Last night as part of Connected Educators month I tuned in at 8pm to listen to Chris Waugh discuss BlogSync. Basically you sign up to http://blogsync.edutronic.net/. There is a different topic each week for Connected Educators month (check out the website for the full list). You write your blog, post a link on twitter and use the hashtag #blogsync.
Week One: 1 October - 10 October:
'What it means to be a connected educator' - my learning life online, and how being connected has affected my work in education.
To me being a connected educator means I can support my students the best way possible. It is important to me to model what it is to be a learner. That knowledge and learning needs an authentic relevant audience. That as teachers we are not fountains of knowledge but need to gather information, synthesis it and use what is relevant to us.
My learning life online ebbs and flows depending on what is happening in my day to day life. Often I find myself catching up online during the school holidays when the demands of day to day teaching lessen.
So, I have a twitter @tameey. I have found twitter to be an invaluable to tool for learning about what others are doing, what websites, blogs etc are worth a read. I have followed conferences that I can't attend by following hashtags and using tweetdeck to organise the viewing of the tweets. Storify is another very useful tool for gathering up relevant tweets and displaying them on blogs.
I have this blog which you are currently reading. I started it not long after I began teaching and it does show my journey through teaching and learning. I also created this blog on MLE when I undertook a personal inquiry project last year.
I initially signed up to Twitter and had a blog because I was teaching in a country school which was quite remote. I was the only teacher of English in the high school and needed to connect with other teachers of English. The online community of educators helps me to keep relevant and up to date with my teaching and learning.
Over the past few years I have tried to pass on the idea that our learning community it not restricted to 4 walls or to the school. I have done this through blogs, skype, and other tools. Recently I have been working with another teacher David Schaumman who is HOD of English at John McGlashan in Dunedin. Trying to get our students sharing work online and developing a community outside the 4 walls of our schools. It has had its challenges - as we wanted some realtime f2f. But it is something we will continue.
So, I guess my online learning has affected my work as I try to model and make sure my students are as prepared as possible for thinking for themselves. As well as having the skills that they can apply to as many aspects of their learning as possible. This can only be achieved by being connected to other educators. I tell my students that 2 brains are better than 1 and to share knowledge in order to build and create knowledge but I think the photo below is better:
|Mark E Western @shiftparadigm posted this picture on twitter this morning. It is a great visual for what it is to be a connected educator.|