Karyn Romeis my not be aware of it, but she has actually started a really valuable meme for educators. As part of her dissertation, she is investigating the ‘how, why and what’ of social networking for teachers. As someone who is often asked the same questions by other educator, I would love to know the answers myself as I think their diversity will help to reassure and persuade colleagues who are curious about the tools I use regularly…
SO… let’s get all 2.0 on the idea and make it a proper meme. Here are the three questions Karyn asked
- How did you get started with social media?
- What was your introduction, and how did the journey unfold?
- What difference has it made in your professional practice?
Below is my response to Karyn, and in order to turn it into a meme, all you need to do is answer the same 3 questions she asked, and then post a link to your response as a comment on Karyn’s post. I’m going to nominate 5 people to answer (in time honoured meme-fashion), but I think this is too interesting and valuable thread for you to wait to be asked, so feel free to share and link to Karyn! Here’s what I wrote…
I started about two and a bit years ago when I was a lowly classroom teacher.
I started by reading some blogs and following their links. As I did so, I became more engaged… I could appreciate the points being made and came to understand the ‘lingo’… I also started wanting to chip in my thoughts. I encountered something that I thought was important, but as I didn’t have my own blog at the time, I posted (email) the link to Ewan Macintosh. He wrote a post about it and challenged me for not having a blog. I began that day.
Since then, I have used blogging and RSS reading to expand my own vision and knowledge of education and teaching practice. I have written my own blog (with varying degrees of regularity!) and commented on countless others (well, actually, since I found cocomment, they ARE countable).
I have discovered wikis and RSS and have introduced pupils in my school to the trinity of Blogs/wikis and RSS… again with varying degrees of success. One great success has been seeing one of my pupils become Sean the Bassman… http://thebassplayersblog.blogspot.com/ and the only UK blogger on http://students2oh.org/
I’ve been asked to deliver in-service training at school and authority level as a result of the knowledge I’ve gained. I’ve been invited to participate in a number of committees and consultations that I would never have been able to had I not become a ‘social networker’… and the knowledge I have gained from this has helped me become a more reflective practitioner… and more importantly, it has rekindled my enthusiasm for teaching.
As a result, I have gained the skills which made it possible for me to apply for, and be appointed, Principal Teacher of English in my school. I am also going to be delivering a seminar on wikis at the Scottish Learning Festival in September.
In short, I can honestly say that social networking has helped me develop and progress as a teacher and in ways that I could never have predicted — but the bottom line is that I do it because I enjoy it and it’s great fun…