Being part of a vast network of technology integration specialists - sharing through Twitter and so forth - can lead one to forget how much work remains in bringing technology into regular use in our classrooms. I was reminded of that this weekend. I attended and presented at the Florida Council for the Social Studies annual conference. My presentation was entitled Transforming the Social Studies Classroom with Web 2.0 Tools.
As I spoke on building a PLN, I was surprised that none of the more than twenty teachers in attendance were users of Twitter. Perhaps it was naive of me to expect at least a few to be users of social media, beyond simply having a Facebook account. In the hustle and bustle of the school year, the fact that most of the teachers on my school campus are not much different than the group to which I was speaking is not something I think about very much. That is a big mistake on my part.
After teaching all day this past Friday, I got in my car and drove four hours to present to a group of teachers that I didn't even know. Yet everyday I pass teachers in the hall that are as technologically needy as those that I met this weekend. What am I doing to address that need? What should I be doing? I drove those four hours intending to share what I could about integrating Web 2.0 tools in the classroom. I didn't expect to learn much. In the end, perhaps I learned the more than anyone else in the room.
Engaging in the PLN with teachers from across the globe is important. Reaching out to those that we see everyday is just as important. Are you trying to meet the need on your own campus?