Designing for Flexibility

Keeping your head above water: strategies for staying current and maintaining your sanity as a flexible VET practitioner


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[CC FlickR image by Dean Ayres]

Overview

Life as a VET practitioner can feel overwhelming.
So how is it possible to stay on top of day to day work related duties AND stay abreast of changes in technologies and approaches to education?

The simple answer is that ON YOUR OWN you cannot.

In this topic we'll be exploring the options and benefits of professional educational networking, and the tools and strategies the members of those networks use to filter/ identify useful information, learn from each other and support each other often at a global scale.

Activities

Listen to the opinions and advice of other educators - http://voicethread.com/share/2171414/

Join our networks!

1.Join our Facebook group
Love it or hate it Facebook is now a significant tool for staying connected. We'll use a Facebook group in the program for ongoing support and conversation.
If you do not already have a Facebook account we'll support you with this.

2. Create a twitter account and 'follow' at least 5 educational thinkers
Twitter guide
Some recommended educational twitterers:
30 education twitterers to follow
Best individual tweeter 2010 - Edublog awards

and some more recommendations -
@dwarlick, @shareski, @teach42, @djakes, @adambellow, @dlaufenberg, @joycevalenza, @mluhtala, @willrich45, @mbteach, @web20classroom, @cybraryman1, @kylepace, @thenerdyteacher, @coolcatteacher, @shannonmmiller, @stumpteacher, @BethStill, @chrislehmann, @kenroyal, @SirKenRobinson, @smartinez, @garystager, @stevehargadon, @ewanmcintosh, @InnovativeEdu, @amandacdykes, @2footgiraffe

3. Create a Diigo account and join a) our Workforce Development Group, and b) one other in your industry or interest area
Diigo information and guide (Robyn Jay)

4. Establish an RSS aggregator and subscribe to at least 5 educational blogs of your choosing
RSS guide

Suggested well regarded educational blogger to choose from:
Will Richardson - Weblogg-ed
David Jones - The weblog of (a) David Jones
Kim Cofino - Always Learning
Dean Groom - Design for learning
Cathy Moore - Making change
Eric Tremblay - E-learning acupuncture
Jane Knight - Jane's pick of the day
Tony Karrer - eLearning Technology

A good way to extend your subscriptions is to look at who these people follow - investigate their side bars

5. Join LinkedIn
(http://www.linkedin.com)
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. You can locate individuals to connect with, and groups to network with via the search engine.

Background readings

Teachers are students and learners too - (2010)
Online social networking for educators - Cindy Long, NEA (2011)
The educators PLN - (community)
Educational networking (community)