Monday, January 31, 2011

PACER PLN comes 'Face to Face'

Last Wednesday morning a group of 12 of us worked together to become more proficient at using Twitter and to build our own PLN's  (Personal Learning Network).

90 minutes before we met, I tweeted a request to my PLN to say hello to my DSS colleagues who would be gathering.  Within minutes, I had at least 20 responses and by the time we came together I must have received 40 or more.  The responses I received came from all over North America.  Chicago, Buffalo, New York, Ontario, New Brunswick to name just a few.  Of course, I also received a considerable number of responses from Twitter users in neighboring Lower Mainland school districts.  The locations of the respondents proves the ease with which one can connect globally with other people.

Since each person was at a different stage in their use and comfort with twitter, people naturally started working and learning together.  Some people were figuring out the basics...following, followers, timeline, mentions, what's happening.  Others were searching for educators beyond our school and a few people were sharing links to video clips, websites and blogs that they had found.

We briefly discussed the importance of searching common hashtags (#BCed, #edchat) and using hashtags to tag tweets for people to find.  We decided we will use #delearn as the hashtag for Delta Secondary School.

By the end of our 60 minute session, each person was following each other and each person had begun to create his/her own PLN.  What we found is that sitting down face-to-face increases the comfort each person has interacting with colleagues in his/her PLN.

Of a staff that includes approximately 85 teachers, our PACER PLN has grown to include 17 teachers. As you can see, we comprise a wide variety of roles and subject areas within the school.

@agoelstevens (A. Goel-Stevens - Vice-Principal)
@gharkley (G. Harkley- Business Ed & Career Prep teacher)
@kgadowsky (K. Gadowsky -Delta Work Options Alternate Program teacher)
@rheagunning (R. Gunning - English teacher)
@dssev  (C. Mynott - Automotive & Math Teacher)
@jenheiden (J. Heiden - Learning Assistance & Communications teacher)
@samotohashi (S. Motohashi - Science teacher & Edublogger: ' New Teacher on the Block' )
@nic0lecruz (N. Cruz - Spanish teacher & new Edublogger: ' iTeach, uInspire, WiiLearn')
@stvcwn (S. Cowan - counsellor)
@robinjwait (R. Wait - English teacher)
@glenn_addison  (G. Addison - Computer Animation teacher)
@danahuff75 (D. Huff - SS & Eng teacher)
@northdelta007 (B. Pannu - Science teacher)
@aakune (A. Akune - Vice-Principal & Edublogger: ' Educating in the 21st Century)
@terryainge (T. Ainge - Principal & Edublogger: 'Pacer Post' )
@andrewboldt (A. Boldt - Guitar & Digital Media teacher) new
@katylizlewis (K. Lewis - Photography teacher) new

A number of us are using Twitter on a daily basis, accessing a variety of blogs, videos and websites, tweeting links to interesting resources, asking questions and commenting to each other.

As I reflect on the collaborative work session we had last Wednesday, I am encouraged and excited at the possibilities that exist for the growing PACER PLN.  At that same time, I am reminding myself that the technology (Twitter) is not the learning.  Twitter is simply a TOOL that allows for LEARNING!

So, where do we go from here?

Some possibilities include:
  • using twitter to continue collaborative projects started face-to-face in work-alike groups
  • sharing engaging lesson ideas with each other
  • connecting the PACER PLN with other PLN's
I look forward to hearing how other groups of educators are using their PLN's and any suggestions you are willing to share with the PACER PLN.


  1. Hi Aaron,

    Excuse the copy and paste. Here is the message that went out today to our admin PLN in West Vancouver that is being coordinated by @gary_kern. It offers suggestions on what we are trying to do next.

    One week on-line, it is good to see the amount of contributions happening online! As we discussed last week, 1. try to build your own PLN to follow and 2. try and re-tweet what you learn back to #sd45pln

    For those of you who haven't added a profile picture yet, I'd suggest you take a moment and try to upload a picture; having that egg on your account looks like the lights aren't turned on yet.

    Finally, you have all probably been following what is happening in Egypt right now. This is a rare opportunity to watch history unfold. Here are a couple of interesting reads - I've tweeted them as well!

    See you all next Tuesday!


    Aron @aroncampbell24
    Tricia @tyurkowski
    Liz @lizhill45
    Chantal @chantreu
    Val @vjstevenson820
    Marne @marneowen
    Jennifer @jennpardee
    Diane @PremierAcademy1
    Brad @pr1nc1pal
    Brad @JBWDaudlin
    Julia @JMLeiterman
    Ellen @travelongirl
    Stephane @stephclautheo
    Steve @SteveRauh
    Judy @judydduncan
    Jody @JodyLanglois
    Dave @Davesd45
    Lynne @ltnpbs
    Chris @chrkennedy
    Michelle @mlabounty
    Chris @cpsandor

  2. Too bad this didn't happen next week :( It's my reading week and I'll be visiting DSS, so I could've checked it out.

    PS: I like how the official hashtag is #delearn. It sounds ironic XD