Sitting on the couch, last night with the sun setting over the ocean, I began to flip through my twitter feed, seeing what’s new, linking to different articles suggested by those I follow. As usual, I came across some conversations from a ‘twitter chat currently in progress’. This time it was #ILedchat, where there were a lot of side conversations around professional development, Edcamps, and the value of giving teachers leadership opportunities to guide their own pro-d.
Through comments, I connected with several teachers and administrators around the concept of what good pro-d looks like (keeping in mind that good is very subjective). I was reminded of past professional development opportunities I have had (including ones that really didn’t work for me: how to pack for travel, keynotes with mysogenistic tendancies, workshops on differentiated learning on powerpoint and handouts). However, I also reflected (refracted?) on my most memorable pro-d experiences. These were times when collaboration, discussion, and indepth uncovering of concepts around learning happened.
I read almost constantly. This solitary effort allows me to consider ideas from others, ruminate current thoughts in education and develop my personal educational philosophy. Many of the texts are suggested off twitter, recommended by teachers and administrators. But if I am just doing this on my own, I am like my students developing digital citizenship through social media such as snapchat or VINE. It might lead to something useful and important, but it probably won’t be as thoughtful or meaningful as a real discussion with other educators.
This is where twitter comes in. I can have meaningful conversations and discussions (sometimes 140 characters at a time can be like the Brothers’ Karamazov). I sit on my couch, sitcoms on the tv, and scroll through my feed, commenting on what catches my eye. These fly-by conversations give me an opportunity to find out what’s happening around the world that has relevance to my situation. I like to call it my own private edcampRouge (after the ASCD’s edcampRogue that I misread as edcamp Rouge).