As I approach the end of my Coetail journey and I reflect on how I have changed as an educator, I must acknowledge that not only the course itself has had an impact on me. With an approach to community learning, Coetail encouraged me to engage with my fellow cohort members through comments on each other’s blog posts, and also encouraged me to engage with my wider PLN through gentle nudges to use Twitter and other social media to share my learning throughout the course. Not surprisingly, the more I contributed, the more other people outside Coetail started engaging with me in professional conversation, which in turn guided me to discover various hashtags for chats and other educators to follow.
One of the Twitter chats that I enjoy the most is #PubPDAsia, as it involves face to face and online interaction through a series of questions connected to a theme. One of the technology integration coaches at my school is a host for the chat in my city, so this is one of the first Twitter chats that I joined in.
Another Twitter chat that I actively participate in is the #MYPChat. Besides a hashtag, this is also a roaming account where different educators get to host for a week with a set of questions on a theme. I have not only taken part in various chats, but also I had the opportunity to host the account at the end of last year. These chats and the educators who post and respond always put ideas out there that make me reflect on my own practice as an MYP Language Acquisition and Individuals & Societies teacher.
Beyond online participation, I have also had the opportunity to share my own experience and expertise at two different conferences. Last year I was able to present at the ACAMIS Tech Conference, and very recently I presented at the Global Education Forum 2019.
At these conferences, I have been able to meet in person people who I had been in touch with through Twitter, and I also have been able to expand my PLN. Most importantly, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from others and to share what I know with teachers from a wider variety of schools.
As serendipitous as my journey towards Coetail was, I never really expected that at the end of the course I would also be looking at how much I have learned to appreciate the power of my PLN, and also at how enriching it has been to put myself out there, through Twitter chats or through my presentations at the conferences, doing a conscientious exercise to curate with a specific audience in mind, not only for them but also for me as a reflective educator.