It’s All About The Learning: Building Your PLN

Tonight I spent over an hour connecting with like minded educators from all over the world building my professional learning network via twitter. I joined a weekly Sunday chat #AussieEd at 8.30pm which brings Aussie educators together but there were also many signing in from other places like the States.

The theme tonight was focused on key questions around who and how we first connected on twitter and what hashtags we commonly use. Most teachers are very familiar with Professional development attending one off master classes or travelling to conferences. These are great opportunities to connect as well but increasingly educators are building their networks online the way I did tonight.

What did I learn?

Wow what an amazing trip! Felt like a days leaning compacted into an hour. Moved so fast. So many comments so many people connecting. Sharing. Collaborating. Inspiring. Thinking. Learning. And also very timely as I started thinking about to best innovate in my own school environment with my team so learning leaders.

It was an awesome learning experience and I hope to get back there in future weeks. PD on a Sunday night for a bunch of teachers who would have thought?!?! Great stuff. Don’t give up teachers join twitter and start reading, sharing, collaborating and building your Professional Learning Network (PLN).

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Exams – do we need them?

An interesting one this week at leadership with discussion around Year 12 exams. Like many schools we are planning for 2015 calendar dates and reviewing our trials this year. This year we picked up our Yr 12 half yearly exam block and moved it forward a month. Some departments liked it some did not for various and also similar reasons.

Talking about this with the leadership team one of the team asked: ” do we need a 2 week exam block”? During this time we stop classes mainly to give students time to revise and teachers time to mark exams and then complete reports which normally follow shortly after.

Anyway back to the discussion board. We need the exams because we are preparing our students for 3 hr end of year exams but we are looking to provide some flexibility to different subjects who don’t want to test at the same time. No decisions yet but it certainly showed me the concept of keeping your mind open and looking at all possibilities whilst having a good chat with teachers along the way.

Sometimes it’s freeing letting go and not being quite sure of the outcome!! Interesting times for us as a learning community. It shows we are being open to all possibilities and and at the end of the day we will go with a schedule that we think is best for our students.