A community of like-minded, engaged and passionate educators is crucial to educators deepening and developing their practice, particularly with tech (Fullan 2006). Hargreaves (2012) considers professional communities to be at the heart of teacher and student success. Butler, Schnellert, and MacNeil (2015) found that sharing experiments to support learner challenges with colleagues can increase our sense of achievement and progress, even if we weren’t successful.
So where can you find your colleagues, and share ideas? Two suggestions are online communities.
For those who like to connect with a global community of educators, follow @TLConestoga. Use the hashtag #TechForTeaching.
Join the chat group and workshop hub to find a local community, exclusively for Conestoga faculty. Requests will pend for approval.
But these are not the only spaces!
Use the comments below to share your website or blog, or suggest a different social media platform or group.
Find a few colleagues you’d like to hear more from, and connect with them online.
Most educators agree that seeing other people’s teaching enhances their own. Butler Hargreaves (2010) identifies that “teachers find the experience of visiting each other’s schools and sharing strategies that make an immediate difference exhilarating and empowering” (p. 20).
Steven Katz, in this 2013 talk, identifies that diversity of opinion is the “raw material” from which educators build new learning. Knowing how learner challenges are being addressed in other classrooms will push our understanding of our own teaching.
Sharing an experience with a colleague, journaling, blogging or tweeting about experiences help process and advance learning.
Tell your Story
Visit the Tech For Teaching Stories site to share your experiences experimenting with tech to solve learner challenges.
Butler, D., Schnellert, L., and MacNeil, K. (2015) “Collaborative inquiry and distributed agency in educational change: A case study of a multi-level community of inquiry.” Journal of Educational Change 16(1), 1-26.
Fullan, M. (2006) Change Theory – A force for school improvement.” Centre for Strategic Education, 157, 3-14.
Hargreaves, A. (2010) “The Long and Short of Educational Change.” Education Canada, Vol 47 (3).
Hargreaves, A. (2012) “Singapore: the Fourth Way in Action?” Educational Research, Policy and Practice 11:7-17
“What counts as professional learning?” by Steven Katz, 2013. Video retrieved from Vimeo, July 31st, 2019.