My name is Victoria and I'm a learn-aholic.
Seriously, I can't stop. I've been overcome with the need to find out more and to share that learning with my students. A trip into my brain on a regular afternoon might sound like this: How can I better develop the creative process for inquiry projects? How can Google Hangouts impact the way that admin meetings are run in our district? What can my kids teach me about Augmented Reality and how it can be used in the classroom? Should I be using Evernote, Notability, or TopNote (or all three!) to organize myself and my students?
Okay, so I've turned into a bit of a super-nerd. But I now have a new (and permanent!) job at West Langley Elementary next year where I can really settle in and do some authentic application of my own learning and in turn, to benefit kids... so super-nerd all the way!
There have been 3 vital things for me that have contributed to my adventures in learning and you will find as you read that each of them are deeply entrenched within the others:
The epicentre of the learning earthquake in my brain has undoubtedly been Twitter. I started using Twitter in January to tweet about my class and school events. In the beginning, I found it mildly useful, but certainly not ground-breaking. Then, one fine day in April, I stumbled upon #edchat, and found myself drowning in one of the largest streams on the Twittersphere. Although overwhelming, I quickly caught on that the people participating in this chat were some of the most influential educators out there (at least in my opinion). So I followed a few, bravely tweeted out some thoughts on the topic of discussion, and boom! Some of them followed me back! That felt good.
Especially in the beginning, it's a bit of an ego boost to gain followers. I have learned now that it's not only who follows you, but who you follow yourself. Since that realization occurred to me, I have increased my involvement in Twitter by joining in on and even moderating educational chats in the hopes of finding new human resources for my learning. I can't reiterate enough how powerful my Personal Learning Network has become in my life as an educator.
Soon after participating in my first Twitter chats, I created this blog. It, too, was actually inspired by a Twitter chat (Thanks, #patue!). The reason that I created it was so that I could reflect and share my learning with other educators. While I believe that everyone naturally reflects on learning, I also believe that there are different levels to that reflective process. I can say with ease that my reflection has been pushed to a deeper level as a result of blogging because now, I have an audience. Okay, so it's not a large one, but it is certainly one that I hope to influence in some form, so I have increased the thought and care that goes into the applications and writings of my learning. Sharing your learning in some way with colleagues is just as important as doing the learning... educators are not meant to be islands!
Now, with so many people in my network, and thousands more I have yet to discover, the possibilities are truly endless. I have the power to find out about a new digital tool, play with it, see the potential applications for the classroom, and, with a single tweet, I can get the support I need from my PLN to learn even more about it.
The latest example that I have is Aurasma, an app designed for Augmented Reality. Folks from my PLN are actually reaching out to guide me through the process of getting started with use of Augmented Reality in my classroom. But wait, there's more... They're also asking for me to share my ideas back to them! The cyclical nature of sharing and creativity won't stop at our little circle either; it continues to grow and bring in new and exciting perspectives each day.
So... doesn't that sound like a global learning network that you'd like to be a part of?! Though your experience may be different than mine, I highly encourage teachers everywhere to get connected, share, and collaborate with a PLN and watch your learning soar!