Day 7: Follow Friday & Virtual Conferenes

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Day 7: Follow Friday & Attending Conferences Virtually

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Originally, when this 30 Days was started, Day 7 fell on a Friday.  Even though it’s not Friday, let’s talk about it.  The idea of Follow Friday is basically that you recommend other people to follow, and you can use the hashtag #FollowFriday or #FF to see who others recommend to follow.

In the education world of Twitter based users, Doug Peterson (@dougpete) always lists Active Ontario Educators on Fridays:

Follow Friday

This past Friday (and a few others before), I was delighted (but surprised) to find my twitter name listed in Doug’s #FollowFriday tweet.  Doug is an active learner, who loves to share with others.  He recommends the followers, and you can decide if you want to follow them or not.  In building your PLN, find those people whose posts you relate to or learn from, and if they recommend followers, check them out because it might be a connection that you would have never found on your own.

Using Twitter to Attend Virtual Conferences

If you have followed me at all (or read my first blog post in May “My Journey to Being a Connected Learner“), you might know that the turning point in my “connected career” happened in late April, 2015 when I was unable to attend the #SELNO conference held in Thunder Bay.  I wanted to attend this conference terribly and I felt this was a great next step in my learning, but I needed to stay in my school.  Thanks to my amazing network (@kmaenpaa, @fryed, @wallwins), I was able to connect virtually and participate through Hangout, Twitter and Periscope (@periscopeco) to “meet” and hear some of George Couros’ messages. (I got to say hello to George and was front and centre for his Keynote – for as long as the WIFI connection co-operated)

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Although I didn’t get to be at the conference, I followed along by using the #SELNO twitter hashtag (when anyone at the conference tweeted and used #SELNO, I could follow along virtually in real time).  I was also able to go back later to see what I missed.  It was an amazing opportunity where I realized that I had a choice to sit back and do nothing or I could learn using the innovative technology that we have to connect us from afar.  I even got a mention in @WallwinS’s  #Selno Storify sharing (Storify – another tool I would like to learn about).

Now, when I see my “twitter friends” mentioning common hashtags (#yrdsbquest , #bit15, #gafesummit) or I know about a conference, I can follow along and go back to participate in the sharing and learning that happened. As a busy educator wanting to learn, being able to do it from your own building or community when travel isn’t an option, is a great thing to be able to do.

Have you ever followed a conference on twitter?  Do you ever ‘tweet’ from your workshops or conferences so others can learn from you?

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About Kim Figliomeni

Principal ~ Digital Learner ~ wife of @hollywoodfilane ~ mother of 4 boys ~ life long learner ~ food fanatic ~ #LWT
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5 Responses to Day 7: Follow Friday & Virtual Conferenes

  1. Pingback: Becoming Connected – Day 16: RSS Feeds | Becoming a Connected Learner

  2. John says:

    K…the coolest thing is to tweet and connect with co-learners during a conference. Recently, I attended the #CBIE2015 international conference in Niagara Falls and was able to learn in ways never before. The “experts in the room” had much to share and we all had much to learn – the room I’m referring to is the global village – tnx twitter. Gone are the days of put your pencils down and listen to me (although there is a place for that too). Perhaps classroom facilitators may wish to take on the mindset that kids might be able to learn while they “listen” and tweet to learn. @LakeheadPDE

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    • Kim Figliomeni says:

      I agree John – I have started to tweet during conferences and meetings (when they are twitter friendly lol) and I find that it is making me pay more attention because when I hear something that resonates with me or challenges my thinking, I have to share it in a concise way – something I sometimes struggle with. Being able to take what you hear and pull out the important message is a good skill and research shows it deepens the learning. Learning is starting to look different and it is now taking into account different learning styles. Sometimes people get upset when you are on your phone and some meetings you are asked to put your devices away (assuming you aren’t focused), but having your phones out could now mean you are taking “notes” on twitter (or Today’s Meet) and putting it out there for others to learn from – a definite shift in how learning can look.

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  3. kemaenpaa says:

    I’m so glad that you were able to take an obstacle (not attending SeLNO) and turn it into a learning experience! When I first started seeing hashtags for conferences, I didn’t really give much thought to it. I remember being at a conference and deciding to search its hashtag (once I figured out exactly how to search in Twitter and what the heck a hashtag was), and I was shocked at the learning that was happening on this virtual platform. There was a whole other level of learning at the conference that I was missing out on! I know that your blog post is about using Twitter to follow conferences virtually, but I also find that it is extremely valuable even when you’re at the conference. First, I get to see what others find worthwhile to share. Second, my tweets serve as my “notes” (and what is great about taking notes this way, is that I’m sharing them with all of my followers).

    I also just want to share something that George Couros has been talking about a lot lately:
    “What if every teacher tweeted one thing a day that they did in their classroom to a school hashtag, and they took five minutes out of their day to read each other’s tweets? What impact would that have on learning and school culture?”

    Donna’s OSSEMOOC post reads that “not all conferences have a physical location.” Imagine if your school/board had an ongoing, teacher-driven “conference” via Twitter? I am really interested in this idea and I’m hoping to bring it to our first Digital Learning Volunteer meeting next week. Considering the distance between our schools in #sncdsb, this would be a great way for us to build a culture of collaboration.

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    • Kim Figliomeni says:

      Katie – thanks so much for bringing up two other ideas important in connecting: using the twitter hashtag at conferences to share and document your learning, and sharing ideas and practices within our own Board. One of our teachers, Cara Figliomeni, also heard George’s message and has created a hashtag #HasTeach and has encouraged us to share one good thing a day with eachother. Donna’s post about using twitter as an ongoing, teacher driven conference is an exciting one. I would love if our Board could use #sncdsb to build a culture of collaboration – thanks for connecting!

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