Before I go any further, I want to say that I’ve thought about my title for a good half an hour. I couldn’t come up with anything more creative than that, so it will hav to do!
As for the topic of this post, I will be exploring the different ways I have contributed to the discussion, or tools I have used in EDTC300 to help others learn alongside me.
Admittedly, I was not very present during EDTC300 do to a tedious period of hospitalization. It was considerably harder for me to get work done than I originally anticipated when signing up for this course, and it required a deferral. That meant I would not be actively completing this course alongside my peers. As such, when it came time to contributing to others’ learning, I had to get a little more creative, as the Google+ Community, as well as others’ blogs were no longer being frequently updated. Continuing reading to discover how I contributed to others’ learning despite my challenges.
Although I did not actively participate on Google+ after the first few weeks of the course, I still managed to make a few posts of encouragement here and there, and tried to contribute in a meaningful way before others’ learning projects really took off.
(My introduction to my peers in EDTC 300)
( Comments I made on others’ posts)
It’s hard to say I used Google+ to it’s full potential during this course, but I can attest to how useful it can be to create an online community. It enables many different users to share resources, ideas, and events in a close community. It can be a powerful tool for maintaining an online PLN, and if done right, can be more orderly than alternatives such as Twitter. Unfortunately, it seems as though Google+’s days are limited.
In the first posts on my blog, I always tried to give the reader something to think about, especially for my learning project. I felt that opening the door to new ideas, and inspiring others to keep on going despite their frustrations (by discussing my own frustrations with my learning project).
One post I felt really did a good job at inviting others to think a little further about their learnings is my mid-semester reflection. This post was not required by any means, but I thought reflecting back on the first half of the course would provide me a point of reference for this current post (which it did), but also show the idea to others so they may do the same.
Needless to say, I was happy to see that there was some engagement with my post (the comment above). Unfortunately, I wrote this post shortly before my time in EDTC was virtually at it’s end, and I did not have an opportunity to respond to the comment.
Another blog post in which I contributed to others’ learning was my post done in Collaboration with Raegyn. In this post, we explored the world of blogging, and how some might not see it as ‘safe’. By collaborating with each other, we effectively both contributed to the other’s learning, as this blog post contains a mixture of ideas from both of us. To top it all off, we presented it in a fun way through the making of a skit. It could now be an interesting concept to use in the classroom to have students act out a potential scenario portraying the pros and cons of the blogging world.
Sadly, despite having commented on others’ blogs before my hospitalization, my records of them have been lost, and I can no longer track down the comments I had made. (If any of my peers are reading this, and I made a comment that helped you on your blog, feel free to comment below!)
Twitter is by far the way I contributed the most to others’ learning. Over the course of this course, I of course, followed the course of expanding my PLN on Twitter. (Repeating words can be fun). To do this, I originally aimed to make 2-3 Tweets per day. Although I did manage to reach an average of just over 2 tweets a day in the time I spent actively working towards completing this course, I found that not all Tweets are created equally. What I mean by that is that some posts are well received by others, and others seem to go unnoticed.
These two posts are a prime example of this. These were posted roughly a week a part (While I was recovering), and one post received 8 likes, and the other got nothing. At the time of posting, I was actually more excited about the tool that could be used by students to create AR stories. (No really, check it out. It looks amazing, and I definitely want to use it in a lesson), than the other post. It was sort of saddening that that post seemed to fall to the wayside, despite how excited I was to post it originally. As such, I decided to focus more on the quality of my posts, than the quantity.
This meant more retweeting quotes I found inspirational, interacting in meaningful ways on others’ tweets, but most importantly, the use of Twitter Chats. For those who may not know, Twitter chats are a wonderful way of interacting with other users on just about any given topic. They are so effective, I have been considering starting/joining one of my own if I ever have the time. (For those interested in Twitter Chats, and how to host a successful, this blog has all you need to know).
Although Twitter chats are not the only form of contributing to others’ learning that took place on Twitter for me, I feel like they are the most prominent. I have participated in a few different Twitter chats, however my two favourite are by far #saskedchat (Thursdays at 8pm) and #newteacherjourney (Sundays). Both of these chats have given me opportunities to build my own knowledge, but they also gave me a channel for which to speak my thoughts on various topics relating to the field of teaching. Here are some of my contributions to both of these chats:
I have found that Twitter chats are my preferred way to building my PLN.
Although this is not necessarily in the context of this course, it is a way of implementing technology to contribute to the learning of others. Back in March of 2018 (Outside of this course), I created a Google Drive which was going to be for me to store lesson plans. (I had crazy dreams at the time, like planning lessons across every subject/outcome in the SK curriculum. Definitely an instance of setting unobtainable goals for myself). However, in September, it was suggested that the cohort of Middle Years teachers have a space to share lessons and plans that they have developed. As such, I opened up the Google Drive to them. This is what it currently looks like:
The website is currently a work in progress. It was created to provide a different interface to share lessons and units plans. Personally, despite what Google Drive allows for, I found it could sometimes be difficult to navigate. With this website, it is possible to give a brief synopsis of each resource in order to reduce the number of clicks for its users. However, as you can see from the GIF (created using Gyazo), there are a lot of pages involved. Managing all of them might become too much of a burden, but time will tell.
(Looking at this, it is likely I will rethink my approach).
Having a website online that enables a group of educators to share resources they have developed is an excellent way to maintain an active PLN. However, due to the bulk of the webpages, I may need to put more thought into how each grade level is split up. (Or maybe just leave it to subject/grade).
This is still a work in progress, and I plan on having it more complete over the course of the December break.
When it comes to what will happen in the future, it’s simple: keep going. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day — and neither is a PLN. It takes time, effort, and perseverance. I plan to join regular Twitter chats still, as they are fun, and it’s always time well-spent. Developing further skills, and joining different Twitter chats may be in the future. Maybe even knitting, or blogging.