Every once in a while in the last month, I would experience a twinge or two of guilt for not dedicatedly blogging my thoughts, experiences, and reflections. There was a part of me that was resistant to the idea for some reason and I needed time to think that through. Certainly part of it was that I was incredibly busy with other tasks and quite overwhelmed even, with catching up, and staying on top. I was even struggling with the notion of who or what I was blogging for – me? others? anyone??
It only came to me the other day how very active I had been in the network “on the grid” during this month. I certainly had ample opportunity to share my voice and participate in many conversations – usually live or almost live. Besides having the privilege of webcasting with the Women of Web 2 every week, I also hosted on the K12 Online final event – When Night Falls for two hours of the 24 hour event. I lurked a lot in twitter and chimed in my thoughts, ideas and resources on many occasions. Many other educators have been using UStream (free video broadcasting service) to broadcast their conference presentations and I have joined in on many such times with that. And, of course, I skype chat daily with a number of educators from around the world about educational stuff. Even this morning, it is just past 8 AM and I have already chatted with an Australian teacher, Graham Wegner, about his global project and how he can show it off to parents tomorrow night, and an Israeli educator, my good friend Reuven, about information literacy. I shared a few resources with a colleague here in Quebec. Just another typical day.
I realize many people have been saying it as well, but I am amazed at how twitter has become a tool for really fantastic professional networking and support. I now have something like over 150 followers – an interesting variety of educators from around the world. Quite often, daily now, a few of us will throw out a request or a question. And there always seems to be a few of us that can almost immediately provide some aid or answers. Sometimes the discussion gets moved to a skype chat or conference to facilitate the aid that is needed or to extend the conversation. We share blog posts and other resources.
Yesterday was a particularly busy day for me on the grid. While working on the design of some curricula, I noticed that Dean Shareski put out a request for some of us to skype in to his grade 5 class in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan so the students could experience a sense of the global network as they work on this new project, Find a Story, Map a Story. Dean videoskyped me into the classroom and I had a lovely conversation with his students for a few minutes. He went on to invite 9 others in as well over the course of the next hour. A very effective way of showing off the power of these tools and the global network! I twittered my experience and within an hour, Derek Wenmoth picked it up and blogged about the project, inviting New Zealand teachers to look into it. In a few hours, the project went really global! Later in the morning, I noticed a twitter with a link to a live UStreamed student conference of grade 6 students in New Jersey on the topic of global warming. For a little while, I tuned in, joined in the chatroom and asked the students questions about their research and what changes in their own lives they were making as a result of their research projects.
Later yesterday, I had conversations with three colleagues who are not yet part of these networks but who work closely with educational technology. When I shared some of these experiences and tools with them, they were astounded. Then I realized that maybe I should be blogging about these experiences, because while twitter is great, it is still limiting the audience. Also, for my own professional development, it is important to chronicle my experiences and thoughts over time so I can see my own growth. A lesson I tried to pass on in one of my K12 Online presentations this year, but need to live up to!
Below I will note some new resources that I would also like to pass on:
LEARN – Expressions (one of the pages I am now responsible for in my new job)
My twitterworld - join twitter and add me!