Early this month I was able to lead some workshops in Cobb County Georgia covering “21st Century Ed Tech Tools”. I’ve been privileged to come out to Georgia several times over the past several years to provide PD. This recent trip allowed me to work with many teachers as they had their day planned around rotations between myself, a session on Brain Powered Strategies and another on Higher Order Thinking Skills.
My session focused on the four C’s of Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication and Creativity. As with every session I lead, I leave thinking about the new tools and ideas that I discovered. This trip left me jazzed and I’m now writing my thoughts in a plane somewhere over Colorado. I learned about some new ed tech ideas like Plickers, Answer Garden, and Team Shake with my biggest takeaway seeing how a County is right at the beginning of an organized Twitter chat.
Part of my presentation was about developing your PLN and I walked them through my “7 Steps To Getting The Most Out Of Your PLN”. So as we got around to talking about Twitter, I learned how this county had just had their first Twitter chat the week before. Their hashtag is called #cobbchat and I can’t tell you how cool it felt to see these teacher leaders excited about trying to connect with all their staff on Twitter. Although I have worked with teachers on this before, the timing of this being right at the beginning of the summer and with this organized push for making connected teachers was inspiring. I met in person some of these connected teachers like @ErinTyre @bamaria12 @alut2014 and the DOCTOR! @Sally_Sci but many told me “you need to follow the ‘Twitter Queen of Cobb County” @amyvitala Oh... that’s one awesome un-official title.
This also really resonated with me because back at home in Placer County CA, there are several of us trying to organize something similar. We are tossing around ideas like Twitter chats, Brew CUE meet ups, blogs, and online portals.
I think this is all so exciting because we are seeing a shift in not just education but in PD. A shift which is happening at the Micro-Level, which means that the countless tiny connections that educators are making between each other – much like the neurons in our brain – those connections are creating and impact. This is not to take away the need for district, county, state, etc., support for PD, but we are no longer DEPENDENT on THEIR schedules and THEIR agendas.
So, thanks Cobb County for letting me in for just a little while and being part of that conversation!