Do you tag your “PLN” when you post? Why? Please share with me!
I recently was given a challenge by someone whom I consider an incredible mentor in this crazy EDUawesome life of mine. The challenge was to make my writing so good that I wouldn’t need to tag anyone to my blog posts. I was floored! What about my relationships… my people? The ones that give me feedback, direction, and…
well enough said… challenge accepted. I cannot say no to a challenge! BRING IT!
It is so interesting to see how this unfolded for me…
My life as a blogger was born on September 27, 2017 during Round 3 #IMMOOC created by George Couros, author of Innovator’s Mindset. It was a natural path for me as I have been a lover of writing from the young age of eight. I wrote a lot as a child…
scraps of paper ( a LOT of scraps folded up as small as possible)
the back of composition notebooks
in my head… my safe place.
My first “legit” journal came in 1988 from a close friend. It was a birthday gift for my Sweet 16 (Thank you Amy). Whether it was intentional or simply a coincidence it was a priceless gift that I needed in my life. It was absolutely perfect… and it was for ME! MY EYES ONLY! This is where my darkest secrets were kept. Ones that I felt the world could not handle. This is where my break ups went down… my friendships were built… my dreams were first committed to a pencil mark. See, I never used pen… that was too final for me. I had to have the chance to let it all out and then tweak and code what I didn’t want others to really know if they stumbled across it. Yes, I still have it!
Fast Forward to 2017… the worst timing possible for me to give up MORE precious family time. I was just pulling myself back together from the loss of a dear friend, my beautiful extended family was living with me during a military transition in their life, my amazing mother in law had been ill with countless diagnoses including lung cancer, my dearest friend diagnosed with breast cancer, a commitment to book studies, a mentor, a Virtual Co-op, my sons need me, my husband needs me, and the list goes on and on.
#IMMOOC Family Reunion
I like to describe #IMMOOC as a book study on steroids (aka huge muscles). This multifaceted learning EDventure is beyond mind-blowing due to the diverse talents, viewpoints, and experiences of each participant.
However, it’s so much more!
It really is about the connections; it’s ALL about the people. Every round, new members join the course, and together we become an EDU-family–spanning the globe. We encourage and challenge one another, and in many instances become face-to-face friends.
Round 3=#IMMOOC Family Reunion with new family members!
“No” simply wasn’t an option! See, I was a lurker Season 1 and 2. Why? Well, I didn’t know how to share my writing publicly. The only time I wrote I wrote for me… MY EYES ONLY!
Then came the first video… Alice Keeler! What a hoot! I couldn’t stop smiling, laughing, and learning! Wow, was this fun! I was nodding my head, talking to the computer, carrying on as if Alice was talking to just me… preaching the gospel of EDUtruth! The hour flew by and I was empowered to start my first blog.
What do I write? (That was my first question of course) That was when I knew I had to simply write from my heart… my experience… my belief. As one of my incredible mentors would say, write from “MY WHY!” This wasn’t about being right, or politically correct… it was about sharing… letting others into my world!
This was the day T.R.U.E. G.R.I.T. finally went down on paper. Prior to this moment, it was solely mine. In my head. My conversation. Mine to use in my classroom because it was my foundation for learning and so it became my philosophy for education. It was mine… and now it needed to be EVERYONE’S… at least an EDUspin for others!
Since that first blog, my writing and reflections have grown stronger, deeper, and more powerful for me. My thoughts need to come out. Just like the child in class that I pull to the side… where a journal is born… where we create a special cover for that “personal space” to write. Where we take a digital approach to this paper masterpiece and start blogging to connect… to build relationships in our isolated universe of thoughts!
So what about that challenge? To Tag or NOT to Tag? Here is how it went down:
Dec. 29th The Silence is Deafening no tags 175 views in 3 days
Dec. 30th The Elephant in the Room~ connecting with mental illness 142 views in 2 days with 6 educators tagged that are EDUconnected to this post
Jan. 1st #OneWord2018 pure “Goodness” no tags 36 views in 2 hours
Where does this leave me? I want to hear your thoughts. I know I need to follow my heart… because that is where others will “read” my writings. I love to blog, but it isn’t just about me. It revolves around my Why… and that in itself has changed. My Why is connected to people… my tags are different every time. They are personal. No doubt, there are a few that are tagged more often than others, but it is a connection. A relationship I have built. One that happened through #IMMOOC #tlap #DitchSummit and more!
Relationships within my #PLN have transformed my way of teaching.
- I had 240ish connections in September 2017 (one year of being on twitter)
- After IMMOOC I had 700ish
- Before my SAS Conference in Hershey (December) I had 800ish connections
- During the conference I went over 1,000
- Today I have an amazing 1,244 connections to incredible educators on #Twitter alone!
- I have 400 TIMES the connections from #Twitter than I personally had in my own district from the start of the 2017 school year
I now have published 24 blogs in just over 3 months. A sense of pride has emerged, a desire for more, a need to grow. Yet I am left wondering…
To Tag or Not to Tag… that is the question!
Please share your thoughts with me