I've been following this thread since I received Jeff's original email. I started connecting on Twitter about 14 months ago and since then have grown tremendously! I have said before that I must live in the most UN-connected part of the US. There is absolutely NO emphasis here in WV on getting educators connected and part of the amazing conversations going on through media like Twitter and Google+. I've met only 2 administrators, a principal and assistant principal, nearby who just started on Twitter a few months ago. I'm not aware of any others in the entire state. 1 of those administrators seems to have gone cold lately, though I'm sure there job keeps them very busy. There is no one else in leadership positions engaging in these conversations regularly. Needless to say, the efforts here in WV are completely grassroots. Since starting the weekly #wvedchat
, we have seen a few more educators join in, but I'm not sure they are seeing the potential of embedding a PLN into their professional lives. Our last chat topic was expanding your PLN beyond #wvedchat
and I wrote the questions with the purpose of exposing our participants to what is going on beyond our little chat. Most of our participants use Twitter on Thursdays from 7:30 to 8:30 and that's it. I know that's a start, but I get frustrated that my efforts are yielding only small results at this time. It's as if other local educators look at me and just say "well that's a hobby for him, it's not really a hobby for me."
Any advice or support that other state chats can provide would be appreciated. If any other state would like to combine chat dates sometime, I think that would be great. If I can get our small group to participate, I'd love to expose them to other perspectives.
The teacher next door to my classroom is working on a digital citizenship website for a graduate course she is taking. She asked me to look over her site today and offer some advice. I sent her to Jerry's (@cybraryman) Digital Citizenship page and she was amazed that I had so many resources available at my fingertips. I can't even express to the masses of un-connected educators in my area what it's like to essentially be in touch with experts in almost any field of education and have the largest collection of resources available to me at my fingertips, just by connecting to others through Twitter and other communities. We are very "in the dark" here in WV and I'd love to change that. Sorry, but I needed to get that off my chest tonight! Thanks guys! I look forward to seeing where this goes! Thank you Jeff and Joe!
PS: I've been so focused on Twitter and other opportunities like WV's first ever Edcamp happening this Saturday http://edcampparkersburg.edublogs.org/
that I haven't been able to tackle Google+ yet, so I'm definitely here!
Edcamp Parkersburg Facilitator