One of the things I learned real early in life was the need to learn from my mistakes so they could be experiences rather than things I would do over again. This has helped me become reflective as an educator and I think helped me to make mistakes learning experiences for me and my students.
In fact, on October 10, in my blog I made the following statement:
“Can I simply take from the group…the last two #eci831 classes I have been keenly interested in the recurring theme of community with Dr. Richard Schwier and Shelly Terrell. I want to believe that any group of people that share ideas and knowledge (not to mention common interest and passion) essentially become a community – digital or otherwise. While the class readily shares ideas and knowledge through their blogs I wonder what I contribute to the group if I don’t blog as much as I would like or respond to more blogs in comments. Is this being a bad digital citizen? Perhaps, like the real word people give to the group when they can and take from the group as they need. Socialism in a digital world – I think I like it.”
Less than a month ago, I was reluctant to share – to be a contributing member of my own larger digital network. After this week’s class with Dean Shareski I was very inspired to Shareski…I mean share. I have been a regular blogger and I have become well versed in the Twitterverse. I am consistently finding more resources than I can possibly reflect on in my blog. So I have made a vow to share once a day for the month on twitter (or 30 times as I know that daily is sometimes not realistic) to develop the habit of being a “sharer” – now that I have created this amazing PLN – I need to expand the circle for others…in the same way people in my PLN have done for me! My tweet this morning sharing handouts on #authorspeak was my 700th tweet. Certainly not a huge number, but it will be as I share with others.
In conversation with a colleague at school the other day I referred to my PLN
and he asked what a PLN was so I explained to him what it was. He then asked the difference between a PLC
(which he had heard of) and the PLN – I was actually a bit perplexed – although in hindsight the difference is clear. I engaged @tomwhitby with the question
and he responded:
Funny, that I have found my PLN far more accessible than any PLC I have ever been a part of, in large part because it is always accessible through Social Media like Twitter.
I have been using a few tools like Summify to track my twitter feed and it works well for filtering information but I still need to filter that further as I do not always have the time to get through everything in it. One of the things I am learning is that I will not get everything from Twitter but what I do get will be great including this cartoon I was sent:
A huge obstacle we need to get over is the idea that what we create is simply our own…when we share we can reinvent and help make each other and our students better. The idea that working collaboratively with colleagues in the same building (PLC) or even across the globe (PLN) is one that will allow us educators to be better and in turn creates better learning situations for students and ultimately that is what we all want.
One of my the most enjoyable experiences I have had as a teacher/educator was the opportunity to work collaboratively with a team of five other teachers to create a locally developed Literacy course – it was certainly a risk sharing at first but as we all worked together and shared our expertise – our students were richer for the experience and so were we as we learned new techniques and skills that became part of our own skill sets.
Please watch my twitterfeed (@mickpanko
) for what I hope will be some useful resources. If you can help me embed tweets in my blog I would love to know how to do that too. What do you think of the idea that “if there is no sharing…there is no teaching?”