At the end of March last year I blogged about my Professional Network and was surprised with how complex it was now since I had branched out into being a connected teacher. I am lucky to have so much valuable input both inline, online and offline!! I had been thinking about how this had changed so I looked at that presentation again. As I reviewed my online professional network I became aware of how much that had changed in a year. My blogs constantly force me to think about what I am doing professionally. To keep blogging, though, I have to have input and that often comes from my online connections, either because I want to share or because I want to follow something up. My Facebook feed now has a number of pages which keep me on the ball professionally. This is also the role Tweet Deck fills. TweetDeck runs my Twitter feed but as TweetDeck you can customise it to run one or more hashtags so you can get up to date information, participate in discussions or simply look for trends and ideas. The TweetDeck timeline also has random input from people other than those I follow. Initially I did not like that change but now feel that it sometimes offers a new look at things from other perspectives and does so out of the blue, so there is a fun aspect to it. Pinterest has also become very quickly one of the corner stones of my online professional development. I can share and gather resources, I can look up theory and practice. It is a rich resource. SlideShare is a community I have long valued since it has improved my presentation skills, allows me to connect with other tertiary educated people, has a wealth of knowledge to access and provides some good challenges and encouragement. I ought to be able to include LinkedIn but I am finding it difficult to get traction. One of the reasons is you need to have email addresses to connect so if I don’t know them I cannot send out the emails and I am not paying for Inboxing on a site which has, as yet, to prove its worth in my life. Other communities I belong to are easier to connect with and develop in a strong way. In this last year I have also made good use of my iPad apps. There are a number which bring me good information or help me to think things out. The iPad has a solid place in my professional life. It makes it very easy to engage with what I want to engage with or it brings me material to consider which I might not otherwise see. This is often courtesy of TeacherCast or FlipBoard. It is quite remarkable how quickly online communities and resources have contributed to my knowledge and development .If it can change this much in a year I am certainly looking forward to the next level of learning.
Filed under: blogging, classroom, e-learning, personal influence, software, technology Tagged: | connected teacher, e-learning, educating for the 21st century, education, Facebook, Internet, iPad, online professional development, Pinterest, PLN, professional network, social media, technology, TweetDeck, Twitter