A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to deliver a presentation to some of my colleagues (teachers at a Queensland State High School). I have been working hard to collaborate with teachers and to share my ICT knowledge and skills. To be honest, I have been a bit overwhelmed by the massive gap in ICT capabilities and implementation between my own teaching and most of my colleagues. This legitmises a lot of what I had wrote about in the past couple of years regarding schools needing to hire beginning teachers who approach their jobs as “change agents“.
— Elke Schneider (@elketeaches) September 12, 2014
My presentation was originally going to focus purely on how to use Edublogs as a teaching website; however, I could not miss the opportunity to discuss the benefits of a Professional Learning Network (PLN). I can not imagine teaching without my PLN! My PLN is how I network with passionate educators around the world that discuss, share and explore new ideas/views in Education. Most of my PLN efforts occur through the use of Twitter, this blog, Facebook and private online group forums/wikis. My presentation also hinted at the fact that the act of building my PLN also improved my digital footpint and therefore my digital resume.
A very interesting thing occurred, or rather didn’t occur, during this presentation. I thought it was extremely interesting that not many attendees had followed this blog or my Twitter feed. I received lots of lovely verbal feedback and some teachers had even told me that I was inspiring and my blog site statistics showed evidence of major viewing spikes during my presentation. Yet most did not follow me! When I am at a conference or PD event the first thing I do is to search presenters on Twitter and then follow them. So I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of weeks and I have talked to some of the teachers that had been at my presentation. The main reasons for not following me are due to 1) not knowing how or why to follow and 2) not having their own Twitter account.
My next challenge: to get teachers to understand the benefits of a PLN and the need for them to increase their learning through participation in their PLN. I believe participating in a PLN increases a teacher’s digital learning and helps them stay current in an ever-changing world.