In theory, I have blogged about the importance of connectivism and building community online in order to enhance learning. These connections are essential to building Professional Learning Networks (PLN) but outside of COETAIL I have not taken the practical steps to make this happen in a meaningful way. Sure, I have a Twitter account and made the occasional tweet but it has been random or a has been a one way effort to gain resources or an answer to a question. Edudemic reinforces the importances of being deliberate and taking time to engage on Twitter on a regular basis. In fact, they state the importance of “creating and not just consuming” and using educational hashtags to maximize the focus conversations and connections.
In Debbie Morrison’s blog, Online Learning Insights, it outlines how to make a meaningful PLN. She states the importance of building both a PLN and a Professional Learning Environment (PLE). These two terms are often used interchangeably but they can be differentiated from one another.
“A PLN is an aspect of PLEs, where the individual has a group of people within his or her virtual professional network, and the relationship with each is based upon a common interest, collaborative project or research. Communication and connections are made via social platforms or otherWeb applications, with the primary intent of sharing or gathering information.”
According to Morrison, PLEs are dynamic and essential to stay current. These environments will not only accept that education has become student centered but also lead to innovative and relevant teaching techniques. Teachers must have the ability to adapt in a rapidly changing educational landscape.
So in order to take some more deliberate steps on Twitter, I will start the 14 day Twitter Challenge as created by the PE Geek. I will use this as a mean to make connections within the physical education community and tweet on a regular basis. I have seen the benefits of this in the past including the “Burp It On” Twitter campaign which I came across on Twitter last year. I had my class respond to the challenge and create connections with an elementary classroom in Canada.
This kind of authentic engagement is the one I hope I can create over time this year. I want this effort to organically evolved through consistent and deliberate actions on Twitter an other social media platforms, including Google +.
In summary, the practical steps I will take to create a PLN and create community connections will start with:
- Joining new Google + Communities including Google Apps for Education, EdTech (Educational Technology), Coetail Course 5 Final Project and the ASD PE Community.
- Complete the 14 day Twitter Challenge and tweet at least once daily.
- Follow new PE educators on Twitter starting with this list created by the www.PhysEdSource.com.
If I combine this practical steps with consistent effort and engagement online, I’m sure the community connections will occur naturally. This will hopefully lead to the creation of an effective Professional Learning Environment that will support my learning and the learning of my students.
If you are interested in connecting over the Coetail Final Project, or would like to have a discussion about PE theory and practice please connect to me through one of the following avenues:
Email – email@example.com
Blog – Active Learning – https://dgreig.coetail.com/
Tweeter – @daenagreig