I tried to find another set of words that would better translate my PLN acronym and I finally got it when giving the title to this Blog. Although, at the end, I’ve chosen a less negative one for my original title: Poor Learning Network.
At the start of Coetail, back in September 2015, I was a 100% lurker, a voyeur if the French word makes the situation a bit more glamorous. The idea of having a twitter account seemed unnecessary and superflous and it remained the same for months, until I started to get to know people and find my groups.
Today, I find that it’s an important tool for professional learning, to keep up with the work of people that I find relevant, to learn and to share. Lately, I find myself naturally looking at Twitter, learning from it and looking forward to seeing tweets from cohort friends and others.
I see how some of my Cohort friends such as @, @ and @ have participated and reached out through this tool, and I think that it will be the best way for me to find French teachers who would be willing to collaborate and connect classes.
Because of Twitter I now follow communities that are related to my professional interests and get updates on events in which I am getting in the habit of participating. For example, I like Tea with BVP, an interactive talk show that discusses topics related to foreign language acquisition.
I participated in a couple of these talks that I found through Twitter. It’s amazing to be able to connect and discuss topics such as testing in L2, the differences between L1 and L2 acquisition, and use of textbooks amongst a few.
These last couple of months I started becoming more active on twitter, sharing readings that I have found interesting and every once in a while sharing my own stuff. I know that my activity is not as significant as others, but I am certainly aware of the importance of this tool as a means to share, collaborate and spread ideas.
Today, Twitter is a place share my own work (successes and difficulties); find people to collaborate and spread ideas that are worth sharing. I find it a powerful tool to start/keep connections and look forward to encountering and helping people that I’ve started to follow or will still meet.
My Live Talks/Hangouts
My first interaction with Google Hangouts was last year during my Course 2 project with Valya Leaton. We had discussions, planned and shared our work through it. It was easy, practical and real.
In fact, it became a collaboration/learning tool with with my students and, sporadically, with some members of my current department.
My Future PLN
I see this tool becoming a real part of my professional life in the near future. First, because next year I’ll be working at another school and will definitely want to continue developing the work/learning that we have been doing in our current HS World Language PLC. Second, because I want to develop collaborative units that connect my students with other language learners around the world.
The possible advantages of creating collaborative units seem too good to forget. On the teacher side, I would get to work and learn with people/teachers with the same mind-set and similar views on L2 acquisition. On the student side, they would be really communicating with other L2 students, with similar skills level but very different life experiences that are worth sharing and exploring. In short, we would be moving to real connectivism.
This idea was one of the aims of a unit that I created for my course 5 project that unfortunately didn’t follow through; but it’s not completely deleted, just postponed. It’s on my list of next steps.
My PLN is poor. Especially if I consider the work done by some of my fellow Coetail Cohort members. What amazing work some of them have done! Check out these projects, for great examples:
They inspired me, gave me ideas and showed me some paths to PLN growth.
As I mentioned in my Course 5 project post, learning is an infinite cycle. I am just beginning and yet so much different than before! Let’s see how the future unfolds.