The way that we make connections is changing rapidly due to the advancements of technology. As I have said in the past, we are making shifts to incorporate these technologies in the classroom, but they can also be used to build our own Personal Learning Networks. Tonight, for the first time, I participated in a Twitter Chat for #EdChat and it was such a valuable experience!
At first, I was feeling overwhelmed – it felt like I couldn’t keep up with who was tweeting and what was being said! So I decided to just focus on the tweeters that I saw appearing most frequently. I replied back to them, making comments or just agreeing with what they had said. Then, before I knew it I was getting replies from 3 different people at a time! It was so exciting, I felt like I was really a part of this larger conversation and people actually cared about what I had to say! In a few minutes, I was engaged in conversation with 4 or 5 people at once… and by the time I had just finished responding, more replies were coming back to me! I lost track of time because I was becoming so engrossed in these very fast-paced conversations. By the time the #EdChat was over, I had tweeted over 40 times and gained 7 new followers – talk about PLN!
My conversations were really intriguing; they mirrored much of what we have been learning in class. It was great to hear people outside of our own SUNY Cortland learning network who had the same theories about education. I spoke with people about everything from teachers as master learners to technology integration in the classroom. Even discourse and inquiry came up in my tweets! Actually interacting with so many other tweeters made me feel like my opinions were worthy and I had something important to say. I quickly made the shift from observer to participator. Before the end of the chat, I even recommended our class text, Learning on the Blog by Will Richardson. Having information to contribute and texts to suggest really made me appreciate all the work we have done this year. I understood the terminology and was able to discuss a variety of subjects without ever feeling like I didn’t have something adequate to say!
By the end of the hour, I even had another tweeter thank me for the great conversation. It made me feel validated, like I am an individual who is ready to go out into the field and work with others collaboratively to achieve something great for students. I would definitely recommend an #EdChat to anyone planning on going into this field or just interested in education. I feel so accomplished – great experience!
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