Since joining #edchat on Twitter several weeks ago I’ve suddenly developed a voice on educational related topics. I feel more connected to my profession than ever before.
This is my fourth year in the British Columbia school system and as a continuing status employee of the Chilliwack School District (SD33) I’ve found it difficult to establish myself in a continuing full-time classroom. The economic climate has taken its toll! I used to hear the masses say, “This is a great time to enter education. All the baby boomers are retiring.” Well, not in my district. The point I’d like to make today is that the majority of jobs I’ve had in the last four years have not allowed the kind of skill development I would have preferred. Instead of honing my craft in a classroom and interacting/collaborating with staff in a single school, I move from school to school on a daily basis. I find it difficult to relationship build with students, staff, and the community in this role. Twitter, more precisely, #edchat helps!
To counteract this situation I’ve attempted to build my own local PLN which is slowly taking off. I also use the Internet as a way to communication with educators around the world. Twitter provides me the opportunity to help other educators and at the same time allows me to feel valued as an educator. A quality which rarely happens in my current situation. Other web2.0 tools which help me stay on the cutting edge of my profession are delicious (social bookmarking tool) classroom 2.0 (educators Ning site) and educator’s PLN (International Personal Learning Network.)
Perhaps the most impressive of the web2.0 tools I use to communicate with other teaching professionals is #edchat. #edchat is a weekly meeting held on Tuesday’s at 12pm and 7pm EST. Topics range from “What does student ownership of learning look like?” to “How much has the Internet change content and the role of prior knowledge?” Here is a link to last nights chat transcript for those interested. For those unfamiliar with Twitter before you can participate in #edchat you need to first sign up for a twitter account. Once an account is created search for #edchat in the twitter search box and you’ll be able to join the conversation.
For more information on collaboration tools you may view the cwkPLN document on technology.