During the first quarter of the Digital Education Leadership (DEL) Program, we were asked to have a Twitter account. I was not looking forward to this. I resisted this. I replayed in my mind all the negative Twitter experiences I had heard about from the news and from friends. I had decided long ago, I would never be involved with Twitter. I continued to resist it throughout the first quarter. Then, after engaging with it more during the second quarter of the DEL program, I realized that I had it all wrong. What you experience with Twitter depends on how you choose to use it. I found that because I am using it to connect in a professional way around digital education and technology, I am learning a lot from the folks I am connected with on Twitter. I am being inspired by other educators. I am exposed to and learning about Ed Tech on a regular basis. I am sharing my own thinking. I am learning from others thinking and experiences. I am more ready and willing to be open and available to new tech. I am converted and I will continue to be. The librarian at my school invited me to a Ed Tech PD through our school district a few weeks ago and presented about Twitter. I feel like I finally understand how Twitter can be solid support for ISTE Standard 1 – Learner: Educators continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning and ISTE Standard 2 – Leader: Educators seek out opportunities for leadership to support student empowerment and success and to improve teaching and learning.
What I really admire about the perspective she shared is that if used purposefully, you can be both a learner and a leader through Twitter – you will bounce between these roles regularly, as it should be. To lead well, you should be in the learning phase often. This seems especially true with educational technology since there is so much out there to be keep up with and be aware of.
After learning through a resource like Twitter, having a place to curate the many resources we learn about is an important way to maintain all the learning. I have started to use Wakelet to keep track of the ideas and tools that I am compiling throughout the DEL program, from fellow cohort members, from PD trainings and conversations with colleagues and friends. I have heard about other curation tools but for me, this one has been the most user friendly, so far. Also, you can follow other users and learn from the resources they have collected and begin creating a network of connections. This provides an opportunity to teach others about the resources that are working well for you while simultaneously giving you the ability to learn from others about what they feel are worthwhile enough to be saving in their Wakelet. I could see this tool being a way to have far reaching collaboration locally and globally. It makes me think of the ‘Wood Wide Web’ and network of mycorrhizal fungi. I always take comfort in the idea of connecting how we mimic our natural world. If done so thoughtfully, it could result in something almost as magical as mentioned in the video below…and how we could be more aware of what is hurting the positive way that digital education could be used within our education system.
Here is an article on the same topic, Plants Talk to Each Other Using the Internet of Fungus.
All of this has led me to thinking more about the Triple E Framework and staying on top of pushing myself as a Learner and a Leader within digital education and having a tool to monitor what I am finding and what I am seeking to find. Having a checklist or template to review regularly to make sure I am not getting so comfortable with what I know that I lose out on staying up-to-date on new digital tools, methods, and ideas while maintaining an innovative mindset versus what is safe and familiar. I would like to eventually combine a rubric like the Triple E Framework…
…to an accountability tool/app such as Wunderlist or Goals On Track. I like the idea of setting a goal of seeking out X number of new digital education tools, readings or connections per month combined with a way of tracking what is discovered and determining through the Triple Framework E what is worth saving for possible implementation (you could add it to your Wakelet!) or scrap it if it is not worthwhile – which is an important part of learning when it comes to how much is out there to wade through…knowing how to best sift through the bad to get to the good.
Ultimately, to best achieve ISTE Standards 1 and 2, there needs to be a desire to both wonder about and know about what is out there. To be ready ask questions while being open to answering questions. For myself, using Twitter as an educational and professional learning and sharing tool, Wakelet as a way to track findings while connecting with other educators/professionals and a goal setting/accountability app to track personal commitment to engaging regularly seems like a solid way to start engaging as a learner and leader consistently.
- Carpenter, J. P., & Linton, J. N. (2016). Edcamp unconferences: Educators perspectives on an untraditional professional learning experience. Teaching and Teacher Education,57, 97-108. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2016.03.004
- Fleming, Nic. (Nov. 11, 2014). Plants Talk to Each Other via an Internet of Fungi. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141111-plants-have-a-hidden-internet
- Goals on Track. Retrieved from https://www.goalsontrack.com
- Gonzalez, J. (2019, January 6). 6 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2019. Retrieved from https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/ed-tech-tools-2019/
- “ISTE Standards for Students” Retrieved from www.iste.org/
- Levin, Abby (2019). Up Your Ed Game. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/17vAPOecSGX8vpPfErnzkkpd5TAbyLpd1UkXba8BP60w/edit?usp=sharing
- Randles, Julie. The 9 Hottest Topics in Edtech (2018, April 25). Retrieved March 25, 2019 from https://www.iste.org/explore/Education-leadership/The-9-hottest-topics-in-edtech
- The Kids Should See This. The Wood Wide Web: How trees secretly talk to and share with each other. Retrieved From https://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/the-wood-wide-web-how-trees-secretly-talk-to-and-share-with-each-other
- Twitter. Retrieved from https://twitter.com
- Wakelet. Retrieved from https://wakelet.com
- Wunderlust. Retrieved from https://www.wunderlist.com/home