My Learning Communities

Made with Padlet

When thinking about connectivism learning theory the first thing that came to mind is the students in the classroom and how they use their online learning journals as well as the countless prep periods and class time we have spent contributing to the feedback loop with the goal of enhancing learning. I suppose when we use blogs/learning journals like this can be a very effective way to learn as information is visited, added to, then revisited again.

I am fortunate to work in a school community that values peer feedback and has a constant cycle of listening and sharing ideas and then providing insight and support with colleagues. We spend a lot of afternoons together in groups across divisions thinking and implementing experiences to improve on student learning in a very structured way (joining COETAIL actually came out of one of these meetings).  This is always done face-to-face.

I don’t have a strong digital presence. After quitting Facebook over a year ago I felt a bit disconnected from other teachers I had met at previous workshops, and one of my goals in COETAIL is to improve those connections. I am looking forward to joining this community of learners.

I think that my family has to be included in this. Coming from a family of teachers and having a spouse who is also a colleague creates an opportunity for lively dinner table discussions about pedagogy.  This made me think about a question; where is the line between a social and professional learning community?

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2 Responses to My Learning Communities

  1. Lissa Layman says:

    That’s such a good question, Flynn! My family has a lot of ties to education and both my sister (who I worked with in Kuwait for 6 years) and my husband are teachers. I find that separation between social and professional communities is much blurrier as an international educator than it was when I was in the US. Many of my professional connections (that began at school and online) have morphed into friendships. I appreciate this about the international/education world but it would probably be nice to have a break sometimes.

    Excited that you are now part of our COETAIL community!

  2. Hi Flynn! Thanks for your thoughtful post. I love that you made a Padlet since I’m such a huge fan of the platform. I am in the opposite situation from you since I am the first and only educator in my family. I guess it’s nice that I get a break from talking about education, but it’s also difficult when people can’t truly understand what you do during the day. Each has their pros and cons I guess. I think you’ll find that COETAIL does a wonderful job of opening up your perspective on the power of an online PLN (especially through Twitter). Many professional connections that originally started online have now become in-person friendships and it’s always growing. I look forward to hearing more of your perspective.

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