|Virtually attending uLearn16 through Twitter |
#ulearn16 and #notatulearn16 (5-7 October)
Facebook is another way to connect with other educators from around the world. I belong to a few different national and international teaching pages. What I have found through using Twitter and Facebook is that Facebook discussions generally are very practical, classroom/resource based discussions, whereas on Twitter there is a lot more questioning of thinking/pedagogy and reflective discussions. Both have there place. Meulhuish (2013) states that "just because one is sharing information in a social network site does not mean that the comments one provides are theory driven or particularly formative in ways that impact on practice" (p 38). This is true when resources or information is the only thing being shared. In my opinion, the educational twitter chats are where you are more likely to find PLD.
|Participating in a Chapter Chat NZ |
I have the belief that it is important for educators to display positive digital behaviours for our students to see. Our students are being exposed to social media at a young age, it is important for them to create a positive digital footprint. I have been lucky enough to hear Kevin Honeycutt speak a few times. He promotes helping students to creative a positive online presence, and that educators need to allow their learners to explore new technologies in a safe environment.
To teachers that have yet to take the plunge and join conversations online, I sincerely urge you to get connected. It takes a little while to find your feet, but believe me, you won't regret it.
Online communities that I have found beneficial as an educator:
Twitter: #edchatnz, #ulearn16, #gafesummit, #edchat, #digitaledchat
Facebook: NZteachers(primary), Encouraging Teachers, Genius Hour/20% Time, MakerEdNZ
Websites: MindShift, edutopia, Edtalks, TED talks, VLN
Melhuish, K.(2013). Online social networking and its impact on New Zealand educators’ professional learning. Master Thesis. The University of Waikato. Retrieved on 05 October, 2016 from http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/bitstream/han.