I’ve been a master of taking for a good while now–the Less is More philosophy requires me to be smart. When I need a rubric, I don’t start from scratch–I search, find, and adapt. The same goes for any number of resources or ideas I need: I search and find.
Coetail has taught me the importance of giving back, and participating in a community of sharing. As I blogged previously, I have reaped the benefits of sharing online for quite a few years now. Still, I was taking more than giving, maybe from laziness or fear of not adding value to the internets. And indeed, I think it is still very important to think before sharing. Still, as an educator with 12+ years of teaching, I do have some stuff to share.
TOK Facebook Group
One of my community engagement platforms is a TOK Facebook group I joined for educators called “IB Theory of Knowledge Teachers’ Support Group (no students).” This is a place for TOK teachers to share resources and questions. I first began by “liking” shared resources and commenting on teachers’ posts, but later ventured into asking questions, answering questions, and then sharing some of my own resources such as:
After sharing this, I received critical feedback to which I responded by amending the presentation to be more accurate. I also found out some extremely important information regarding the TOK Essay that I had not even noticed in the Examiner’s Report. So–hopefully it was a win-win for all. See part of the dialogue below:
Through this group, I have reconnected with previous colleagues, and also gotten to know future colleagues at my own school. This group has truly helped me see The benefits of Social Networking.
Since joining Coetail, my Twitter involvement has increased. I am following more educators, and my own followers have increased by almost 100–people like me! 🙂 Again, I have become more conscientious of sharing my own finds instead of re-sharing or “taking.” When posting to Twitter now, I try to always include helpful hashtags so that others can quickly find and sort my resources. One of my new-ish Twitter friends, fellow Coetailer Tricia Friedman puts together a paper.li called “IBDP Language and Literature” to which I have added various times. I have also participated in various Twitter Educational Chats, and would like to do more in the future.
Finally, I am working on two Google Sites, that I would like to share eventually with my learning communities:
For years I have been a huge fan of TOK guru Mr. Hoye and these Google Sites are inspired by teacher blogs and websites. I have learned the most in my career from teachers-teaching-teachers, and would like a place to share my own resources and lesson plans for others. Beginning these sites is also what inspired the Persepolis Background Presentations that is the crux of the unit Miriam and I are re-designing for Course 5.
My first Twitter teacher explained Twitter through a metaphor of a river–you stick your feet in once in a while and sometimes stay in longer than other times when the water is too cold. Sometimes you stay from the river altogether. This metaphor is fitting for my community engagement as well. My participation ebbs and flows, but I’m always glad once I venture into the water, and wonder why I stayed away too long.