I am particularly blessed with the people I've networked with on Twitter. They continue to uplift me and support my thinking towards the importance of 'blended learning' and the need for more relevant Professional Learning in our lives as teachers. My colleagues at school are amazing. They too inspire me and give me ways to think about things in which I hadn't been able to do so before. They provide me with strategies to console my thoughts and feelings towards solving problems in class and in life. I thank each and every one of you... whether you read my blog or not! :)
It doesn't matter whether your Professional Learning Network begins with someone across the hallway or whether it begins with meeting a fellow educator at a conference. What matters is the learning involved. If you're not learning... what's the point? Find better people to surround yourself with!
In fact - as I'm learning - I'm seeing the different ways other people learn and respond to each other. There are the people who are resistant - but are still hesitantly willing to have a go. Then there are the ones who are so full on and involved (or not as the case may be) that you feel your head may spin. I've been both of these people at certain times of my (very short) teaching career.
I scoffed the first time I heard about using Twitter as a tool for learning during my Teaching degree. Mainly because I was so ingrained into Facebook culture and couldn't see the relevance from someone who was so full on I didn't get why she was excited. She didn't explain it the way that would have had me engaged straight away. In fact she made me not interested. At all.
I've always been a blogger. Since I was five years old. Writing diary entries about the girl next door who bullied me and wouldn't let me play with her barbies. The only difference from running home and crying as I wrote into my diary is that I'm now a bit older. A bit stronger and tougher. And (I hope) a bit more wiser. I think about what I say before I type. I try to think about the possible effects this will have on my career, my life, my school, my students, my family, their families and ultimately the teaching and learning community...
Back at teachers college I was surrounded by some resistant people who were a bit older than me at the time and perhaps Twitter as a tool was too far-fetched for them... and me too as a side-point... because I was trying to be cool like them. Always the follower...never the leader. Well. Leading in things that I'm passionate about.
Interesting that Twitter is now one of those things I once scoffed at.
Find your own way in. Don't be pushed away by over-zealous people like myself and go out and explore Twitter. See it for what it is, what it can be and what it could be. Use it how you want and for what you're looking for... and ultimately you should succeed.
Have a go. Or not. It's up to you.
But the one thing you definitely should do is find a network of other like-minded or possibly not like-minded people where you can collaborate, share, debate and learn.
Let me know how you all go. We've all got a learning story - share yours :)
Some links that were shared with me today:
Professional Learning Communities:
Professional Learning and Development:
Project Based Learning: