I'm starting something new. Actually, I'm starting something new based on something familiar. Makes the risk feel a bit safer, yes? In the last year, I've been working hard to grow my professional learning network (PLN). In particular, thanks to the PLNs for Educators Course and inspiration from #ETCoaches initiatives, I've been working to curate my PLN so that it is more focused, effective, and goal-oriented. In an effort to put myself out there more, to move away from just reading and following and to move towards increased engagement and interaction, I've decided to start blogging my reflections in a weekly six-word memoir. The six-word format balances my goal to be thoughtful, yet concise, and easily accessible for those who (hopefully!) read it. Just 6 words to help me reflect on my professional work and learning and to (again hopefully!) start conversations with others. So here we go... My first week of #6wordsaweek lays out my PLN path for the year.
I am a Twitter convert. My initial thought about Twitter was , "Why?" Why would I want to share my thoughts in such a public space? Why does the world care about what I'm doing? Why do I want to encourage myself to write in often improper English in only 140 characters when I'm prone to big words and long sentences (this question being a fine example at a mere 201 characters)?
The real question was , "Why not?"
I have grown increasingly enamored with the possibilities of Twitter. I have grown my PLN by leaps and bounds, connected with other educators and professionals who share my interests, and been exposed to a multitude of opportunities for stretching my thinking. Just last night I went from being a TweetChat observer to a TweetChat participant (Thanks #educoach!). I found it both overwhelming (so many posts so fast) and exciting (so many ideas to ponder in such a short time).
Worth the risk to put myself a little outside my comfort zone? Absolutely. Asking all those questions in the first place had me really thinking about how, when, and in what contexts I wanted to use Twitter. I can't ask the teachers I work with to challenge themselves in how and when they use technology in their classrooms if I haven't and don't continue to challenge myself. Acknowledging the questions and trepidation we might feel before trying something new can only make the experience richer. We are thinking about our thinking. Processing our process. I'm all about that kind of learning!
Integrating technology is a lot about risk-taking. At the most basic level, it's a risk that any of the darn things will work in the exact moment that we need them (see previous post). On other levels, it is about taking risks to affect change. Integrating technology requires not only a change in tools, but can also be a a change in the classroom dynamic, the role of the teacher, the experience of the learner, to name a few. So many variables. I see a large part of my job as being the "Model Risk Taker." Some might say the guinea pig. I'm OK with that.
I was very unsure about using Twitter initially, but I came, I saw, I keep learning. And I did that in a public sphere where other educators could see my successes and failures in real time. Bottom line: One must try. This is the true first lesson in technology integration.
Well, here we go. I've been thinking about starting a blog for quite awhile now and the #educoach blog challenge was just what I needed to make the leap. My brain has just been full of ideas and thoughts about ways to transfer instructional technology techniques, plans, and ideas designed initially for secular education to the Jewish complementary school classroom. I'm hoping that by reflecting on those ideas in this space -which is gratefully more than 140 characters per post ;) - I will be able to put my ideas into practice for a larger audience while building my professional learning network (PLN).
I'm an elementary school teacher turned professional learning/edtech coach, avid reader, and lifelong learner. For 2018, I've set the goal to create a 6 word memoir for each week to find my voice, reflect on my own professional learning, and set goals for how my learning will impact my practice.
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