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Saturday, 19 February 2011


What an interesting couple of days, in lots of ways.

It started with Steven Heppel talking about where we are going as educators and ended up at the end of the internet with David Warlick.

There were many educators and learners from around Hong Kong, Asia and the world attending and it was amazing to connect face to face with some of my PLN! Thank you everyone.

It's quite difficult to pick out one, and only one thing that you have learnt or something that you will take away but here are a couple or a few depending on how inspired I am!

  • What are you going to ask prospective educators when you interview them for a position in your school?  Are you going to ask if they have a PLN?  Are you going to ask what and how they learn from their PLN?  If they don't have one and if they are not sharing and collaborating with other learners then should you employ them?  This is something that I will have to think about again, and again and again!
  • How can you encourage educators to BE learners and if they aren't what are we going to do?  This is such a huge question!  I do believe that we have a duty to be learners, we have a duty to learn new things because if we don't then we are not modeling that for the children we are working with and we are doing them a disservice!
  • Learning engagements should be:playful, responsive, provoking conversation, demanding of personal investment, allow identity to flow through  and we need to guide through safely-made mistakes.  Lastly don't forget the surprise!
I think that that is enough for now!  I enjoyed the conference and the tweets and the new friends!

Keep smiling!


  1. Welcome to the addictive world of bogging. When I started my own blog just over a year ago, I couldn't have imagined where it would take me. Twitter followed soon after and now I can see how connected educators, talking to each other, learning from and with each other, have left all the others behind. Some teachers at my school say they 'don't have time' to get involved online. That's like saying they don't have time to learn. And I wonder how educators, whose business is learning after all, can not find time to be learners themselves.
    Your first post is perfect... You have touched on three key issues. Look forward to reading more .

  2. You have highlighted the importance of a learning network in education. It is something that as a teacher, I would like to help my students establish as well. I think it is not only important to know that a teacher continues to learn but that they also share their learning with a network via blogging, twitter etc. Your last point on learning engagements is a great one to make.
    How wonderful that you were able to listen to two high profile speakers. I was lucky enough to hear David Warlick when I attended a Learn2.0 conference in Shanghai and then also hear Will Richardson speak when he came to my home country Australia.

  3. Hi Neil,
    Your first post is in many respects better than any of mine :) although I started blogging 2 months ago.
    As for hiring teachers based on their PLN I think you need to ponder on that more. It is , indeed, a question mark coming with the lack of a digital footprint but, at the same time, I know some great teachers who do not have a PLN (reasons vary, of course). Perhaps it is best for you, as vice-principal, to create the learning environment for teachers to embrace blogging and understand its implications. In many ways adults like learning like kids - see your 3rd point!
    *On a different note, are you on PYP Threads or is my memory deceving me? :)

  4. You've hit on some points that have given me some direction in moving our faculty to grow. Some of our teachers have gotten too comfortable and show up at PD opportunities but aren't very open-minded. Yes, educators must be willing learners or they become stagnant very quickly.
    Great first post! I look forward to more.

  5. Hi Neil, I like the questions you are asking here, both the ones you would like to ask prospective teachers and the ones you are asking yourself. If I was being interviewed I would love to talk about the things I have learned recently and the worldwide network of people who have prodded me in these directions (thank goodness for my PLN!).
    The second question you ask is one that I would actually love to ask many administrators: how do you encourage educators to be learners? I think in order for admin to do this they have to be learners themselves, yet sadly many teachers and admin feel they are "done" with learning. Too often the focus is on teaching, or managing teachers. Too many staff meetings are taken up with "busy-ness" instead of using them as opportunities for the whole school community to learn and grow. I wholeheartedly agree with Edna who says that connected learners have left the others behind and in some ways it's easier to keep moving forward with my PLN, but this year I'm making a determined effort to try to connect with members of my school community - to move them forward too (but this is hard when admin regard blogging as unprofessional and breaching the various clauses of contracts!)
    Good luck with your blog!

  6. Thank you all so very much for commenting! It really does mean a lot to me to have members of my PLN and those who I respect commenting and being positive about my thoughts and ideas. Thank you for making me think!