Today a colleague (Carl Robinson – Drama teacher extraordinaire and publisher of http://workingperformance.blogspot.be/) and I made a brief announcement at a Faculty meeting inviting people to join us in a “tech tank”. When I think “tank” I think Tiananmen Square, but perhaps that’s just me. This is more of the “think tank” variety, slightly less concrete and more cerebral.
After 6 months of exploring how connections are being made on social media platforms between educators, I am absolutely convinced that the effort it takes to be involved is rewarded thousandfold (that’s not a mathematical promise, just a rough estimate). I have been moving slowly, one might say at a sloth-like pace, but I have been determined to not push too hard and then burn out and give up. Establishing an effective Personal Learning Network takes time, and I like to believe I have a healthy work-life balance (sleep is good). But, if you think “big picture” and avoid the temptation to become absorbed by Twitter et al., remembering what the point of all this is (collaboration and learning), then this process is fundamental to being part of what is building steam across the globe.
What draws me to this expanding online network of people thinking and communicating, is that it is people thinking and communicating. I appreciate how the tech is integral to the process, but I am not really interested in how it all works. There appears to be a genuine altruism at the core of the network, and I would like to share that with the people who I work in the same building as, as well as with the bodiless profile pics that I interact with online.
I am confident that the group that gathers next week will be a positive team of people who are willing to explore and innovate (I have great colleagues!), and I look forward to being part of the process!