I am an teacher in South Australia, and for a while now I have known that blogging is a hugely valuable tool to enhance my professional learning and personal reflective practice. However, (like just about every other first blog post that I’ve read ie…http://bit.ly/1asBCKS) I really struggled to actually put “pen to paper” and actually publish that first post. I guess that it was just another item on the list of things that I know I should do…but never really get around to.
The tipping point for me came when I attended the Expanding Learning Horizons School Technology (http://bit.ly/GOSK4H) conference in August. It was at this conference, surrounded by passionate, professional and motivated educators where I finally “got it”. Sitting in the George Couros keynote and following the torrent of tweets sharing every YouTube clip and key concept that was mentioned I was amazed at the richness, focus and quality of the conversation. I participated in breakout sessions, and through the conference #, I was able to listen in to conversations in a number of different rooms, whilst engaging in the seminar that I was physically located in. From that moment on, I resolved to get over my “self consciousness” and start “microblogging” with twitter.
The networks that I have been able to build through Twitter over these past two months have accelerated my professional learning dramatically…and my students have benefited too! The links, infographics, articles, and discussions have been incredible, and allowed me to curate relevant, appropriate resources for my students.
However, it was the individual blog posts that I found most challenged and influenced my learning. I was particularly impressed to see the way in which highly accomplished educators were prepared to “do their learning in public”. By choosing not to put up a “polished final piece”, but a “stream of consciousness” they were highlighting the value of the “conversation” over the product. By actively seeking constructive feedback – they highlighted their commitment to their own personal learning. By sharing their successes and failures in the classroom, and as leaders, they empowered me to start taking more risks in my classroom.