Thanks Alec for the springboard!
So far this experience has opened my eyes to the power of connecting teachers to create a network of peer mentors. I’ve enjoyed being able to hear about the experiences of others and relate them to my own educational practices. It’s so important to remember that teaching is more than just the four walls of our classrooms! There are many days that would go by without having a meaningful conversation with anyone above the age of 12! 🙂 Between supervision, coaching duties, preparing for class, paperwork and parents….its far to easy to lose touch with my colleagues! I’ve found that tools like twitter really can give you instant access at any time to collaborate with others when the days pass you by!
I also feel so far that the idea behind open education is a powerful tool. New teachers to experienced ones can have control (with little to no cost) on creating a PLE (professional learning environment) that interests them. It provides additional opportunities to hone skills and tackle areas of interest that otherwise you may not be able to explore.
So far, this experience has provided connections to other educators and mentors that I look forward to maintaining after this class. Building a professional network of people I can talk to is probably the most powerful tool a teacher can have.
As for cons, I have found it somewhat difficult to stay on top of this style of learning. As much as I enjoy the relationships, discussions and camaraderie I barely have time to read the newspaper some days let alone tweets, blogs and postings! I’m always wondering if I missed something good!! 🙂
Hoping that at some point there will be an application that ties together twitter, blogs, articles and others into one neat package…. that s focussed on me and knows exactly what I find important on a particular day! Ahhh… a girl can dream!
When considering how to improve this experience I’m not sure how to answer that. I think it will really depend on the learner and what they are trying to achieve from this class. For some, networking may be important… others maybe its just the awareness of what types of tools are available. Personally, as mentioned above its been a challenge to just keep up with all of those around me and to remember to keep my own voice in the process. Although I pride myself in being fairly technology savvy, I really am struggling with just the commitment to discussions throughout this process.
Although I am no longer in a classroom, I truly can see how connecting teachers and classrooms can be a valuable practice. Even just listening to the guest speakers gives me ideas of how they are applying these strategies and ignites the fire inside of me to do the same. I look forward to exploring how this type of practice will affect my current professional path.