I want to talk a little bit about connectivism and how putting it into practice has greatly benefited me as a teacher. George Siemens narrows connectivism down to a few principles, one of which put into words the value of connectivism to my teaching practice: “Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.”
You can think about that on a family level, school level, community level, or global level. It will always hold true. Connectivism has done a few things for me in my first two years of teaching practice. I am constantly seeing and speaking to people who pursue their passions and try innovative things in the classroom. I can gain so much knowledge in the profession of teaching through connectivism.
About a month ago, I tweeted Bill Waiser, who wrote a nonfiction, in the ELA A30 curriculum, called Who Killed Jackie Bates? My students went through a mock trial of the Bates’ family and I thought it would be cool to show the author that students were engaged with his text.
— Katherine Koskie (@kkoskie) January 21, 2016
One. Simple. Tweet
— Bill Waiser (@BillWaiser) January 21, 2016
One simple tweet and the author of a nonfiction text we are reading said he would come to Melville to discuss Jackie Bates to my future classes. I’ve received tweet replies from numerous people I respect, Wab Kinew and Anne Davies to name a few. #namedrop
And yes, sometimes I don’t “keep my cool” when I get retweets from people:
having an embarrassing little girl freak out that @WabKinew retweeted me. The work you do is so important– thank you!
— Katherine Koskie (@kkoskie) January 22, 2016
We can get free online professional development from simply connecting to other people who are trying help students succeed. How powerful is that? The voices of diverse people help us question our practice, reaffirm we are doing things for the right reasons, and provide us with opportunities we didn’t think were possible. Connectivism provides me with positivity when other people try and tear me down. I WILL SUCCEED WITH THE POWER OF THE POSITIVE TWEET. *Please note other platforms are not excluded but “tweet” is such a fun word to say.
I’ll be talking a little bit about connectivism and how it can be meaningful for my students in a future post.
– Koskie Out