Friday, July 26, 2013

Why did I create #coffeechugPLN?

I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by Vicki Davis for the BAM Radio Network. This was my first interview and podcast and I was nervous. Overall, it was a great 15 minutes to drive and chat about education with Vicki who I have blogged about several times and is not only an amazing person and teacher, but also a mentor and one who I watch, read, and try to learn as much as I can.

During the interview we were talking about PLN and connecting with other teachers and she asked the question about why did I want to create one more Twitter chat when there are already so many good ones out there? What a fantastic question. It is so good that I have not stopped thinking about this question since the interview.

So, what is my answer to this question? Is it as simple as I wanted it to be? No, I don't think so. If you uncover the true meaning I think it is much deeper. I answered the question the best I could during the interview, but I feel I have more to offer.

I want to create my own tribe. I have a mission in education. I want teachers to feel their passion and not only feel it, but act upon it. I want teachers to change their own ideas, be challenged, and think about topics in ways that perhaps they have not thought before.

#coffeechugPLN is designed to be 24/7 and not just for the actual chat that takes place once a week. I want our tribe to be powerful. I want #coffeechugPLN to stand out and be a purple cow. This question has made me really reflect what I hope to gain by doing this and I love it.

With this question in mind I have placed together a rough draft framework of some big ideas coming down the pipleline. I am beyond excited that I sent out a tweet

Yes, there are so many excellent Twitter hashtags and chats that already exist. Many of them are better than what I have. Many of them have 20x the participation. But it is not about numbers, but the content and quality. As I work through the growing pains of helping teachers and thinking beyond yourself things will take care of itself. It is not about recognition, but about movement and change. So many of us have been in education long enough to know that things move slowly. I want #coffeechugPLN to be that Purple Cow that causes change to happen faster and it starts with educators. We will make it happen. And it will be exciting.

I want the discussions and ideas to be outside the box and help teachers see things in a new light. I want teachers to feel empowered by what they do. I want them to begin to realize that they have a voice just like our students.

And as always, I give a big virtual hug to Vicki for once again challenging my thinking and helping gain insight into myself and the direction I want to go. She may not have intended this one question to have such an impact, but that is what great leaders do. They inspire and push people beyond their current thinking. #coffeechugPLN is attempting to do that very thing. I would not be where I am today without her guidance and encouragement along the way. Her words have kept me going when I doubted myself and questioned things. I follow her and learn from her every week.

Last, I would like to compare this network to a light beacon. A beacon does not know who it helps or inspires, but at same time a beacon helping people. It is not about recognition, but knowing that by helping others, the help will come back around to help you out. By constantly sharing and networking the PLN will increase. It is a give and take.

My goal is that my voice stays original. I will never be fake and will always speak the good and bad from my experience and learning journey. What I share are my ideas. I will never tell anyone what to do, but hopefully what I share inspires others.No BS. I want to be authentic and passionate about my ideas and education.

I hope you consider joining the #coffeechugPLN and connecting and sharing. It is going to be one heck of a journey as we all learn together. I look forward to making the tribe stronger and more passionate than ever before.

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