As I am in the twilight of my career, I think it's safe to say that I've still got so much more to learn as an educator and a school principal.I reflect on the early years when most of my learning came from books or professional magazines or from other educators or school leaders here in Hawaii. Today, I learn every day through my professional learning community on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook. It is amazing to me how accessible information is, and anytime there is a problem or concern that I want to learn more about, I can ask my own questions, explore, and discover information via social media. My perspective on how to be an effective school leader has been impacted as a result of my personal learning network.
Last Tuesday, we had a team from our school attend the Leadership Symposium (#HIDOELead). I don't go to many conferences or symposiums anymore, but this event confirmed our school's continued journey to prepare our students for their future.
George Couros was the keynote speaker for the Leadership Symposium, and when I read that he would be presenting, I immediately signed up a team to attend. I've been following George for years and was part of his #SAVMP project to virtually mentor new principals. I totally enjoyed his presentation at ISTE in Atlanta, and recently, I'd read and discussed The Innovator's Mindset with some of our staff. I marvel at George's ability to capture an audience, to change our mindsets about our own learning, and to make us laugh while occasionally making us teary. His presentations are entertaining, but they are also meaningful and we take away what is most applicable to us. I loved how George took a newbie Twitter user and within the breakout session, and with George's mentoring, her PLN had immediately expanded. Through the process, everyone in the room could follow along and expand their own network.
I've connected with and subscribe to innovative educators like Eric Sheninger, Peter DeWitt, John Spencer, and A.J. Juliani. Recently, I subscribed to Thomas C. Murray after reading his powerful blog, "One Nice Thing." There are so many great educators out there trying new ideas and sharing them via social media. When I first started as an educator, we didn't have the opportunity to learn 24-7 in such an individualized way. I love being able to check out posts or tweets from other educators. It's impossible to read everything, but it is possible to click the link, scan the article or post, and decide if it's something I want to explore further.
I encourage our teachers and principal colleagues to be connected. I've shared at poster sessions about how we use technology to connect with our school community. Now we need to continue to grow in this area and to convince our teachers that being connected is imperative in our ever-changing world.
|With @gcouros, @hawaiiest, and @cputz808 at the Leadership Symposium.|