John Burk reflects on his online PLC and at the same time serves up a primer for anyone wondering, “What’s the deal with Twitter / blogs / etc?”
The teachers I see that truly embrace the online world—those who move from simply consuming neat ideas and bookmarking cool applets to engaging in the conversation and sharing what they do—see a leap in their growth in teaching that can’t be matched by any workshop, conference, degree or professional growth plan.
Agreed. Totally. In a webinar Q&A last week, someone asked me to make a pitch for blogging. I speculated that the edublogosphere gave me a two-for-one deal: two years of growth as a teacher for every school year I taught. That isn’t remotely empirical, but blogging openly, transparently, with an explicit invitation for criticism, accelerated me through a lot of my misguided early-career enthusiasms. (Worksheets, slide design, and NCLB, let’s say.) A lot of commenters worked overtime to help me understand the ceiling on those devices was lower than I thought. The positive response to the first WCYDWT, on the other hand, turned me toward a productive vein which I’ve been chipping away at ever since.