Monday, 2 June 2008

Networking: What Sort of Friend Are You?

After reading Vicki Davis' blog post “Why I think More Teachers Don't Share Their Blog with Others”, I started to think about what a networking teacher “Friend” really is.

According to Vicki, teachers would be naturally humble and not sure about sharing their musings-or would it be that we are out of our comfort zone when we start blogging and that it takes time- blogging and reading time-to develop a strong blogging voice?

Inferiority and not wanting to join in some debates
“Teachers might just feel like their blog is not good enough”. I would agree that giving opinions on such a public medium can sometimes feel like having your secret diary displayed on billboards. Our blog might be written with no particular style but it is close to our heart and the risk of being criticised could be oh so personally hurtful…

Paranoia and fear
Vicki says “Teachers organizations have come out against blogging. Somehow we are pariahs. Why? Be a professional, don't share confidential information and focus on best practices and you should be OK”. I would add that the general idea spread in the media that there are lots of malevolent lurkers out there does not help

What is the point?
It is often difficult to see what can be useful to other people…
As a summary I would say a networking teacher “Friend” can be:
  • Somebody who has some common interest with you e.g. subject, interest in technology integration
  • Somebody who would like to find out more about your area of interest
  • Somebody you think you can help
  • Somebody you think can help you
  • Somebody who makes you think by challenging your perceptions
  • Somebody who inspires you by blogging about their own experiences and projects
  • Somebody who keeps you up to date with things

What sort of “Friend” are you? What sort of “Friend” would you like?


Angela Maiers said...

This is a great post and important conversations to have. The need to surround yourself with others who make you better,smarter, wiser, and more humble is just as great, if not great on line as it is offline. The best way to gain "online" friends is to be a friend first. Share resources, be generous with links, point out others strengths, and extend the conversations. You have given us many options, there is no reason to travel this path alone! Here's to lifelong learning and lifelong friendships!!

Jo RJ said...

Thank you for this - it's very true that writing that first post is vary scary. I felt intimidated by the not only the thought that my work was not good enough / appear amateur, but also that techies would make fun of my inexperience.

In fact neither happened and I quickly met you, Joe Dale, Paul Harrington, Lisa Stevens, Chris Fuller, Steve Hargadon etc. etc. and the whole Talkabout Primary MFL ning site has gone on snowballing.

I far prefer to learn from my colleagues. They are reassuringly honest and approachable via their blogs, in a way that INSET providers somehow can never quite achieve.

IC Jones said...

Thank you for all your positive feedback and interesting comments. That is what being "friends" is all about