The last year has seen my teaching career move in a new direction, as I have commenced networking with other educators around the globe. There are numerous tools that allow an educator to connect with others. Two tools that I make great use of are my educational weblog (blog) and Twitter (www.twitter.com). I must say they are my favourite networking tools! Now that I am writing on the Global blog, I am having another networking experience!
Why am I mentioning these? It was the main topic of discussion with the group I teach, as one of the topics in the first unit of Global pre-intermediate was about social networking websites (as an extension to expressions using keep in touch / lose touch). We spoke about popular ones and since they knew I have been working on my own blog and the Global blog, they asked me about them (such as how I started, what the blogs are about and my experiences working on them) and commented quite extensively.
I decided to compile a weblog in December 2009 (http://vickyloras.wordpress.com) in order to express my thoughts about education, as well as my personal experiences in my almost ten years of teaching. I write as often as possible, as content on the blog is of extreme importance to me: several educators have commented on my blog, the exchange of ideas and opinions on teaching is simply fascinating and above all, we all learn in the process. I have also had two wonderful guest bloggers and more are on the way! I think it is great for other voices to be heard as well.
The topics I choose range from teaching methodology to teaching as a lifelong learning process, which I think is paramount in teaching. When teachers learn, it is beneficial both to them and above all their students.
Then the group started speaking about Twitter, which they found interesting – most of them knew Facebook or had an account. None of them knew Twitter but they liked the idea. We all agreed on the opinion that social networking tools are useful and effective when they are used in the right way – as happens with everything!
I started by telling them that on Twitter, I am connected to amazing educators all around the world. We post links that have to do with education, exchange opinions and ideas, invite each other to conferences and recommend books or teaching methods we have found effective. This supports my view of teaching as an ongoing learning process. And now things are even better, as my group of bankers also read the Global blogs!