School Improvement Plan 2012-13

Nikki Robertson is thrilled that her school has made  ‘Building Your PLN with Twitter’ one of three three School Improvement Goals  for the school year. She ran a professional development session for the staff, complete with donuts and coffee. She described her experiences on Twitter adn the Twitter basics and terminology but has encountered resistance from staff afterwards.

This sinister underlying resistance was verbalized by one of our teachers at lunch the other day and has been echoed in one way or another by several other teachers.  So what is this resistance?  Well, here is a paraphrased quote:

“I’m not sharing my lesson plans or activities with anyone.  I worked to hard to make them to just give them away.”

In full

 

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The Purpose of Personal Learning Networks

Sheilaspeaking reflects on her PLN – how she blogs and uses twitter, responding and adding comments. She find inspiration from thoughts of others, finding interaction and participation in open dialogues. She wonders about the significance of echo chambers online and what that means for PLNs:

I recognize and relate to the frequent concerns about echo chambers and the possible lack of diverse voices in networks, or shortcomings in how we interact with networks.  But I think it is important that we are sharing perspectives and raising voices in new ways, as well as connecting with those in decision-making roles that was not possible in the past.  Whether this is good, bad or pointless, it does mean something, if not many things.  Is participation in online forums and with social media allowing us to be included in what we have always wanted to be included in?

In full

Learning in Networks

Brian Harrison reports from #DENSI2012 on a discussion about networked learning. He believes that learning networks can enhance and develop collaboration amongst educators and show how learning amongst students as well as educators are connected. He mentions a taxonomy provided by Judith Warren Little which includes

Sharing: There is an exchange of learning that flows in two directions (think of sharing units, links or resources) but there is no expectation that the parties will actually use what has been shared. We are great collectors of ideas and resources but tend to stick with what we know and prefer. Sharing is important because it fosters a norm that sharing is a good thing for teachers and builds positive interdependence; a precondition for true collaborative learning. It is worth noting that this phase, and the next one, are non-hierarhcical and based upon the principle of mutual benefit.

In full

Getting to Know You: Change11 and Mooc Participation

The second in the series from Liz Renshaw.

Vanessa Vaile here, my current landing spot is Mountainair (isolated, rural) in central NM. Both current location and places along the way are relevant, context to what I do and how I do it. Status: retired from teaching other than some volunteer and design work; active curating content, blogging and other online and community projects.

Why did I decide to participate in Change11? I ask myself that same question, along why the others too? Why not? I started two weeks late with PLENK10, lost at sea most of the time but kept on signing up. Whatever my reasons are, “professional development” is not among them, although personal and even community or network would be. Remember Zorba’s stone?

As for “MOOC highlights,” weeks, topics, presenters, commentaries, newsletters, groups become something of a blur. Not all highlights took place in a MOOC. The best are aha moments when a MOOC moment connects elsewhere, wether higher education reform, curating open GED resources, self-paced ESL study group or community development ~ and vice versa. Those I tag, bookmark, add to reader and share appropriately.

After trying and rejecting complex strategies for managing information, I’ve simplified the process to ‘sort, tag, aggregate, read what I can and most catches my attention, comment on and tweet time permitting, ignore what I can’t’. That includes not worrying about what I will surely miss, lose track off or just plain forget. It’s still there waiting and may or may not return.

I’m still working on my own definition of a “Personal Learning Network,” its parameters and sometimes even what to call it. My network is eclectic, neither 100% personal nor exclusively “educational” (another problematic term).

Use tools: don’t be one. Social networking tools favored one mooc may not take center stage the next, Why, I could not say. Convenience and availability of apps to make them more efficient are important considerations. I live on the wrong side of the digital divide. Not being bandwidth hogs is probably the real deal maker.

Most used are: blogging platforms (Blogger, Posterous, most recently Tumblr); Google reader, sort, tag, bundle, share, search; email (forget that crap the death of email or it being where ideas go to die unless a) not web based, b) user is a preternaturally gormless searcher); Twitter – four active accounts (higher ed, personal, local, literary); social bookmarking, both Delicious and Diigo; Facebook (convenient for sharing even though search and archive suck big-time, for pages, get around that for pages with rss feed in readers; aggregators: NetVibes; Paper.li; Scoop.it, iGoogle ~ and whatever helps sync all of the preceding. Also used but less or on the tryout list: Dropbox; Bo.lt; Storify; Pinterest; Twitter / social media management systems; and some used so little that I cannot recall their names.

Resonate? I am not a tuning fork. Just off the top of my head, Dave for clarity, ecology, rhizomes; George for structure, analytics; Stephen for newsletter, attitude and magpie mind; Snowden because we are both Welsh. I feel the meaning of ‘cynefin’ in my bones. All of them for “messing with boundaries, barriers, and silos” (George).

There are others in between that I am still processing and will be long after the course is over. A moveable feast. Applications are another story and another post for another time.