Saturday, 16 June 2018

TML Wk 29: Professional Online Social Networks

My post this week relates to Professional Online Social Networks. In response to this I will be reflecting on my own experiences as an early adopter of social media and the opportunities this has created for me professionally. I will discuss this considering Jay and Johnson's (2002) reflective model to unpack it. This takes the form of a three step reflection process that is descriptive, comparative and critical.

I consider myself to be a connected educator and early adopter of social media for professional use.  I have documented this journey, as evidenced in several blog posts and in particular this early one from 2009 on my top 3 tips for getting connected online.  In this post I suggest using "new" web 2.0 tools such as opening an RSS reader account, using social book marking (Delicious) and starting connections using Twitter! I also refer to my developing Professional Learning Network (a PLN) which back then was a very new term and predominately spread throughout New Zealand.  Now, some 10 years later, my PLN is global and these digital connections I can call upon because of the on-going nurturing of interactions via social media, making the vast physical distance of global connection virtual and compact in the palm of your hand (on your device).

My experiences parallel the video produced from Office of Ed Tech (2013), shared for our week 29 course work which discusses how being connected is one of the number one tools for being a 21st Century Educator, the isolation of the classroom (or school environment) is no more through the magnification of the transformative power of professional learning via technology (social media).  At the time of writing this post their was limited responses in our cohort survey tool to compare.  What I can say from my own observation of being connected over the last decade is that the use of Facebook for professional social networking has increased with the use of "groups" and of interest over this time the development of #hashtags and frequency of #twitterchats to share professional knowledge.

As an advocate for using professional online social networks, I reflect back on this 2013 Ignite presentation that I shared in which I spoke about being connected, disconnected and reconnected.  

It takes a lot to nurture your online social media profile and connections. The rewards of doing so open a world of professional growth that I would have never had opened if it weren't for social media/technology. I would recommend that anyone wanting to start being a more connected educator to follow the simple "Follow 5, Find 5, Take 5" method suggested by Whitaker et al., (2015) as a way nurturing a PLN.  As an employer, being a connected educator is an important factor in considering whether a candidate is suitable and I do review the online presence of applicants.  One of the key points of difference I have in my tool belt when going for leadership roles (I believe) is that my employer knows that it isn't just my skills, and knowledge that they are employing, but that of my wider collective and connective PLN too, which I can access readily!  

Opportunities afforded to be by being connected (& associated blog links/video):

Word count: 649


Emerging Leaders, (2013) Ignite Talk by J. Driver. [video file].  Retrieved from

Driver, J (n.d). Blog posts retrieved from

Jay, J.K. and Johnson, K.L. (2002). Capturing complexity: a typology of reflective practice for teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18, 73-85.
Office of Ed Tech. (2013, Sep 18). Connected Educators. [video file]. Retrieved from
Whitaker, T., Zoul, J., & Casas, J. (2015). What connected educators do differently. New York, NY: Routledge.

1 comment:

Linda Scott said...

Hi. Thank you for an informative and educational read. So good to see a leader using it in real life and that you value the global connectedness of your staff. Linda Scott