Thursday, May 15, 2008

Making the Rounds

Well, I made the rounds again today! No, I am not a doctor, a manager or a farmer. I am a teacher.

In the World of Matter, I live in Kansas, the first Land of Oz. At various times, I make a special effort to find teachers who also live in Kansas and use technology of all sorts.

This may just be me, but I find it is easier to find teachers on the other side of Earth, who have similar interests, than those living in my state. What has your experience been?

To find like-minded people, I look in the places where I live in the World of Electrons, for instance: Twitter,, Classroom2.0, TappedIn, and Diigo. Today, I found five people, living in Kansas, who teach and use technology. Some are not in the classroom each day, but they all have their roots in education. They also meet the use of technology criteria.

Why do I do this? I made this search part of my professional development plan. I want to help end teacher isolation in my state... in my lifetime. I hear about teachers in other states and countries meeting new area teachers and forming expansive collaborations in the World of Matter and Electrons. I think that is wonderful. What do you think?

To join with other Kansas teachers, to collaborate and share our past, present and future experiences would be a wonderful personal and professional goal to acheive. Kansas teachers have various opportunities to collaborate through area educational networks, yet they don't use them...even when they join.

How do you find like minded teachers in your state, region, or province in the World of Electrons?


LindaH said...

Mrs Summerville is joining you in oz next term.

Tim (@Twalk) Walker said...

This makes me think about the various ways that we use social media to build or reinforce our networks. Among other means:

1. To reinforce pre-existing links with people we know other ways, whether that means we work in the same company / school / organization with them, or met them at a conference, or what have you.

2. To build new links with people anywhere who share our same interests. E.g. you and I share enough interests that we follow one another on Twitter, even though I'm not a teacher and you're not a business journalist. These links are what they are -- potential friendships or working relationships that are formed entirely online.

3. Using approach #2, but with the specific goal of building links in our locale. Twitter has introduced me to many new people who either live in Austin or who I get to meet in person at special events (South by Southwest, other conferences, etc.).

I'm sure this doesn't exhaust all the possibilities of these media, but all of these are great uses of the media. More power to you as you pursue the different flavors of social networking.

Professor J said...

I think the blog is a wonderful way to find other like minded people. And I have accidentally been introduced to many educators through just visiting the links on other people's blogs.

Kevin said...

I love how you are expanding your networks here and there and everywhere.
Thanks for being part of Day in a Sentence, by the way.
And speaking of Kansas, I wrote abuot a virtual mentoring I did with a high school senior on claymation this year -- he is from Kansas, too.

take care

samccoy said...

@lindah, @twalk, @professor j, @kevin Thanks for your excellent comments. I appreciate your encouraging and insightful extensions of my ideas of networking online. I look forward to reading more of your work.

I agree with Tim Walker's analysis of the various ways we use social media. At first, I didn't recognize the nature of the online social network, and I was simply writing for myself.

As I discovered and commented on other's writing, I began to understand and appreciate the power for education within these online networks.

Now, I am ready to share my ideas with those in my own region. Hopefully, we can form stronger professional networks that will encourage stronger, regional online associations.

Kevin, when you mentioned that you had mentored a KS high school senior in a claymation project.

I was wondering if you know one of my first teachers of technology, Tonya Witherspoon. She has been a strong force for development of online resources through education in our state, and she has a strong interest in robotics and animation.

Kevin said...

Tonya and I are good friends, via the National Writing Project. We get a drink together once a year and it was she (of course) who helped me bring my claymation ideas to another level. She's a wonderful, insightful and giving educator. And a hoot, too.


I am glad there are connections here. Interesting, isn't it?

Kevin Hodgson from Western Massachusetts Writing Project (in case you talk to her and she asks)

samccoy said...

Kevin, I am hoping to see Tonya at Mindscape or MACE conference this summer, and I will mention that I have met you in the World of Electrons;D

I am also interested in the National Writing Project. Somehow, it fell below my radar when I was teaching in Wichita, but they have so many professional development opportunities it can easily happens.

Now I am trying to learn more about the Project. Really like your Writing Prompt for Comments...very cool idea for teachers and students or anyone really;D