Are You Clickable?

I posted on my own blog about the idea of educators being easy to find online which builds on the concept of “clickability” that Will Richardson talks about so eloquently on his blog. He also spoke about this when he was in town a little while back when a smallish but dedicated group of South Australian educators got to hear from this amazing well respected expert on the learning potential of the web.

Here we are, a dedicated community of educators whose passion for technology is such that we willingly join a professional organisation and network at events like the annual CEGSA conference. But how of our ranks are Google-able where a quick simple search of one’s name brings up a comprehensive overview of one’s professional work and innovation?

If the web offers connection in a way that was not easily possible before via blogs, twitter, wikis, discussion forums, flickr etc. then why wouldn’t we as a community be embracing this possibility to publish our work, ideas, resources and share with the gloabl education community?

Or on a more personal challenge level, what does a simple Google search of your name reveal about you as a learner and educator?

Why Every South Australian Educator Needs A PLN

I wrote a post on my blog this weekend.

Nothing too unusual about that – for me. I also attended a Professional Development day earlier in the week along with about 140 other educators from at least four local schools. We were there attending a great day with Mark Treadwell, traveling scholar, author and education consultant for the New Zealand education system. Mark is an acknowledged expert in the field of 21st Century Learning, brain research and curriculum design and therefore had a lot to offer us regular educators sitting there soaking in his message. He challenged us with plenty of thought provoking information – and many people were ready to apply his words to their practice, quoting his work as a form of pedagogical gospel.

Now I really, really liked what Treadwell had to say. In fact, it was the second time I’ve heard him speak. But unlike the vast, vast majority of his Monday audience, I don’t have to accept his words as total, unchangeable gospel just because he is in the well-known role of expert. Because I am an online educator, because I am connected, I am “Googleable”, because I have a PLN (Professional/Personal Learning Network) I have advantages over many of my colleagues. I can pose half formed thoughts around one of his propositions in written form, share them in a public forum (like this blog) and gain valuable pushback from colleagues all around the world. I get to filter my initial ideas back through my network to moderate, balance and mould an emerging viewpoint that may differ to the advice offered by the expert.

I’m not discounting the role of the expert. We need them. But through the use of a PLN, a self selected collection of colleagues in various systems, sectors, countries, stages of career using a selection of social media tools (blogs, wikis, twitter, podcasts, videos, bookmarking) can offer me greater counsel in tapping into the collective wisdom of many, many experts. After all, we all have expertise. and we have something that many experts don’t have (or only have a second hand experience of) and that is grassroots experience. That is the grey area where the expert’s boundaries intersect with our experience. It is true that we need critical skills to make this work in the “publish then filter” era but technology can be utilised knowingly to filter any ideas around education and learning.

No one person holds the key to learning success – not any more and for me, that is the true shift of the new Internet Based Education Paradigm that Mark referred to on Monday.

Image: Sue Waters

Welcome To The CEGSA Blog

Well, the CEGSA blog is finally up and running and will hopefully grow to be a focal point for discussion within our professional association. Your committee members will be regularly posting here bringing you items of interest, issues worthy of debate and breaking news. Think of this as a place where South Australian educators can gather to keep tabs of the ever changing world of educational technology.

So, add this blog to your Google Reader, your StartPage or your bookmarks and don’t be shy about joining the conversation.