Monday, October 20, 2014

Being connected

Connected Educator Month has been a smorgasbord of professional development goodness.  It has been an important event to get more people connected but it is also a great time for someone such as myself to reflect on what it means to be a connected educator.

Approximately 3 years ago I realised that my Twitter account had more potential than just being a newsfeed of culture.  Teachers were using Twitter to share ideas and connect with each other.

It seemed that teachers on Twitter were talking about the future of education.  I was able to keep up with current trends in education just by following the right people.  And by the right people I mean connected educators, for being on Twitter is an instant indication of someone who is interested and passionate about education.

I used a Evernote to store tweets and other resources. I was building up a bank of resources that I would some day need to use. Then one day, 12th July 2012 to be exact, I made contact.  I found this stored in my Evernote file. It's a conversation about a stylus with Allanah King and Anne Kenneally, both amazing educators that I continue to connect with.

And it's been full steam from there on.  Teaching tweets but also those tweets about life that connect you in other ways.  Including the #feijoafrenzy of 2013 where I introduced a whole bunch of educators to the delights of roasted whole feijoas including the lovely @mrs_hyde who then "live tweeted" the roasting.

Twitter has allowed me to follow multiple conferences without being there, be connected to information that is current and most importantly develop my #PLN (professional learning network).  Over the past 3 years I have met quite a few of these people face to face.  This in itself has been amazing.

So for me, being connected is about putting yourself out there and seeing what happens.  You have to invest your time and commitment but the reward is ten fold. Being connected means that I am never a lone nut, there is always someone "out there" to bounce some ideas off or gain inspiration from.