Monday, July 4, 2016
Diving into the pond
This blog post is cross-posted on WellyEd.
Sometimes you have to be the first to dive in. In a small pond you won't find much and your ripple maybe me more of a splash or you may only just wet your toes. That is what it was like to be a Pioneer Educator in the Network for Learning (N4L) Pond. It was a completely new space to collaborate in and the temperature hadn't quite reached bath tub for me.
Fast forward two years and that Pond is a bit bigger, a lot warmer and full of things to discover. I have rediscovered the Pond and I'm swimming around hoping others will join me.
So what is the Pond. The Pond is a professional space to share resources, lesson plans and ideas around teaching. The Pond is not Facebook, or Twitter, or like any other social media which I'm pleased about. It is also only for New Zealand educators. The Pond is there to use as you choose so I am going to outline how I use it:
1) I have added the chrome extension for Pond onto my browser so whenever there is a news article or webpage that I think "aha! that would be good for <insert learning objective here>" I add it to the Pond and to one of my buckets.
2) I have set up some buckets within the Pond to collate resources in so I can find them easily myself and direct my colleagues to them too.
3) Users outside the Pond can use the Pond still as a search engine. I use a special hashtag on my buckets that I want my students to be able to find. They simply put in our class hashtag and the buckets pop up.
4) I search within the Pond and find stuff to add to my buckets.
I really like it because it makes my searching and collating purposeful. I can easily find things I've saved and alert others to it. My wish however would be for more educators to contribute to it. Why should we hold on to our precious lesson plans, web links and resources? To build a Community of Practice we must be willing to share.
So my challenge for you this week is to take a risk, dive in, the water's good!