|creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by Trekking Rinjani: http://flickr.com/photos/trekkingrinjani/4930552641|
Last Wednesday night I participated in a Hangout with the team involved in coordinating the Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century professional development program offered by the education department in Victoria. For whatever reason, I didn't sign up last year. Subsequently, I looked on in awe and a little bit of jealously (if I must be honest) at all the awesome learning (and fun) that seemed to be going on. When it was offered this year, I was therefore keen to be involved, especially after sitting the backchannel of the ACCELN broadcast reviewing last years program. As things unfolded, +John Thomas got in contact, asked if I'd like to be a coach and the rest is history.
It is interesting thinking about how I got to this point. Actually when you stop and think about it, it is interesting considering how anyone got to where they got to. For me it has been a bit of long journey.
As I have pointed out recently, one is not born connected. I see it more as a choice, a decision, a mindset. Often it is easier to sit back and lurk online, but for me that simply wasn't connecting. However, there is another side I feel to lurking that often goes ignored. For some it isn't just about what is 'easy' or whether they have the 'time'. Rather for some being connected is an ongoing challenge, something that +Chris Wejr touched upon in his great post 'Not Everyone Is Able To Tweet and Post Who They Are'. Sometimes this challenge is the stepping out into the great unknown. It was for that reason that I published a series of posts outlining by journey in becoming more connected educator, which culminated with my post 'Becoming Connected: So What's Your Story?' on +Peter DeWitt's blog Finding Common Ground.
My hope was that those who sometimes sit back out of fear or trepidation can take the next step on their connected journey. In seeing the varied examples of how different people have taken the next step and prospered, they too can step out and maybe share a little bit of their learning and in the process, themselves.
So far I have already received some great responses:
- +Jan Molloy on being inspired by the potential of technology while at ISTE Asia Conference in 2012.
- +Margo Edgar on her experience at the PLN workshop run by the SLV, where she learnt that being connected is not about knowing everything, but about stating facts and asking questions.
- +Corey Aylen on the changes that being connected have brought to his notion of learning and teaching.
- +Kim Yeomans on being inspired by the SLAV Re-imagine Course to start a LRC (Library Resource Centre) Blog at her school.
- +John Thomas on noticing that all the other participants at the January 2011 Google Teacher Academy were on Twitter and thinking that there must be something in it.
- +John Bennett on making the decision to find time to reflect on that which interested him and connect.
Although some responses just a tweet, it still maybe the impetus someone needs to step out of the shadows and get involved.
So let me know, what did you do to take the next step? Who was it that helped you along the way? What event was it that made a difference? For surely once people see that they are not alone in their experiences then they can raise the next step with a little bit more confidence.