@courosa, as a teacher, learner and social networker I’m drawn to respond to your question “Why do (social) networks matter in teaching and learning?
Here’s a few thoughts…social networks matter because:
- over time, authentic relationships develop
- help is only seconds away
- experts from around the globe are available to chat in real time #mathchat #scichat #edchat
- I’m there to read about significant moments in science #cern #higgsboson
- as a virtual attendee conferences are no longer out of reach #conasta #pleconf #iste12 #slide2learn
- mobile technology enables me to spread the word to my network when I attend a conference
- I’m able to connect with educators across all sectors by keeping FacingIT up and running and being a member of other communities of practice. Being able to mentor pre-service teachers who visit these online communities is a privilege.
- the world is full of people willing to join in the conversation
Networks aren’t about the tools and platforms you use, they will change as time passes and our communities grow. They are about connecting with others, developing relationships, supporting and mentoring, sharing, laughing, caring, encouraging and participating. Educators don’t need to feel isolated in their busy workplaces where transient conversations occur on the way to class and professional development is difficult and expensive to organise. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel and feel reluctant to ask for help. Our voices can be heard beyond the noisy and sometimes threatening atmosphere of the staff room. Social networks do matter.
- I’m touched that Dr Couros included my paragraph above in his Melbourne Keynote.
- networks are a place for feedback and affirmation too, part of the social-glue that connects us
Finally, I’d love to share with you this proud moment when @courosa shared my blog post at the PLE conference.