TOP 10 – #6: Advantages of Becoming Networked

TOP 10 COUNTDOWN – Summary of ECI831 Learnings

It is with this post, I continue my TOP 10 Countdown as a summary of learnings in our ECI831 class.  This Top 10 inspired the creation of my “Future of education?” video for our final reflection project.  And the countdown continues…

AT #6:  Advantages of Becoming Networked

 
 

 

 (I appreciated the sharing of this original work and of the various ‘remixes’ it inspired)

Zoe Brannigan-Pipe spoke to us about the life of a networked teacher.   She challenged us to think about our networks both face-to-face and those made possible through technology.  Tech tools such as Ning, Flickr, Twitter, Elluminate, Skype, Text, Email, Virtual Environments, Second Life, Wikispaces, Blogs, YouTube, VoiceThread, GoogleDocs, RSS Feeds, etc. expand our traditional networks.  There are so many tools available that it can be overwhelming. 

Important to Zoe is the ability, as a teacher to help students “…to think critically, to engage in discussion, to see the potential of the Internet as a hub for collaboration, and to provide a platform for them to develop their own learning communities that are authentic, safe and supportive.”  (Zoe Brannigan-Pipe, Blogging-for-real-reform, 2010) 

Zoe was a stellar example of a teacher who has incorporated technology into the classroom in very practical ways to help her students expand their boundaries and explore concepts in authentic and meaningful ways.  Her thoughts and practical classroom ideas are great for reflection purposes.  Our evening session with her got me thinking about myself as an educator.  I certainly have many ‘traditional’ tendancies, but I am beginning to see a need to venture beyond the walls of a traditional classroom and appreciate that, in the right circumstances, technology can support this notion.  I have much growing and learning to do around this concept and plan to take things one step at a time.  I must experiment with tech tools myself, explore them with others, and determine how they might fit within my life and work.

This is new territory for me, and I find myself sharing the thoughts included in a blogpost by fellow classmate, Mike Weisgarber, who mentions, “it has become very clear that you can’t dabble in online learning environments.  It feels like I need to be online and in our professional learning environment everyday or I am out of the loop.”  It does seem as though if you aren’t actively participating in online environments on a regular basis, it is difficult to keep up.  I think my strategy will be to set aside some time on an ongoing basis to work at it.  Like anything else, a little big of effort goes a long way.  I look forward to the continued learning ahead and hope to stay connected with a number of classmates long after our class has ended.

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~ by lewisv on November 29, 2010.

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