The best source of ongoing professional development and personal growth for me is connection. It is in connected settings, be they a grade level meeting in my school, a virtual edcamp, or a twitter chat in which I feel my thinking is challenged, developed, and enhanced. I have often told my team that if there were a way to download all of the knowledge, passion and skills of our teachers on to a shared drive and reload it on to each of our “roaming profiles” the need for PD would be virtually null. I whole heartedly believe that my best source of continued learning lies in the perspective, passions, and knowledge of those with who I am connected to and engaged in growth with.
Is twitter one of my favorite sources of connection?
Absolutely. The amazingly diverse community of learners who connect on twitter to learn and grow with one another on a 24/7 basis is equally irreplaceable and overwhelming. As I look at the incredible educators that I learn from on a weekly basis, of which I have actually met less than 10 percent in person, I am truly grateful for the potential this platform brings to my growth and the growth of the members of my PLN.
Are blogs/rss one of my favorite sources of connection?
Perhaps even more than twitter, blogs enable me to learn and share perspectives, ideas, and resources. I feel constantly in touch with not only the major issues and current research in the field of education, but also incredible reflections about the short term and long term impact of some of these decisions. Furthermore, I am empowered to share these thoughts and reflections with my team. “I feel is not enough to be connected, if I am not actively connecting others to people, resources and/or ideas that will benefit their own growth. Moreover, in order to increase the likelihood of sustained connections, the sharing must represent a knowledge of the receiver’s personal interest and preparedness for the material being shared. (Moving from Insulated to Connected to Connecting)”
How do digital connections impact face to face connections?
I love being able to share an amazing gem from my rss feed with my entire team.
Recent full faculty shares:
- Kindness Is Something Students Learn By Feeling It via @teachthought @RippleKindness
- Life’s Toughest Tests Don’t Require A Pencil via @Jonharper70bd
- Finding Twitter via @GustafsonBrad
- There’s No Copyright for Cookies: Why Educators Should Embrace Sharing via @amyburvall
- 12 Things Kids Want from Their Teachers via @AngelaMaiers
These are truly wonderful shares that our whole team has learned from and enjoyed. Furthermore, I have loved the ability to find resources and ideas that were more appropriate for targeted populations with in my school. Whether it be 50 Math Web Games for Young Kids (@mattbgomez) for my kindergarten, 42 Idiom Examples And Explanations (@teachthought) for my LA Team, Recess Of The Mind (@escott818) for my student service team, the ability to deliver content that can provide immediate impact and foster reflection and dialogue is incredible.
I am eagerly looking forward to attending the 2014 Martin Institute Conference and ISTE 2014 this summer. The connections I have made through my online PLNs (#blogamonth & #pdposse) as well as the twitter and rss follows that I routinely engage and learn with leave me excited to meet these educators in person. Moreover, I am thrilled to be taking a team of Davis Academy teachers with me to each conference. I look forward to engaging in my own learning and connecting with each of them to share in theirs.