Personal Learning Communities for Me


Last night I experienced my first successful blackboard collaborate session. I logged in half an hour early just to tinker around, I was a bit nervous… but once Alec prompted me (using my first name what a powerful tool) I felt that I could try some things out. Within 2 minutes of feeling safe in my environment I was able to talk, sing on-line (la la la la la la la) ,have fun, use emoticons interact with others, change my profile. I really became connected to that learning community… I was engaged and I wanted to learn more.

I often hear a few of my colleagues reminiscing on the good old days a time when one “Lesson Plan” fit for years at a time. There also seems to be a lot of concern around “authorship” with some of my colleagues.  I know in my heart that this is no longer possible, that children today cannot be molded into a one size fits all model, but I wasn’t entirely clear on what was causing that shift… and then I participated in the discussion last night (images were copied from the blackboard)….

I’d never really reflected on the changes in technology all in one place before

Older teachers grew up in the age of the television.–nitVjLoQ

And therefore need to make the paradigm shift from sole expert to guide of the educational experience.

Traditional Teaching

21st Century Learning Teaching/PLE- new teaching environments
#edchat, #ipaded, #schoolcounseling


Part of what I need to do to both become and model being a 21st century learner is to always be willing to explore, morph and change….. and also allow my students/ colleagues to become my teachers.

shifts – networking documents


We also need to convince our parents and educational partners that education is more than controlling the environment… it’s about teaching and modeling responsible Digital Citizenship

Sometimes when I counsel in a school I feel like a small fish swimming in a big bowl….


However links and groups like the following, help me to realize that I am actually one of a “school of fish”

School of Neon Fusiliers where do good ideas come from


That’s What Friends Are For- January 21, 2013

One of the first things I need to do tonight is send a big shout out to my #etmooc pals from work @HeatherEnzie and @SSpellmanCann.  These ladies not only provide me with feedback on my learning, but they also encourage me to continue to take risks and have fun in the process. We all teach in the same building and so we had arranged an actual face to face for Monday morning to regroup after our first week of #etmooc, to share our experiences and to give each other a bit of advice around WordPress (as none of us had tried this format before).

Discoveries I learned from my “teachers” during that session included:

Things to try:

Popcorn maker (tools)

Photostory 3

Print a screen

Command shift 3 or 4- on my mac: to iphoto and then crop

Upshift PrtSc – on my PC: use the snip it tool from the start menu

Word Press

To put in a Haiku deck, take a picture of the first screen, put in blog and then add the link after

Snip it Tool (PC)

Use it as a screen shot

Google Hang Out

Added effects both visual and auditory (the random face creator was a hoot)

3 of us logged in today

Appears with faces at the bottom

Priceless information that I wouldn’t have had time to look up in a book.
fyi- Peter is playing the role of Heather in this picture


4 thoughts on “Personal Learning Communities for Me

  1. Hi, Erin –
    I enjoyed reading your post! It seems many of us are in need of redefining our role as educators – and that is exciting and a bit daunting! I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head when you recognized the need to allow colleagues and even students to be your teacher from time to time. It’s humbling and difficult, but ultimately empowering. I look forward to reading more about your #etmooc experience!

    • Thank you for the post David. I remember a few years ago trying to create a brochure at work. I’d been working on it for over an hour and a student passed by and asked what I was doing. When I explained my goal she said… oh let me see that. In 5 minutes she had achieved what I wanted…. that was my first glimps into the power of letting go.

  2. I enjoyed reading your post. You have shared a lot of links and feelings here. I have been out of the classroom for over 10 years, am an older teacher but never stopped learning. You are fortunate to have colleagues who are in this with you.

    I think the most important thing we can do as teachers is model how to learn and the many places we go to in order to learn – from f2f colleagues to the many connections we can make online. I will enjoy learning with you.

  3. Good morning Susan. Thanks for your response. I really appreciate your thoughts on the benefits of being a life-long-learner. As I approach the middle of my teaching career I have come to realize that one’s openness to new ideas is not always dictated by age. One of the most innovative people I know (@sspellmancann) is very seasoned (I have her permission to say this).

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