One of the significant advantages of being a COETAIL student is the level of community engagement required and encouraged. Any educators at any time can reach out globally yet this wasn’t something I really benefited from until this COETAIL course. I now consider it my responsibility to develop my PLN. The articles shared, conversations, connections and learning experiences I have encountered due to my expanding PLN are incredible. I strongly urge all educators to take the time each week to reach out globally.
By sharing my own experiences I am able to process my own ideas and consolidate my own understanding, known at the Protege Effect.
I have been astounded by the power of twitter. After a reluctant and slow start to twitter I now can’t imagine a significant teaching event without it. COETAIL has encouraged me to extend my reach and use twitter in different ways. At a recent IB regional workshop teachers were asked to volunteer to run a short presentation on something they are passionate about and I jumped at the chance to sing the praises of twitter.
I quickly put together this presentation using the PYP key concepts to describe how I use twitter as a primary class teacher.
As a result of actively engaging with my PLN as part of my COETAIL course I have become significantly more engaged online.
Twitter has also enabled me to further my own understanding by discussing relevant topics with others. Hashtags have been a really effective way of connecting including #coetailchat, #pypchat and our own school hashtag #sislearns.
TweetDeck has been really useful to help me efficiently manage my account and not to miss anything.
I also enjoy using storify to record and share special events such as #siscodes for the Hour of Code. I now create hashtags for significant events such as our PYP Exhibition #sispypx.
Following on from connections made during our coetail blogs @tracyblair invited @leahbortolin and myself to trial #Edu-Hangouts. The proposal is that like-minded educators meet on Google Hangouts to discuss topical educational issues. I created this infographic to help advertise the event.
We have now met and discussed social media in the primary classroom and are planning many more #Edu-Hangouts.
Local Community Connections
An area where I have had unexpected success in connecting with educators is at my current school. Surprisingly by connecting online we are able to share, discuss and connect. The quick and easy instant sharing that twitter enables means that we can all be a part of each others learning environments even when we are unable to be there in person.
Yes it is wonderful to be able to connect globally- but don’t forget the fantastic educators that you share a staff room with!