If only I had said …..

An unusually social weekend in my household had me hosting friends both on Friday and Saturday nights.  Great to catch up with friends I had not seen in a while – friends who happen not to be teachers, but are successful in their chosen professional fields.

In conversation, I mentioned my new found interest in Twitter and Blogs.   I was challenged on both evenings – “I haven’t got time for things like Twitter and Facebook”, “It’s all a waste of time” and “I’ve got more important things to do”.

I confess to being one of those people who, when confronted or challenged, takes too much time to come up with a coherent response.  I so wish I had the ability to think on my feet (or in the case on the couch in front of the fire) and immediately come out with an eloquent list of all the reasons I value these communications. Instead, I explained that it is great PD and I don’t feel like it is time wasted.   I didn’t really convince myself and afterwards felt that it was an opportunity lost to inform people outside my profession about the benefits of my PLN.    It was clear that the people I was talking to, had little or no understanding of twitter or blogs or even Facebook for that matter

I wish I could have said ….

These tools connect me to people all around the world who challenge and extend my thinking.  It is not a waste of time as I am mentally stimulated and encouraged to try different tools.  Without Twitter and blogs my experiences would be limited to the narrow sphere of my local network.  I believe that the teaching profession is demonstrating a great strength by exhibiting amazing camaraderie – learning from each other.   Perhaps the architects of this world could learn a thing or two from teachers’ use of Web 2.0?”

I also wish I had replied ….

Being a parent of teenagers and not being on Facebook yourself is foolhardy.   How can you expect to understand your children and the issues they face if you close your eyes to one of the most important communication tools your children use.    I know you will not necessarily be invited into all their conversations (nor should you be) , but you will be a presence and along the way gain an important understanding”

and I also wish I had had the presence of mind to say …..

Writing a blog is part of my important reflective practice.  It makes me think about why I do things and how I do them.  I ‘make’ the time as it is worthwhile.  It connects me with people who will sometimes agree but often challenge my thinking and I like that.  I believe that this practice is not limited to teachers – shouldn’t all professionals reflect?

So, to the next person who challenges my use of social networking  – I hope you are ready …….  At the very least I will be able to say – read my blog !!!!!

13 thoughts on “If only I had said …..

  1. Hi Celia

    I agree wholeheartedly with your first point as I too would be less challenged in my learning and thinking without Twitter and the blogs I read. As a Teacher-Librarian I can be very isolated in my role and there is very little PD through the system I teach in to meet my needs.

    The amount of sharing on Twitter between teachers from ALL education systems is amazing and one that the Australian Curriculum should be building on. Which makes me wonder (after talking to my principal on Friday) why the Government schools in Victoria have UltraNet and now the Catholic schools will have ICON. Why can’t both education systems collaborate, create and share together using one system that will benefit all students and teachers?

    Maybe I’m wearing rose-coloured glasses…

    Kim 🙂

  2. Keep those glasses on Kim, I only just heard about ICON the other day and wondered the same thing? Why re-invent the wheel?
    Thanks for commenting !!

  3. I really identify with your thoughts Celia – so well written. I too am not good at thinking on my feet and value the process of thinking through my thoughts. Perhaps you should post a copy of your blog post via email or even snail mail in an attempt to share with the uninitiated!!

  4. I love your presence of mind reflections! As teachers, we have long considered we all learn and respond in different ways. Like you, I need to mull!!! The quick on my feet reaction is never mine! Students are the same. I need to consider the “mullers” like you and me when I am teaching. As teachers, we, too, often demand the instant response!!

  5. At least this has given you the opportunity to reflect and clarify your thoughts. A really well written piece that will help inform lots of people about the value of these tools.

  6. Had a similar conversation with my 20 year old last night when he saw me on twitter. Will have to show him your post Celia.

  7. I’ve been in similar situations since the PLN Celia. My thoughts are:
    a) you won’t change everyone’s thinking immediately.
    b) sometimes others don’t want to agree with you on purpose. When children do it it’s called being contrary and is really about power and control. Apparently, adults sometimes engage in this behaviour too. And red wine just exacerbates it.
    c) change can take time
    d) people need a meaningful reason to try something new, e.g. having a facebook page will increase business
    e) go old school and email your friends a link to your blog
    f) maybe fear is holding them back. “Technology” can be scary for a lot of people

  8. @Michelle – How did you know about the red wine? I didn’t mention it ! But I do like your take on the reactions – very insightful

  9. Hey Celia,
    I couldn’t agree more with you. I had a tough time convincing my Rugby League mates on Friday night around a Father and Son camp fire that I blogged and followed people on Twitter. They looked at me as though my head had exploded! It took a lot of convincing and I still am left with a feeling that they doubted what I was doing is beneficial.

  10. Hi Celia,

    Perhaps you could explain social networking as the on-line equivalent of your parties, only you have total control of:
    – when it happens
    – when it’s time for everyone to leave
    – who you invite
    – who you don’t invite
    – who to listen to
    – who not to listen to
    – and how much you drink
    all without causing anyone any offence!



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