From Lone Wolf to Hunting with the Pack – becoming a globally connected educator
Firstly, thanks to @annekenn for inspiring today’s blog post. About 3 weeks ago Anne emailed me and asked if I would send her a sound byte or video for an upcoming CORE education presentation she was doing on this topic. Of course, I was more than happy to do so. Anne is an amazingly well connected, hard working and inspiring educator. You see, Anne was one of two people who got me started on twitter (so she is one of the people you have to blame for all of the nonsense that comes from my account!)
The Lone Wolf part began about 2 years into my teaching career at a small public school in Dunedin, New Zealand. I became actively inspired and interested in using technology to support learning. I started leading change and realised that there was more to what I was doing. I had previously thought that social media was a fad and it was for personal use only, I didn’t want to get caught up in the mess that it could bring to my professional career. How wrong was I?
Once I realised there was a ‘pack’ of hungry educators out there willing to connect and learn with me I was hooked. Connecting and growing with others in order to grow collective wisdom was the point I was missing. Establishing a strong PLN (Professional Learning Network), not only on twitter, but Face to Face, on LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and through attending conferences and events was the first step on my journey.
Funnily enough, the connections I made and the opportunities I had from establishing a small network was incredible and got me invigorated to continue the journey. I shared what I was doing and engaged myself in discussions with other like-minded educators I found along the way. Not only was I growing as an educator but opportunities were opening up for me as I networked my way around the world.
Connecting and collaborating is what I do in the classroom, so why not match that in my professional world outside of the classroom. In order to offer up the best possible learning experiences for my students in the 21st century world that we live in, I have to be connected with the very best in the business I didn’t think it was possible, but how wrong was I – it is simpler than you think!
Now, I am an international educator in Singapore. I have an amazing PLN that support me in everything I do and I would not turn back for a moment. Here is the video that I created for Anne to share at her CORE education session. Enjoy and feel free to share:
I look forward to hearing about your stories. My challenge to you is, share your journey, like I have shared mine. If you haven’t started your journey yet, invite me and your PLN to enjoy the journey and support you along the way. We are all in this together! The aim of the game is to make ourselves the best possible educators, who offer the best possible learning experiences for our students.