How I got connected!

As Connected Educator month nears to a close, requests have been made encouraging us to share how educators have  got connected, sharing a journey that others may adopt and be encouraged by. Following are the online spaces  that have had the most impact on my connected learning especially in the early parts of the journey.

  1. Blogging – where it really began. A grant from our Victorian Education Department (DEECD) required the use of web2.0 tools. Blogging looked like something I might like to do and so this blog was born.  Close to this time, an email from DEECD stated that a Global Teacher and Global Student blogging campus, through edublogs, was available for Victorian teachers. This has now become global2 blogging campus. The connections commenced when Heather Blakey who was moderating the blogs encouraged her global network to comment on our class, backyard and student blogs. It was amazing to think that others across the world could visit us, read about our work and share a little of their world. We were off and running with blog entries, highly motivated and engaged. From there, a never ending journey began.
  2. Classroom 2.0 One of my special colleagues, Jess McCulloch a young, tech savvy teacher at my school brought to my notice the existence of Classroom 2.0 which at that time it had 3000 members from across the globe. This global classroom had been created by Steve Hargadon. Here I have met so many wonderful educators who are still part of my precious network. One of the first was Chrissy Hellier, then from New Zealand. I really wanted to do a global collaborative project with someone but had no idea what or where to start. Chrissy saw my request on Classroom 2.0, immediately said she and her class would collaborate and Anzac Connections was the product. Suddenly I was catapulted into wikis, animated text, vokis and other web2.o tools. Read more at Developing a Learning Network.
  3. The Flat Classroom Projects – where my students and I have learnt so many skills and been welcomed as part of a great supportive global network.
  4. Twitter – This is where I met Sue Waters, co- moderator of   edublogs,who mentored me and suggested people to follow as twitter was just not making sense to me! Through twitter I learned of the Flat Classroom Projects.
  5. Hello Little World Skypers group – a group of global connected educators from across the globe who are available for conversations 24/7 and someone is always available to skype with classes, or provide advice and support.

There is much, much more but that will be another post! How did you get connected? Why don’t you write a post and share with us how you did?

4 responses to “How I got connected!

  1. Twitter has been a major source of connection for me and my students often find the science and ICT facts i learn from Twitter interesting. I have not been able to find ways to link my classes with others, partially due to school structure, partial due to not getting myself organised far enough in advance.

    • Thanks for your comments lordfolland. When I get time, I will grab some screen dumps of interesting tweets for my students, but like you time is such a valuable resource. If it is my senior classes, I will often do a search in class itself. Sometimes there are some people not following netiquette and whose language may be unsuitable, but the senior students are then made aware of that should any unsavoury tweets come up. I also use it to quickly throw out questions when I am having problems with software tools or need resources. Often the advice comes back immediately with a solution to the problem so there is no wasted time thinking of alternatives or wasted in research. Do you teach ICT?
      I would love to use twitter more in the classroom as a means of connecting students but most students prefer facebook and texting on their mobile phones. I need to find other classes of students who are using twitter to make that a possibility.

  2. Hi Anne
    It is amazing the number of educators that Global 2 has help become connected and that must have been in the really early days that they had a grant to learn about Web 2.0. Did the grant give you time to learn or did it include guided professional learning?

    Glad my twitter help made a difference!

    • Hi Sue, when I started with global2 blogs there was noone else that I was award of blogging in any major way in Victorian schools. It was a steep learning curve. The grant encouraged us to use web2.0 tools particularly blogging. However the real crux of the grant was for my grade 6 class to create podcasts with a few other web 2.0 tools thrown in.The grant allowed some time for evaluation and reporting at the end. There was little guided professional learning as it was pioneering time! However, having the support of Heather Blakey in those days and access to her global blogging community was the biggest trigger in our success. Heather was employed part time to encourage blogging amongst schools. She was able to help mentor us through the key elements of blogging. Since then the blogging community has really taken off, due largely to the support of our Education Department.
      The other supportive factor in those early days was having Jess McCulloch, a young, techno savvy teacher, in our school and so the journey began and continues without any end! Thanks again for the HUGE role you have played in the journey!

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