While taking time to edify myself by reading some intriguing posts by those in my blog roll, I came across this comment:

“For teachers who spend time there, blog-tweet world is like King Solomon’s Mines, full of riches and constantly replenished with new ideas and links. But most teachers don’t live there. This is sad perhaps, but it’s the truth.” by Ken Wilson

After attending several conferences in the US and in Europe, I have seen that many educators do not visit blogs regularly, have not joined a ning, and will not join Twitter. Even if they have visited a website, how many actually visit these websites once a week or once a month? As an educator, I feel passionate about learning and I believe that all incredible educators feel the same!

No, I do not believe teachers who do not use technology are bad teachers, but this is what I believe….

  • If we are knowledge sharers, shouldn’t we continue to fill ourselves with knowledge?
  • If we want to inspire students to continue learning throughout their lives, then shouldn’t we continue to learn throughout our lives?
  • If we want motivated students who see learning as a journey, then shouldn’t we continue our journey?
  • If we want to motivate students to be the best in their fields, then shouldn’t we be the best in our fields?
  • If we want other educators to listen to our ideas, then shouldn’t we read about their ideas?
  • If we want support from our colleagues, then shouldn’t we support their workshops and projects?
  • If we want students to use digital media responsibly, then shouldn’t we give them access and show them how?
  • If we want students to not let technology overtake their lives, then shouldn’t we teach them how to balance themselves?
  • How can we teach balance, if we don’t have any social media in our diet?

Technology is not the enemy and ignorance is not bliss. If we don’t show students how to use social media and technology, then we cannot complain when they use this in unhealthy ways.

I recently met an educator from Nepal who uses one computer in his house to help the teachers in his village access the information other educators are sharing for free. He tells me on Skype how his teachers need and want access to the professional development activities online because there is no other way to get this information. They want to be better educators. Currently, we are planning a Skype conference for his teachers on that one computer. This one man has made greater strides of sharing the information he has gathered than many I know including myself!

I love my personal learning network. I love reading and commenting on their blogs, interacting with them through Twitter, Skyping with their principals, collaborating through nings, attending conferences with them on Second Life and on e-learning platforms! If I never participated in social media, then I would not be the educator I am today! Now, it is time for me to begin to spread the word.

I have to personally thank Jason Renshaw, English Raven, for his help in getting free professional development materials and incredible English materials for children to teachers in Nepal.

Read the rest of Ken Wilson’s comment on the English Raven post, Ditched Coursebook Deal Means Raven’s Nest Open for Business.

Challenge:

Make a goal to introduce the value of a personal learning network to at least one educator. I find most educators actually enjoy the value they receive when introduced to blogs.

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