My path toward expanding my personal learning network beyond my COETAIL community started with a few simple steps. I joined some new Google + communities, used Facebook to start making professional connections in addition to personal ones (PE in PYP) and became a more active participant on Twitter.
In order to expand my involvement, I participated in a 14 Day Twitter Challenge for PE Teachers. Each day I was presented with a task to complete and this pushed my online involvement using this platform. Most importantly, I increased the number of my followers, professional connections, updated my profile and images and made consistent on-going tweets. I am now actively using Tweet Deck and make posts multiple times a week.
Twitter has allowed me not only to profile the work that I do and highlight student achievements but has exposed me to resources and professionals that can support me in my content area.
I also experimented with Twitter chats by participating in part of a #coetailchat on October 27th. This was a new experience that produced some great dialogue between coetail participants. The most valuable part of this discussion was a list of suggestions for other PE chat groups to explore including #pechat and #peslowchat. I also found the Education Chats website that provides an ongoing list of Twitter chats that provide opportunities for teachers to engage online. It provides dates and times of chats and list their focus area such as grade level, content areas or general professional practice.
Engaging in online chats will ensure that I continue to collaborate with educators beyond my school and my COETAIL cohort. I hope to catch the next #coetail chat next week and continue to expand my connections using other twitter chats built for educators.
Twitter led to collection of resources and new ideas related to my final course 5 project:Animated GIFs in PE. Here are some of the tweets that helped me along the way:
The development of my PLN (personal learning network) is still growing. COETAIL has pushed me out of my box and the power of these connections comes from consistent on-going participation online. At times, I have felt marginalized as a PE teacher but the power of online connections has provided professional collaboration on a global scale. I look forward to the learning ahead and new contacts as my network grows in the future.