Today as we were together in our Year 2 PLP team, my teammate posted a discussion for our group. In part, she said:
Sometimes our thoughts and actions evolve slowly over time and we don't notice the changes because they seem subtle. If you think back to life before PLP, consider the technology you are using now that you weren't using then. Which Web 2.0 tools have you used in your classroom and involved your students in that you may not have been familiar with a year and a half ago? How have your attitudes and philosophy shifted? How has the PLP experience brought about change in your teaching? Have you gained a new perspective, new tools, new approaches to learning?
It really got me thinking, and here is how I responded:
The Web 2.0 tools that have most impacted me have been Twitter and blogging. I have learned so many different things from the people and conversations that I participate in on Twitter that I'm not sure what I would do without it. I've been in hour long Twitter conversations that have taught me more than any inservice day I've attended. These two things have also helped me make connections with people outside my faculty, and these connections have stretched my thinking far beyond any courses I've taken. Blogging with my students has also helped them make connections and have authentic audiences. It's gotten them excited about writing and giving them a purpose for writing.
My attitudes and philosophies have changed tremendously! Before last year, I didn't like the way I was teaching, but I wasn't really sure of what I could do to change things. I think very differently about my students, their motivation for learning, why we teach them what we teach them, and if I am truly preparing them for the lives they will live. I'm starting to think more about learning as a process and not just a product (or a test) and how I can help my students see the value in learning about things they love outside of school.
Before PLP I knew that I wasn't happy the way I was teaching, but I really didn't have any idea what I could do to change. I knew I wanted to do more with technology, but I wasn't exactly sure how to do it. Being part of our Year 1 team and now our Year 2 team has given me knowledge to recognize why I specifically wasn't happy with my classroom (I wasn't preparing my kids for the future) and the knowledge and skills to begin changing things (tools, TPAK) to match my new philosophy. I am giving the kids more of a voice in their learning and trying to help them make connections outside our school.
This whole experience has re-energized me, made me feel like I have a voice, and given me hope that we can change the state of education.
I wonder, my PLN friends, what have you experienced in the last year or two that has impacted your learning? I would love to hear about how you have changed and grown!