Always Learning, Always Growing

I just read a great quote from Kim Cofino’s blog, Always Learning, as she was reflecting on the Shanghai Conference from last weekend…

“I didn’t realize before how much blogging (reading and writing in collaboration with others) would change my life – not just enhance my professional development like reading a journal article, but change my life – the way I think, the way I interact with people, the way I work, the way I look at the world. It’s impossible to understand the impact of these technologies unless you are using them yourself.”

I totally agree. Even before Web 2.0, I experienced the same thing, albiet on a slightly smaller and slower scale just through email forums and message boards. I’ve been active on mailing lists and forums since about 1994 and cannot imagine what it would be like to not be connected to others. Now, with blogs and RSS and Twitter and podcasts and all these other incredible tools, the fibres that forms those connections are just getting stronger and more intertwined. It really is life changing, because it affects more than just your day to day work. These connections and conversations change you from the inside out.

I know some incredibly dedicated and well-meaning teachers. They work hard, spending hours of their day planning and marking and preparing, and yet, I just think if they made even a small part of their day available for just connecting and conversing with other educators, reading the ideas of others, sharing their thoughts about those ideas, reflecting on what they read and write… it would totally turbocharge all the other great stuff they do. I’ve mentioned it to many people over the years, but so often hear back, “I don’t have time for that”.

I don’t have time NOT to. There is only just so much you can do when you work in a vacuum, and Kim’s right… it’s the networking and mind expanding that goes along with these technologies that can have such a huge impact on your effectiveness as an educator. Thanks for the great post Kim.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Always Learning, Always Growing by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

0 Replies to “Always Learning, Always Growing”

  1. Thanks for reading Chris!

    I totally agree with you that we don’t have the time NOT to connect and collaborate… Now I’m just trying to figure out how to make the idea of participating in this conversation so compelling that all of my teachers will truly WANT to make the effort.

    I have to find that hook, just like Will’s story about encouraging a teacher to connect with others on a personal level using her hobbies as a start (before she jumps in both feet first with her class). Just the experience of “networking and mind expanding”, at any level, could be enough to get them started…

  2. Yeah I know what you mean. My own first serious foray in blogging started as a travel diary during my 12 months on teaching exchange to Canada. Once you start getting into the habit of daily writing, it just sort of flows on from there. Now I feel like I have to write at least every few days, and in the process I’ve not only become exposed to a whole lot of ideas and thinking from others, but I’ve also become clearer about my own personal opinions and beliefs. I guess once you start committing ideas to words it crystallises your own thinking.
    Anyway, thanks again!

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