When I began my career, I was full of ideas yet alone in my thoughts of progressiveness. I wanted more. I craved more and as much as I wanted to reach out to other educators, it wasn’t possible from the city limits of my hometown. I went to conferences but it was mostly to sit and get. At times, I would show up to share but that often meant that my sharing was limited to the few that showed for a session. Even far from the comforts of my hometown, I was still alone in my learning.
When twitter entered my world, everything changed. All of a sudden I was connecting names to faces and ideas. I learned that I was not alone and that others shared my same plight. Throughout my career, so many facets of education were visible and important to me like policy, diversity and the right to learn for all students. While no one else in my school seemed to share my concerns, there were educators on twitter who did.
While Edchat connected me with many “connected pioneers”, the relationships built from those closest to me, in my own state, made the difference. I found myself engaging in conversations that would challenge my thinking. I was collaborating with others on ideas and cultivating meaningful conversations that would begin on social media, continue through texting and come to fruition during face to face meetings.
As more educators connected via twitter, more information streamed from my timelines to my classroom. I followed ISTE via edmodo and twitter from afar and got to know many other educators who are now very much a part of my connected life. Those same individuals whose educator lives seemed “perfectly unattainable” were no different than me. Connectedness taught me that.
This year, after sharing a bit of “One Direction-like” fandom with another educator over a certain connected Canadian educational leader, I found my voice as a blogger and formed camaraderies that have been even more enhanced through shared experiences and feedback beyond 140 characters.
Beyond tech tools, strategies, conferences and meetings…the greatest game-changer for my educational career has been that of the people that I have connected to.
As we start tomorrow spreading a message of connectedness, tonight I celebrate all of you.
I am floating in a sea of connectedness and proud!