VLOG 5: Going online for professional learning

This weeks VLOG poses questions about the challenges associated with online professional learning and asks how the use of blogs, podcasts, websites and social media can be developed.

The various sites and accounts mentioned in this VLOG include:


3 thoughts on “VLOG 5: Going online for professional learning”

  1. Social media’s strength for professional development is that you can dip in and dip out when you want to. It can be specific to your needs, flexible and can fit around a teachers work life very easily. I’m beginning to think that it doesn’t have the capacity for real depth of challenge and discussion because the teachers themselves do not have that capacity. PRP, interventions, exam reform etc. have increased workload and in turn stretched teachers to the max. Engaging in any prolonged and sustained dialogue that might have transformational impact on our practice is going to be minute. We do not all have the energy or willingness to engage with external communities. This means for some PE departments no new ideas come in, so practice stagnates and it becomes harder to change and seek new ideas. A Catch 22.

    However I don’t think that means we shouldn’t challenge. The PE community online is a pretty supportive, kind and generous one. Whilst this might encourage others to participate and share, I don’t think it helps in developing our thoughts and practices any further. What is the etiquette for challenging someones held thoughts and beliefs so the discussion does not degenerate? How can we be critical of ideas, to move them forward, without being unkind? Social Media gives us that ability to be both critical which is needed, and use its facelessness to abuse as well. It is a fine line to tread, but without people probing those boundaries then perhaps ideas will only continue to be recycled rather than transform?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, for your comment. I agree about the catch22 but I wonder if and how social media has the capacity to overcome workload pressures. For example, is there scope for learning about exam reforms together online and perhaps with the exam boards of AQA or EDECXEL. Should these companies be setting up Twitter-based discussions using hashtags and creating communities where teachers can ask questions and exam reforms could be co-constructed (yes a dream, blue-sky thinking but is it a possibility?). A great thing about social media at the moment, and from my observations, is that it is teacher driven and communities are largely teacher created, but do professional developers and exam boards have a role to play. Do they need to move beyond resource sharing and promoting new ideas to creating spaces to engage in meaningful dialogue where we can all learn together?
      For the ideas about challenging I can only agree. But I think we need to consider how best to do this. Perhaps in 140 characters it is difficult to challenge perceptions, you might seem abrupt or rude. So then, what do constructive tweets look like and constructive conversations. I find it is easier to do this when I know someone or have been engaging with tweet discussions with someone for a while, but with someone I don’t know it is difficult to be challenging. I suppose then for me, it is time I begin experimenting and starting to ask questions to a variety of people on social media.

      Liked by 1 person

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