Feeling Thankful

I’ve blogged many times in the past about the benefits of connecting on Twitter, but the events of the past couple of days makes me need to blog again. It always kind of amazes me that over 5400 educators, administrators, support staff, students, and parents follow what I have to say everyday. The majority of the people who I follow and the majority of people who follow me don’t even live in Ontario, and I’ve only met a handful of them, but every day I learn from them online.

These amazing people are also there when I have a question or need help. Over the years, I’ve asked many questions: from ones about how to use a specific tool to ones about teaching strategies and intervention options. I always end up receiving great new ideas and differing perspectives.

Not every question is meant for the public realm of Twitter. One good thing about this social media tool is that not all discussions need to happen publicly. There’s also a “direct message” component, which is almost a little like email (but in 140 characters or less). I don’t direct message people a lot, but sometimes I have questions or comments that are not meant for all.

This week, I needed to use this direct message feature. I’ve been trying to look for some solutions to a small issue loosely connected to “education of students.” When I first figured out the problem, I thought back to solutions to similar problems that worked in the past. I also shared my solution ideas with the principal, vice principal, and resource teacher, and asked for other input. I even consulted a team at the Board level to hear their suggestions. And then I tried things out, but my best option is not working exactly as I hoped. That’s when I remembered that I follow an educator on Twitter, Toby Price, that might be able to help. I sent him tweet, and followed that up with some direct messages. I kept my questions general, but asked for some advice.

Here’s the amazing thing: he offered to help. Toby talked to another expert, gathered some ideas, and now he’s going to share them with me. The thing is that I’ve never met Toby. We’ve only ever interacted online, and we just sporadically communicate with only each other. This is not an issue that I would discuss with many others (even in person), but when I thought about it and thought of Toby, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that he would help. This is what a PLN (Professional Learning Network) does for each other! I hope that Toby knows that I would always do the same for him.

So a special “thank you” to one of the many incredible people in my PLN for always taking the time to help! Twitter may only consist of 140 character discussions with others, but the power of these discussions far surpass the character count! Why do you tweet? How has your PLN impacted you?


One thought on “Feeling Thankful

  1. Pingback: OTR Links 09/28/2013 | doug --- off the record

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