Having worked in the fundraising field, I know the importance of networking and making contacts. As someone who is brand new to the teaching world, I made it a priority to get to know people in may student teaching placement, county meetings, and at KSU. I figure that the more people I know, the more knowledge and opportunities I have access to, and that is invaluable to me.
In the future, I plan to continue developing my LPN by joining GCTE, NCTE, and by attending as many professional learning opportunities as possible. Not only do I think that these events help to form me into a better teacher through the content that is taught, it also allows me to meet teachers from all different walks of life and levels of experiences. There is so much I can learn from these teachers that I can implement in my own classroom to enrich the learning experiences of my students. This past week, I’ve been attending the New Teacher Academy for Cobb County, and I’ve been astounded at the amount of knowledge that other teachers have been willing to share with me. I added a lot of these teachers on Facebook, and many of them even post about their classroom practices there – I will continue to connect with these people on social media to continue forming meaningful connections with other educators.
Ironically, I had technological difficulties for this last post, so I had to use pen and paper to construct my personal learning network. Honestly, it was a nice reminder that every once in awhile, we still need to provide our students with opportunities to craft physical products. With something like this, where one idea links to another, I found pen and paper to be an excellent medium. I discussed this makerspace assignment with many of classmates, and found that many of them were frustrated with the tools that they used to put their web together. They explained that the connections came to them quickly, and that the tool they used slowed their thinking down.
The idea of having the tool slow our thinking down seems very counterintuitive to me, and I liked that using pen and paper allowed me to physically connect my network together and create a product that reflected all of the people I knew. The whole point of using technology in the classroom, in my opinion, is to enhance student learning. Therefore, at some point, we need to stop and think about the task at hand and ask ourselves if technology will enhance it or diminish it. In most cases, I think, we should allow our students to make the choice; while many of them are tactile learners and may benefit from doing an exercise such as this one on pen and paper, others might choose to place their thoughts together with technology so that they can more easily revise and edit.