attempts to repeat, “just give it 15 minutes a day”, the attention and focus is receding quickly for many of the teachers. They’ve also heard me say, “the more you put it, the more you’ll get out.” But some just can’t see the benefit of putting something more in at this time.

I can continue to gather great resources about getting started on Twitter, how to connect, building your PLN and more, but how do we help others see why they must maintain the energy and enthusiasm when you’re new to all of this, you’re busy and it’s not paying off?

This past week’s #edchat during the day was terrific, with educators sharing the value of being connected and how it’s impacted their teaching. I could take a bit of time for that chat, but the teachers with whom I worked couldn’t at that time of the day.

Please don’t get me wrong; there are some who are determined to make this work. They’re trying out chats, lurking, and slowly getting familiar with the tools. But how can I help the others?


Image: Creative Commons/flickr by mstephens7   http://flic.kr/p/bVaXc

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The Dynamic Landscapes Conference took place last week in Vermont. This is a conference co-sponsored by Vita-Learn and the Vermont School Libraries Association (VSLA). It was at full capacity and filled with teachers, librarians, media-specialists, tech integrators, and many others who fulfill other roles and responsibilities in our schools.

The conference covers two days, with different keynote speakers and end-note speakers each day. This year, all of them were superb! Chris O’Neal (@onealchris) and Jennifer LaGarde (@jenniferlagarde) keynoted. They were both engaging and extremely talented presenters with important messages to share. Two teachers from our schools in Williston presented workshops. Sharon Davison (@kkidsinvt) spoke about iPads in Kindergarten. She brought 5 students to help share the apps they’ve been using. It turns out they needed to do some tech problem-solving on the spot and demonstrated their confidence as critical thinkers. They stole the show, well much of it. In addition, Colleen O’Brien shared how she used Kidblog with middle school math students to share photographs and talk about how they captured math in nature.

I presented a few sessions myself, one on The Many Faces of Social Networking and another as a co-presenter about Google Apps for Beginners. I realized that I get so caught up in the day-to-day use of Google apps that it’s helpful to get the perspective that there are still quite a few beginners out there. Some school districts in Vermont are just adopting Google Apps for Education domains and there’s a some learning ahead for those educators. Hopefully we got them started.

My session about Social Networking was well-attended. My PLN made me proud when I did a shout-out on Twitter. I got responses saying hello from all over the globe. It is always powerful to show the quick response and wide reach of Twitter to newcomers. Hopefully there are a few more educators ready to dive in and build their PLNs.

Conferences are always a great place to connect face-to-face with my PLN. I love that ah-ha when you greet or are greeted by someone you feel you know, but have never met in person. Overall, the conference was uplifting, rewarding, informative, and educational for me. I wish I could have attended

more sessions. I connected, learned, collaborated, and consumed. Kind of what I do every day with my PLN!

quote from Jennifer LaGarde

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