The above Twitter hashtag, #edchatnn, is just one thing I am interested in trying during the next school year, with the nn standing for Near North (Near North District School Board).
Last month I commented on Twitter that it was sort of lonely when it comes to local educators sharing the ideas and camaraderie that I not only like but depend on for enhancing my thinking. All on Twitter, every day.
Someone who I really admire, and have learned so much from in person although not online, commented back that it wasn't necessary to be lonely, and to just make connections. Yes. But I do feel that things in our board are bit like the horse and water thing. Lots of water, many horses being led, not much drinking going on.
But then not everyone is at the same starting point in terms of readiness and confidence. And for that matter, not everyone is interested in PD that encompasses technology. But I do think it would be fun to try and capture those who are ready and will work towards creating a local online environment of information and support. And then maybe others will jump in. Or wade in slowly... Had to get a swimming analogy in there for those enjoying the full-strength summer heat in Ontario.
It may even need to involve the irony of an in-person event to jumpstart it and to present the tools needed to participate. And/or the structure of committing to a pre-set number of posts and follows a day, in combination with discussion topics of interest.
I would also like to get people involved using Elluminate maybe once a month in a Near North PD event. In this I was inspired by @jenclevette who has done this in rural Alberta.
I really believe that there are educators out there in the Near North who are ready to join an online community relating to their careers and are maybe tired of trying to do everything on their own. If we band together we can form new professional bonds and friendships. Everyone will just have to bring their own drinks to toast each other on our respective screens!