Professional Learning Network

Through out my career in education I’ve learned a lot about the power of community.  We all have a local community that we use to bounce ideas off of and share creative ideas with.  Thanks to technology that community is now far greater than it used to be.  Since I started teaching I’ve always been a big fan of looking for new ideas through other teachers blogs.  I would research and find blogs and tech articles that shared innovative approaches to using technology to enhance education.  This was a great thing form me because it helped spark some of my own ideas on how I could use technology to benefit my students.

I wasn’t really sure if any of my ideas would be that interesting to put out there on a blog so I held back for a while.  My Principle approached me in my 2nd year of teaching and wanted me to consider speaking at the Ignite technology conference.  I submitted a proposal to present on my favorite educational apps for literacy for young children.  They accepted my proposal and I was able to present there that summer.  It was really exciting to share with other teachers and to see their excitement and passion when they discovered something new they could use for their students.  After that presentation I realized we all need to share our ideas with the world.  I thought that what I was presenting was pretty well known.  What I learned though was that there might be people out there that have not heard about what you have to share.

Eventually I created a twitter account.  I had put it off for a long time because I wasn’t really sure what to do with it.  When I first got on twitter I’ll admit it was a little overwhelming.  I found a few education chats and I just watched for a while and took in some of the great ideas that were shared on Twitter.  I finally worked up the courage to participate in some of the sessions.  I had been at a conference and a teacher I met there shared the Google calendar that lists all the education chats and their dates and times.  I found a few ed tech chats and jumped in.  It was exciting to see other peoples responses to the questions and to see ideas that I had never thought of before.  It was also excited to share my ideas and receive feedback form other teachers.  I was beginning to learn that sharing is a powerful tool.

In the summer of 2015 I was accepted into the Apple Distinguished Educators and I got to go to the ADE institute.  It was amazing to be around so many innovative educators, some of which I knew from Twitter.  The idea around each institute is to brainstorm and share with the world transformative education practices.  Together in teams we came up with our ideas and we each submitted our final project to Apple.  I decided to make my project a book about how I was using technology to provide autonomy to my students.  You can see part of what came from this on my task cards page.  It was exciting to work on something that can now be used by teachers around the world.  Having this great community has encouraged me and challenged me to do more.  Later that summer I also presented at iPadpalooza.  It was an amazing experience that was all built around sharing.

What I’ve learned through all of this is how important it is that we share our ideas with the world.  Using blogs and twitter and other forms of social media we can get feedback from a global audience.  We can tap into a larger network that shares our vision for transforming education with technology.  We open up the doors to all kinds of possibilities when we share our ideas with the world.  Maybe someone out there has some important feedback to share with you on how you can make your idea even better.  Maybe there’s someone out there that needs to hear your idea so they can be encouraged to try new things.

I’d still like to get better at sharing through social media.  I think I might publish another book using iBooks Author.  I also want to take advantage of the greater Apple community of ADE’s and collaborate with them on projects.  We have a global audience now that we can reach out to and share ideas and receive ideas.  It’s a great resource to have since education and technology will continue to evolve.

 

Here are my current communities:

  • Twitter
  • Apple Distinguished Educators
  • Facebook
  • Blogs
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