In the twitter-verse there are thousands of thoughtful educational leaders that connect and create new ideas around student learning, teaching and educational environments. I’ve enjoyed connecting with educators around the world, discussing issues ranging from assessment, social-emotional learning, social media in schools, coaching new and experienced teachers, gamification and possible new futures of education. These are all great conversations in 140 characters, sharing ideas and posts that delve deeper into the issues. Tiny pictures of those I connect with are the only images I see, unless a twitter picture is also sent out to the world.
I wonder, though, where these discussions go in the school. Are these great educational leaders recognised for their ideas, skills and compentencies in their own school? Or are we just creating isolated pockets of educational reform and change in micro-environments connected by the thinnest fibre optic wire to other pockets? Even though twitter in education is growing at an exponential rate (I have no data on this, just watching as more and more educators around the world seem to be joining the conversation), are we at risk of becoming the new ivy towers of education?
Last Monday, I joined in the Illinois chat, despite being out here on the West Coast of Canada. I followed several threads around professional development and edcamps that could easily have been about my own situation in my own district/province. Making connections that deepen my PLN and giving opportunities to discuss and to create spaces where open dialogue can happen is essential in my own professional growth. I bring those ideas and conversations back to my school and have deeper discussions with teachers around educational reform and professional development.
My worry, though, is that these conversations might be happening in isolation of the school environment. Sometimes, it feels like I am in a huge classroom, discussing issues that do not connect with the day to day of education. My goal, then, this summer, is to move deeper into the discussion and find ways of bringing those discussions into the school site.
I would prefer not to become an invisible educator talking in binary around complex issues.