Many years ago I joined facebook, then I opened up a twitter account a few years after this. But it is really only now, this month that I have realized the true value of using these sites to further my education.
I truly believe that as a teacher collaboration is key. When you are in that classroom or gym teaching by yourself, you must often wonder whether you are doing the right thing. Have I taught this is the best way? How can I change this to make it better? There may be occasions when you have that conversation with another colleague about something that happened in class or maybe something that you have taught and want some feedback. But I feel true collaboration and discussion happens when you have set aside time to talk about curriculum.
Some schools are luck and have set aside specific times for these things to happen. If your colleagues are truly engaged in your curriculum, then these times will count. You will get great feedback, great discussion and come out feeling that you can go forward with something new.
I have however found another way to collaborate. This is through the 'Wider World'. There are many teachers, educators, groups, scholars, sports people, etc. out there who are willing to share ideas, discuss current issues and give you some honest feedback.
Returning from my winter break, I wanted to make a difference to how I can develop further. How I can discuss ideas. I then returned to a Facebook group I had started a few months before and decided to give it a push (Physical and Health Education in the MYP). I am so glad I did. I have now had more people join and greater participation.
I returned to Twitter (@Dalais44) and have found a wealth of resources shared by so many people. It has prompted me to not only search for more information, but share more information myself. I have linked up with people like Andy Vasily (@andyvasily) who is a very experienced and well known PYP PE teacher, trainer and collaborator. He has helped teachers and developed ideas all over the world. We were lucky enough to have him at our school this weekend.
We were also linked up via skype with Ross Halliday (@Fizzicaled), a friend of Andy's, who has a wealth of experience and opinions about education. makingpefizz.com
I had neglected the power of these social tools for years, having joined twitter in 2009 and facebook 2007. I am now inspired to learn more, make more connections and hopefully bring this into the classroom and inspire my students.
I have been writing for nearly five years on and off in the world of twitter, facebook groups, blogging and sharing ideas thoughts with the wider physical education world.