Its been a whirlwind of a year for me. I took on a new “part-time” role as a Tech coach during one free prep period, in November started and ran #AfricaEd chat twice a week, started COETAIL, managed to get invited to present at Learning 2 Africa and began planning an EdCamp for next September here in Accra. Oh and taught four classes too. So I’ve had my fair share of perfect storm moments when I was certain that it would all come crashing down around me, but here we are at the end of the year. The sun is still shining and I’ve learned more this year than quite possibly in my twelve previous years of teaching.
So when I woke up one day last week to see that @shyj had mentioned me in her #TwtiteratiChallenge, I knew that I would have no problem responding to the challenge. I’m honestly not one to usually jump at this sort of thing, but I’ve had so much help and inspiration along the way this year, I feel its the right thing to do. I’ve started calling these people my “stranger friends” as they are people I’ve never met, in some cases might not ever meet, but have come to feel like real friends. They’re supportive, they challenge me and they make me laugh. Funny how the internet works that way. So here are my people, in no particular order.
John Iglar The master of research and I’m sure many other things has been a major supporter and collaborator in the start and development of AfricaEd. I bounced the idea off of him early on and he encourage me to go for it. Since then he has willingly supported, showed up and made fantastic suggestions throughout the year. I’m excited to get to meet this stranger friend in November at Learning 2 Africa, which he has also supported my course there.
Jessica Raleigh Jessica was one of the first real stranger friends I made on Twitter. In fact she and Scott Capro who together started #BFC530 were major influences on my decision to develop #AfricaEd. She exuded positivity even through Twitter and selflessly shared hours worth of work with me in a single click when I began to discuss the idea of trying to hold an EdCamp in Accra. She even agreed to lead a PD session via Google Hangouts for our staff at LCS. I’m looking forward to getting to meet this stranger friend at ISTE this summer!
Lissa Layman Lissa jumped in on AfricaEd early as well. Recently, we’ve managed to collaborate and run very successful collaborative chats between #AISQ8chat and #AfricaEd on several occasions. Another stranger friend willing to share resources she gave me her entire collection of tech coach job descriptions as I began to work on creating my own here at LCS. She’s also an inspirational innovator presenting at a conference in Detroit from Kuwait. Now that’s cool.
Nigel Winnard – One of the few administrators that has regularly participated and supported #AfricaEd I’ve been impressed with the forward thinking and innovation he applies at KICS. He’s created a model of social media activity for schools providing transparency and insight into not only his school but his thoughts on education. His support and willingness to engage has provided a boost for my project and his work at KICS has provided me with many ideas to build upon and investigate.
Jimmy Conrad – I know I’m breaking the rules with this one,he isn’t an educator as in working in schools, but hear me out. It wasn’t until I managed to get the infamous Conradhino, host of KickTV and USMNT legend, to start a banter with me on Twitter, eventually leading to him coming to visit and play in our Tuesday staff pick up game at LCS (skip to the 3:25 mark) that I realized the power of Twitter. The experience not only allowed me to claim, by the theory of relativity, that I had played in the World Cup, but it showed me that there is a real power in Twitter and encouraged me to investigate how I might use that power in my professional (education) career. So Thanks Jimmy for one more aspect of awesomeness that you exude.
Here are @teachertoolkit’s rules…
In the spirit of social media educator friendships, this summer it is time to recognise your most supportive colleagues in a simple blogpost shout-out. Whatever your reason, these 5 educators should be your 5 go-to people in times of challenge and critique, or for verification and support.
There are only 3 rules.
1.You cannot knowingly include someone you work with in real life.
2.You cannot list somebody that has already been named if you are already made aware of them being listed on #TwitteratiChallenge
3.You will need to copy and paste the title of this blogpost and the Rules and What To Do information into your own blog post.
What To Do?
There are 5 to-dos if you would like to nominate your own list of colleagues.
1.Within 7 days of being nominated by somebody else, identify colleagues you regularly go to for support and challenge. They have now been challenged and should act as participants in the #TwitteratiChallenge.
2.If you’ve been nominated, you should write your own #TwitteratiChallenge blogpost within 7 days. If you do not have your own blog, try @staffrm
3.The educator nominated should record a video of themselves (using Periscope?) in continuous footage and announce their acceptance of the challenge, followed by a pouring of your (chosen) drink over a glass of ice.
4.Then the drink is to be lifted with a ‘cheers’ before the participant nominates their five other educators to participate in the challenge.
5.The educator that is now (newly) nominated, has 7 days to compose their own #TwitteratiChallenge blogpost and identify who their top 5 go-to educators are.