Admittedly, patience is something that does not always come easy to me. I have written and spoken more times than I would like to admit about my lack of understanding for colleagues who fail to embrace tools that allow us to connect, collaborate, and learn regardless of time and place.
As is the case with most who will read this blog, Social Media has allowed me to connect with an array of amazing educators from all over the world. The things that I have learned from my Personal Learning Network (PLN) are too many to list. They have had a profound impact both on me as an individual and my school. For example, we would not moving to a 1:1 environment at Burlington High without the information and resources that so many have shared with me.
The Echo-Chamber Effect
Having said this, I know that some people have speculated that the on-line conversations sometimes sound like an “echo-chamber.” While I do not disagree that there can be a great deal of repetition to the discussions that take place, I also know that only a couple of years ago it was all quite foreign to me. I was gaining insights and blogging and tweeting about topics/issues that others were clear on years earlier.
Stay Positive – What’s the alternative?
I have a great deal of optimism due to the increase in the number of educators, particularly those in leadership positions, who have joined in the conversation. However, since there are new people coming aboard we may have to repeat or highlight some of the same topics/issues that have been discussed in the past. It excites me to see new faces getting energized when they see the impact that building their own PLN can have.
While I am not sure if we will change education to the degree that is necessary, I know that we will just become part of the problem if we waste energy making snarky comments about those who are having conversations and coming to conclusions that we arrived at well earlier. Would we do this with students?
Are We Just Cheerleading?
Maybe we are just cheerleading sometimes, but, who cares! We need more places where educators can go and get a pat on the back or a reaffirmation. We all motivate ourselves differently and sometimes taking part in a conversation (i.e.#edchat) where there is a long stream of discussion that is reminiscent of something you may have heard before can be energizing. Don’t you have an old movie that you like to watch because of its motivational impact? Or a song you listen to? Or a motivational speaker you listen to? Or a favorite quote?
I am guilty of all of the above. You?