The parts of my professional learning community that I use most are the ones that I see everyday. As part of my job I am constantly meeting with the different grade teams in our school, planning and troubleshooting with our administrators, and some of the most productive and interesting conversations happen over lunch or a beer after school. I am also in touch with my group of friends from university who have dispersed to international schools all around the world and we can offer each other ideas and encouragement from our different perspectives and contexts.
My personal and professional connections are most certainly a two way sharing of experiences, thoughts and ideas. On the other hand, my connections through social media and what I have termed “consumption” are just that, a mostly one way flow of ideas and inspirations from the internet to me. While my inspiration to have an active Twitter presence tends to comes in waves, generally on social media I browse and enjoy but do not contribute much. This is similar to how reading blogs and listening to podcasts inspires me to think about my practice, and often inspires conversations with colleagues, but I never feel compelled to comment about them online.
With COETAIL taking place entirely online, I will be interested to see how that impacts my behaviour in the other parts of my online “consumption” based learning network.