Well, here we go…
I have been planning to start this blog for a while and wondering what I would write about first. The first thing I think I need to write about is how my understanding of learning has transformed over the last year. I have had some great professional learning experiences on this journey that have contributed to this both formally and more importantly informally through my PLN.
It all started at the MYSA Conference in May 2011 at the Gold Coast where I was introduced to my first back channel listening to the wonderful Heidi Hayes-Jacobs and I was hooked, it was like going to two conferences at once listening to the facilitator and following the views of others, I soon learnt on the back channel which presenters to see and so I knew to get back to see Summer Charlesworth repeat her presentation and that Steve Collis was an inspirational person to follow.
Equipped with all these new ideas and links I just wanted more…following twitter feeds, learning about different hashtags and then with my new ipad being introduced to apps like Flipboard and Zite to package it all up so nicely. Through this I learnt about TeachMeets – what a blast following the live stream whilst cooking the family’s dinner and attended a couple as well, again lots of ideas, meeting like minded teachers and a great back channel.
Linking up to global networks through online conferences such as Reform Symposium where for a beginner tweeter like myself to be re-tweeted by Shelly Terrell was a buzz. Twitter Hashtags gave me the opportunity to follow international conferences such as keeping up-to-date with the Aussies at #ISTE11.
Local experiences have added to my learning, the AIS ICT Integrators conference that had great unstructured sandpit and unconference sessions with extended breaks to encourage networking. The travelling educators workshop at Ravenswood with the Alec and George Couros was fabulous and affirming of good practice of a networked teacher.
I love learning and I am excited about what I am learning and who I am learning from. The barriers are diminishing – it is no longer just teachers of a subject that learn together or just teachers of secondary or primary who learn together or teachers from one state or country who learn together. Through online sharing I am reading blogs from tertiary educators who I haven’t had access to for years, I’m finding out things about curriculum and issues affecting schools in different parts of the world and then can relate this to my own context. I am reading articles from different fields of expertise and thinking about how that relates to education. At times I feel like I know what is going on, but mostly and excitingly I discover everyday I have so much more to learn…