As mentioned in the previous post, the BeLchick family is spreading their wings and moving to Brisbane in December, an exciting yet very scary prospect, at times filled with doubt - What do I have to offer? How can I be effective without my PLN? But then it occurred to me - my PLN is coming with me! They are in my phone, my iPad, my laptop, there are here whenever I choose to connect to the internet! They are with me wherever I go! Such is the power of an online PLN, I can choose to connect with people beyond my immediate surroundings any time they and I choose to connect.
Just last night +Sonya Van Schaijik led our group of educators from New Zealand and beyond to launch our #edbooknz 'Taking the descriptors away' via GHO on Air. +Pam Hook, +Wendy Kofoed, +Annemarie Hyde, +Richard Wells, +Philippa Nicoll Antipas, +Craig Kemp, +Sonya Van Schaijik, +Karen Melhuish Spencer, +Tahu Paki and I explored learning, learning environments, citizenship, learning tools, pedagogy, collaboration, educators / learners, communities and whanaungatanga. We had a fantastic troop of critical / disruptive friends to support us, +Andrew Cowie, +Kathy Scott, +Bridget Casse, Laura Hill, +Rachel Roberts, +Beth Holland and many more, with whom we connected digitally or f2f. This would not have come about if we all had not built our PLN which includes lots of virtual connections, and it is pretty much independent from where exactly we live.
As we are discussing in the book, taking the descriptors away normalises what forward thinking educators in New Zealand and across the world are doing every day. It helps us prepare our young people for their future. We realise this is not the norm in all classrooms around our beautiful country - but we think it should be!
Connected Educator Month was a great opportunity to get connected. Although sometimes overwhelming, there are ways to stay sane, some of which I have blogged about here. Connecting in itself is not enough - we have to do something with / about these connections (see my recent blog post here). Let's use these connections to collaborate (as we have done with #edbooknz), to support each other, to learn from each other (e.g. VLN, TeachMeetNZ, Ethos Community).
It is amazing where such connections can lead; who would have thought two years ago that the BeLchick would get to write a chapter for a book with such esteemed co-authors? My advice to you is, spread your wings, get connected, use these connections which are only a tweet or a GHO call away, shriek and hug with them when you meet f2f (if you are, like I, that way inclined). You never know where it will take you... and with your PLN and friends always with you, even a move across the ditch is much less scary!
And please, if someone can show me how to have Blogger not randomly change my fonts in the middle of my last paragraph, please get in touch!!!) Thanks heaps +Rebbecca Sweeney for helping me fix the fonts via the HTML view :))))