This year has been quite successful for my professional learning network #PLN. I would say the beginning of my PLN started last year in about April when I found out the amount of collaboration happening on Twitter as I was searching for Hyperdocs in my classroom. For some reason, I cannot get the hyperdocs.co website to work at my school – so I used the #HyperDocs hashtag to find shared documents. I was mindblown and overwhelmed by the number of resources I found (that I had previously been recreating myself). Although this inspired me, the light bulb still didn’t go off. I wasn’t hooked or using Twitter as much as I would have benefited from.
When I began COETAIL this year, I was excited and again, a tad overwhelmed. It has been a few years since I took any courses and like mentioned before I was using my coworkers and my school for most of my collaboration. In course 2, when we began exploring the meaning of a PLN and the reasons why they are beneficial – I finally caught on.
Personal Learning Networks can help you as an educator by opening the door to many new ideas coming from all over the world! The network is PERSONAL, so you choose who you want to follow and who you do not want to follow. You are open to learning anything you choose! While that is quite a positive outlook on PLN’s some other negative aspects are the fact that what you post follows you forever. There is no erasing something completely from the internet. That is where as an educator you have to draw the line between personal and professional. – What do you stand for?
I’ve been active on a couple of sites this year to start developing my professional learning network. I am using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, a little bit of Google+, and of course COETAIL. I was really hesitant in the beginning to post, but am really learning to enjoy it, as well as, use these sites as resources to learn from others and share my suggestions/ideas on topics where I am knowledgeable.
Through Twitter, I was able to collaborate with Cary on her final project for course 5. This has been an excellent collaboration experience for our Grade 2 students – but I’ll let Cary give away those details on her blog – check it out!
Also with help from Troy, we were able to help one of our math teachers come up with a solution for adding equations in Google. She was wanting to use an extension in Google Slides but turns out this is not possible. So Troy suggested an extension to use within Google Docs. It’s been working well for her.
I had a few moments of fame where I thought I was #Twitterfamous because COETAIL re-tweeted one of Ryan’s tweets about my last blog post. I was so excited!
Using Twitter this semester has been really helpful and although I just have 54 tweets and originally was shooting for 100… I will continue to keep using it as a helpful tool to problem-solve and collaborate.
I am in a couple of Facebook groups for teachers. The groups are Seesaw Teachers, Technology Teacher Tribe With Brittany Washburn and PYP Online Collaboration. I use these groups to follow what other teachers are doing in the classroom and gather ideas to share with the teachers I work with. Lately, we have been having an issue with our Chromebooks and 2-step-verification. The Chromebooks were prompting students to enter phone numbers (which they do not have) then after making them type a code that was sent to the phone. This had to be done one-by-one as each code was unique for each computer. As you can see this is difficult/annoying to set up for 20 first grade students. I posted my request for “HELP!” on the Teacher Tribe page and received an abundance of helpful feedback. It seems like we have conquered this issue for the time being.
Another aspect of Facebook that I find to be beneficial is that in the evenings, although I am aimlessly scrolling through my newsfeed – I still see posts from the groups above and get ideas to enhance my learning and professional development. If I cannot fully engage in it at the moment I just click “save” and go back and view them later or I save them to share with other teachers.
This semester I have also kept up with reading other Cohort blogs. I did research on some of the Course 5 units created by past Coetailers and also called up with #cohort2 member, Jessica Charvat. *Side note: we actually worked together in Chiang Mai, last year and she is the reason I learned of COETAIL and joined the program.
And to top off all this great #PLN excitement – I can officially share that I am now a Google Certified Educator! It’s been a long (but good) year of learning and growing and I am so happy that I was able to accomplish this within the COETAIL program.
Cheers to the final week of Course 5 and my final project post. 🙂