On Fridays I like to share an interesting comment or resource from either the forum here on the site, or a forum I frequent elsewhere on the intertubes. The goal is to get some interesting conversations going about “bigger” ideas, or really popular tools on the web. This week, based on conversations I’ve recently had with a number of individuals at the annual MACUL leadership retreat (our state’s ed-tech association), I thought I’d offer a useful too and conversation starter for all of the edubloggers out there.
I’ve created a short poll, which is by no means scientific, to give anyone who visits this post an anecdotal look into which networks are most important to us. At our leadership retreat, the topic of MACUL’s social network came up, and how well our association’s special interest groups maintain interest and stay in contact with their members. Then while talking with a MACUL member about a summer PD event, I suggested tapping into our association’s resources for presenters. He responded with the comment “I never thought of that…”. Which of course, got me thinking. how well do we, as educators, work our networks to our advantage? Do these large state or national organizations exist solely to feed us information, rather than be our “goto” places for human resources? Or perhaps the majority of educators rely more on their own homegrown network of resources? Take a quick moment to answer the poll below, and feel free to use the results on your own site!
It’s very possible that many educators simply rely on what they have in place in their own district or building. I know many teachers in my building that turn first to what our district and building leaders are providing us when they have an educational problem to solve. Then again, I also know many teachers in my building that first turn to the web, Google, or another network they’ve created for themselves outside of school or online. Where then do we strike the balance between being networked with those around us, and those we network with online? In our work setting there are individuals more likely to have a higher stake in our success as an educator and can target specific problems and situations that are common throughout the building, while online we can tap into a much wider experience pool? Obviously the answer is to find a balance, but I’m curious to know where everyone is right now. I personally value the connections I’ve made with the members of my state’s ed tech organization as well as the network I have in my building. I haven’t even thought seriously yet about joining a national educational organization, and I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing….yet. We’ll see what the poll results reveal