Happy New School Year

Welcome back to another year of fabulous discoveries, happenings and journeys.
My summer was packed as usual with family things and events, connecting with old friends and making new friends in new places.  Oh and lots of food, great food!

Over the summer, I had a chance to take in a few conferences (RSCON3, 140 Conference, live webinars of Building Learning Communities11-Alan November). Wrote about them in previous posts here and here. What resonated was the role of social media in professional learning, specifically lived in conferences like the Reform Symposium.  Imagine a group of 4000+ people   interacting live over 3 days across 100 sessions and keynotes and it was completely free! Rather than just sitting back consuming content, I was able to see/hear/talk to attendees and presenters from over the world (all from the comfort of my home).

I’ve been thinking why the power of social media like Twitter is so incredible. More than once I’ve been told that Twitter is the most incredible professional learning ever! Admittedly I’m rather new to it as I used to think that it was nothing more than a bunch of likeminded people who shared what they ate – who has time for that!  I keep coming back to the approach of Reggio Emilia, who stated that the environment is the third teacher.  By specifically following a group of thinkers and participating in some edchats, I’ve gleaned new ideas that has pushed my thinking.  So much so that I expanded to include a broader group of business, economists, and neuroscientists from around the world. There is a community that is built through shared conversations, deepening understanding as we work through our questions. It is interesting that this environment appears to be more supportive than sometimes those conversations in staffrooms.  It’s here that you get to test out ideas, gather feedback from people who are always available.  In the end, it is the conversations that bring me back time and time again.

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