Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Beginning of Some Beautiful PLN Relationships

The Start of Some Beautiful PLN Relationships
#IMMOOC Season 3, Week 4

Only a very short time ago, when it came to my PLN, I was reliant on the Teachers in my building, ones that I met at Board Professional Development Sessions, the Teachers in my gigantic Dutch Family (we make My Big Fat Greek Wedding look like a small, quiet, family gathering) and a few that I was lucky to meet in my travels or at the odd conference.

All that changed when I decided to take the Integration of Information and Computer Technology in Instruction Online Course through Western University (or IICTI - because that name is a mouthful!).  Our Instructor was a guy named Rodd Lucier aka the clever sheep, and right away he got us using Social Media to develop relationships beyond our classmates.  The class was a little reluctant: much safer to stay within the confines of our close, closed, online course discussions.  Some were fearful.  There were many discussions of the dangers of Social Media via Trolls, inappropriate posts, unprofessional behavior, misinterpretation, Union and College of Teacher Directives, but also the benefits that could be reaped from the power and potential of using things like Twitter for our own networks and for student learning.

At the time, I had a Twitter account.  But, I really wasn't using it.  And, I didn't really understand how to use it either.  Rodd gave us some ideas of how it could be used, made a few recommendations of folks to follow and encouraged us to give it a try.  I had never met Rodd, but I was loving the course, and I figured Western U wouldn't have given him the Instructor job if he didn't know a little about what he was teaching.  Myself and a few other intrepid classmates jumped into the Twittosphere, and we were off.

Honestly, it was like I had been let loose in the world's biggest and best bakery, and everything was free! (Perhaps I should pause here to reveal that I have a love for all baked goods, and that bakeries are second only to bookstores and golf courses on my list of happy places).  Sometimes I gorge myself on Twitter content, and other times, I scroll and enjoy a cup of tea.  The best part is, it's always there, always open and always free to explore.
New to Twitter, I followed Rodd's recommendations and was introduced to the ideas of George Couros, his brother Alec CourosDoug PetersonDean ShareskiChris Kennedy and of course, my fellow intrepid classmates, T Scott and Agi Orban.  From there, it's like that old shampoo commercial  spoofed by Mike Meyers...

I have become...Twitterpated!

The connections I've made on Twitter have grown exponentially.  My PLN has exploded.  My own learning has expanded dramatically.  I'm blogging and reading some really awesome EduBlogs that I never knew existed before.  My classroom has really changed for the better.  Things like the Global Read Aloud, Passion Projects, Innovator's Mindset, Digital Citizenship, Growth Mindset and our classroom blogs and Twitter account have all come to my students because of Twitter.  I'm in this IMMOOC, thanks to Twitter.  I've made awesome connections with teachers I have never met face to face (and some I have met) and there is a lot of online sharing and discussion going on.  I'm modeling what I've learned and encouraging colleagues to get on Twitter even if at first they are just lurkers and not creators.

And, I have The Clever Sheep to thank for it all. 

Now that I've completed all three IICTI Courses, I don't chat with Rodd quite as often.
  But, "We'll always have {Twitter}..."

P.S. Other Great Twitter Accounts to follow:
I've mentioned a few folks to follow in my post above.  Here's a few more great ones to follow (in no particular order) if you are not already following them:

1 comment:

  1. Ramona, I too have taken the leap into the new realm of professional development and twitter. It was scary at first and I am still learning but the #IMMOOC has been so rewarding and definitely challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. I am spreading the word with my teachers and encouraging them all to get on twitter to learn more about the things that are their passion. Focus their professional learning on what moves them. It is so rewarding!