Learning from learners
Yesterday, I was able to help support @beachcat11 as she orchestrated a learning session for elementary teachers in KPRDSB. Cathy has been working with a small group of teachers as part of her TLLP project for this year exploring the use of social media in elementary classrooms. They’ve been working with a few different ideas and investigating the purpose and procedures for incorporating some of the social media tools into the classroom.
In the session, it was decided to focus on 2 areas, setting up a simple classroom blog that you can use with multiple authors (students) and using Edmodo as a social network for in-class use.
As part of this, Cathy brought along 2 of her students who have been acting as blog masters this year, co-coordinating the writing and posting process by the class. These two students wandered the room and helped the 25 teachers in attendance with getting their blog set up. Of the students’ mom was there, having driven him to the Education Centre. She was sitting in the back working away on her phone.
Later that day, after the students had left, we were talking about the concept of a Professional Learning Network and using Twitter as a source of professional learning. While we were doing this, a tweet came across my stream from @AlanaCallan and referenced our session. I was curious as to who she was replying to, and clicked the link to see more. Turns out the mom who had been sitting there had tweeted out via 4Square about what she and her son were doing.
I quickly brought this up on-screen for all to see, and we talked about how this is only possible through the networked learning environments that we participate in. So, not only were we learning from students, we were able to see how this has impacts beyond our classroom into the community and parents that we connect with. A pretty powerful statement on being a learner, no matter what your age, and on being a networked learner.