We’ve come a long way from…
… to this…
For me, the journey started when I read an extract from ‘Navigating through the Storm, Education in Postmodern Democratic Society’ by Ron Aviram, head of The Center for Futurism in Education, in Israel.
Then I attended an IBO conference. It wasn’t so much the content, but the opportunity to network with educators from around the world and see the things that teachers have done in their classrooms and schools, that motivated me.
I started looking online for web 2.0 tools and began to discover some of the inspirational education blogs out there. Soon I had subscribed to quite a number and was reading regularly online about educational issues and how others were integrating technology into their classrooms
The next step was to start implementing tech myself. I introduced my class to ToonDoo and Voicethread and Wallwisher to enhance their learning. We learned together. As I discovered new and useful tools, I shared them with my class and with other interested teachers at school. I set up a class wiki and before long every child had their own page and they were finding ways to share their learning through this medium.
Next we started a voluntary tech group for interested teachers to experiment together every fortnight before school. Our ‘Thinking group‘ which meets on the alternate week had been sharing readings and implementing Visible Thinking and soon the 2 groups began to merge as a 21st century learning group. Discussions centered on making learning relevant and authentic, including incorporating technology. This is my in-school PLN.
I joined nings, such as Classroom 2.0 and Educators PLN and PYP Threads and began to participate. The next step was when a friend encouraged me to start writing my own blog. At first I didn’t think I had anything to say. Then I didn’t think I would have any readers. But I pushed forward and was soon addicted. I had more things to write than time to write them. I didn’t care if I had an audience or not, the process was part of my own learning. My early readers were my colleagues at my own school and I saw them as my target audience.
And then, by far the best thing happened.. . I had dabbled in Twitter but not yet seen the point. But,once I figured out the benefits of following educators and discovered the #edchat hashtag, I was on the road to the best learning yet! I have developed an amazing worldwide PLN. I think I have discovered and uncovered more through Twitter than any other way. Interacting with educators worldwide and sharing resources in this way has been my most powerful learning experience this year.
And finally (only so far!) I have joined Kelly Tenkely’s blogging alliance. I have discovered some excellent blogs this way and connected with other educators through commenting on each others’ blogposts. This has turned out to be another great way to network and has opened yet another channel for learning and collaboration.
PYP Key Concept: Reflection. Series of posts through the lens of key concepts of PYP.