In completing this activity I realised I had more current professional connections than I thought I did. Below is my mind map, which will be referred to in the rest of this post.
Current Professional Connections
These are located on the left-hand side of the mind map.
Cambridge International Examinations
- I am the Cluster Leader for Cambridge ICT and Computing teachers in New Zealand. The majority of these teachers are in Auckland although there are some outside of the city as well, so having everyone at a meeting is often not possible. One thing to consider is implementing an online portal for these teachers. This could be a Facebook group, through a regular #CompSciNZ chat on Twitter or developing a dedicated website. I think that something needs to be implement so that teachers of Cambridge ICT and Computer Science can support each other more than they do currently. This is especially in light of significant syllabus changes this year and next. It would also help to foster collegiality among this group.
- I regularly contribute to the closed forum for Cambridge teachers of ICT and Computer Science. I ask questions of examiners, but also provide responses to other teachers when I’m able. I have a five-star rating here.
Courses and Conferences
- This year I’m going to two conferences; ULearn (including Permission to Play, 6-9 Oct) and Computer Science for High Schools (CS4HS) hosted by Unitec (19-20 Nov). I find these events invaluable because you can learn what others are today in the immediacy of the here and now; something that online media doesn’t always allow.
- The power of Twitter is with lists and this is where I keep in contact with people from the first intake of this course. It’s interesting to see what people are up to, whether they’re in primary, secondary or the tertiary sector!
Online and Curation Tools
- I regularly use Twitter (@gadgetgurl42). I occasionally contribute to discussions, usually with people I know, but more often than not I’m found sending RTs or links from articles I’ve curated elsewhere (see below). For the purposes of this post I completed an online survey about what kind of Twitter user I am. Turns out ‘Twitter Bad Ass’ – “You have a reputation for tweeting quality content and along with this comes a small cult following that thanks you.”
- Who needs Google when you can curate content? I’m a bit of a curation junkie, especially with Scoop.it (10 topics) and Pinterest (17 topics). It’s the perfect way to gather articles and ideas from a variety of sources of whatever topic you like. I also find it a useful way of finding who to follow, including Twitter, based on what he/she curates.
Academic Colleges Group
Teaching in a school that’s also part of a multinational company allows me to connect and share with educators using ACG-based systems. This includes connecting with people who use the Blackboard Learning Management System, something I have spoken about at several conferences.
These are placed to the right of the mind map.
- Become a member of the NZ Association for Computing, Digital and Information Technology Teachers (NZACDITT). This would allow me to more easily keep up-to-date with what is happening with Digital Technologies in the NZ Curriculum. It may also allow me to develop relationships with key people in this field in NZ.
- Apply for the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert programme. Spanning over 3 years, this provides a wealth of professional development in using technology in the classroom, but it also fosters a ‘pay it forward’ approach. An expectation is that recipients mentor colleagues and speak at conferences.