Imagine if we had access to this type of collegiality, forum for professional discourse, opportunity for sharing, collaboration, support, easy access to the latest research, policy, media releases – all in a wall of ideas like this. What effect would that have on us as educators? On our students? The local community? our schools? the profession?I know that we are all busy – but we need to stop and ask ourselves “what are we busy doing?” If we allow our days to be consumed with the routine, administrative tasks then our learning and growth trajectory will look something like this. The crests represent the time spent undertaking professional development and pursuing research interests – opportunities where you are given adequate time to engage in professional dialogue and the kind of deep thinking required to enrich practice. The troughs represent the daily administrative, routine tasks that we perform often in auto pilot.Ideally our learning trajectory should look something like this this kind of professional discourse and therefore learning should take place every day – anytime, anywhere. We are fortunate to be living in an era where we are surrounded by technological tools, that if used appropriately, can facilitate this enriching of our practice. One technological tool that can provide you with access to a ‘wall of ideas’ is the social media application Twitter.
Before I hear all of the groans and protests this is not what we will be using Twitter for! I promise you will not be reading about what random strangers had for breakfast or perusing albums full of baby photos.
Once you have registered you really need to make sure that you upload a photo (avatar) and a brief bio – this way others will now what you are about and are more likely to follow you. I will not follow eggs or people without a bio. This is the broadcast or news feed – it operates in real time and it is NOT Facebook status. It is a 140 character broadcast – a sound bite that may provide you with information on its own or direct youelswhere. It takes under 10sec to read a tweet if its not something that interests you you move on to the next, otherwise you may wish to pursue it further. The information you receive in your broadcast is controlled by you – you determine the broadcast content when you select ‘followers’. So only the people you follow will appear in your broadcast pane. So if you don’t want to know what Lady Gaga is up to, or where Tom Jones is next performing (I personally do!) then don’t follow them. Following – is the people following you 4. @# ReplyRT (retweet)
There is a whole body of literature on Communities of Practice – also referred to as CoP’s, with Wenger one of the seminal researchers in this area. The article I have included in the booklet is a case study that demonstrates how use of social media can develop valuable CoP’s for school leaders and well worth a read. But essentially a CoP is designed to develop each members capabilities and creation of a forum or platform to build and exchange knowledge – this creation of a forum of this kind is seen as the creation of a large knowledge-base.When Wenger talks about CoPs she speaks about their ability tocontinue and begin new discussions – they are a channel for flow of information. 3. Steward competencies – to keep members at the forefront of their field4. Provide homes for identities. Groups such as these develop a particular identity that guides them in deciding what information is important, what they pay attention to, participate in and avoid. Overall the CoP fosters professional growth through the sharing of knowledge and development of relationships Has the potential to promote the sharing of ideas, activities, events and interests within a learning community. It is an ideal conduit to promote learning. An excellent professional development resource.
Exposure to new ideas – latest research, media releases, policy changes and implementation strategies – it is an easy way to be at the forefront of your profession. Information is pushed directly to you, in real-time. There is no quicker way to receive the latest updates and information on any topic. Often when we are confronted with problems or issues we bring solutions and thoughts that come with a lot of past experience, biases and varying perspectives – so rather than observing experiences only through the filter of our beliefs, assumptions, expectations and desires this tool allows us to easily evaluate the thoughts/actions and advice of others, Allows you to open your mind to a different perspective. Broaden perspectives beyond the local into a more global world – it has never been easier to connect with like-minded educators, not just locally or nationally but also internationally. Not just flattened it geographically but also hierarchically. Twitter has really flattened the hierarchy that once existed, I have tweeted Peter Garret, Marilyn Parker and Greg Whitby- they don’t always respond, but I know they've read my tweets. Reflection: this is what makes tools such as Twitter so valuable for educators. Dewey talks about the trial and error type of thinking we participate in on a daily basis (the I’ll try this and hope it works, no it doesn’t Ill try something else, etc. ) when what we really need to be doing is reflecting more deeply – assessing the situation from all sides, removing our own experiences and biases from the situation – viewing each situation with a truly open mind. Often committing reflective thoughts to paper or in this case to tweets can not only help others, but also ourselves.
We have to share our knowledge – http://twijector.com
Personal Learning Network
Personal Learning Network (PLN)
Note 1:What leadership advice would yougive your younger self?
Note 2:Identify a book or other piece ofeducational literature that youwould recommend to your peers
Learning should take placeEVERY DAY – ANYTIME, ANYWHERE
Person tweeting and their twitter handle # (hashtag) makes tweet searchableRT – retweet (copy and paste) Twitter handle of recipient of the tweet - Person they are sending the tweet to Hyperlink – bit.ly (site that shortens links)
My PLN – A Community of Practice• A Community of Practice (CoP) – Develop member capabilities – Build and exchange knowledge – Large knowledge-base• Benefits of CoP (Wenger, 1998) – Foster discussion – Steward competencies – Establish identity• Increasing your connections with others
My PLN – Social Media• Benefits: - Exposure to new ideas - Assist problem-solving - Broaden our perspectives - beyond the local, into a more global, world-view - Offer professional feedback - Resources - Collaboration - Reflection
“It’s about making learningtransparent and making learning visible to others” Couros, 2012 #CEO_APs