Becoming a Connected Leader & Learner – The Journey

If there is no sharing, there is no learning (David Wiley)

Over the last year, I have focused on becoming a connected leader and learner. Through Twitter (@kfilane), Facebook (Holy Angels School), Instagram (@hasrocks), and blogging I have been building up my online presence, have been connecting with others, and have been developing relationships that are crucial in education. Through my own learning journey, I have been modelling, and have been sharing and connecting with others – serving as a way to develop my Principal Qualification Practicum, and to develop my digital learning network.

As part of my learning and establishing my digital footprint, I took a chance and started sharing my learning and reflections in my blog:


Putting my thinking and wonderings out there for anyone to read was both exciting and humbling – would others care what I thought? would they see how much I didn’t know and how much I still need to learn? would they care what I was thinking? would my thoughts resonate with anyone?  In my journey to be connected, I have developed an amazing network of colleagues, sources of inspiration, and models of learning that have taken my own learning and have exponentially helped me grow in ways I never would have thought possible.

A year ago, I was not able to attend a conference that really mattered to me:


Through that “missed opportunity” I learned more, and was set on a path of learning and connecting that I never knew was possible, and here I sit today, reflecting on my PQP journey of leadership and preparing to hand in my Practicum. Through my connected world, I have learned about the power of innovation (creating things that are new and better), I have limited the isolation that I once felt (“Isolation is a choice that we now make” @gcouros), and I hope that I have modelled for others the power of connecting, and taking risks in your learning.

“Leaders will more easily effect change if they allow others to see them taking risks, failing, recovering and risking all over again” 

(The Innovator’s Mindset, 2015. George Couros, pg 59)

Today, I participated in a wonderful learning opportunity organized by our own Katie DiBiagio (SNCDSB), and Stacey Wallwin (SGDSB), our regional Technology Enabled Learning Teachers (TELTs) who facilitated George Couros spending the day with System Leaders, Principals, and Digital Learning Teachers from both Boards.  The topic was Leading Innovative Change, and it was like the cherry on top of my PQP Practicum sundae – as a system, we were connecting and hearing the message all together!

Today, George inspired us all with his innovative mindset and his focus on relationships and connecting (first to the heart, before we can connect to the mind). I was able to share this day with people who have inspired me, influenced me and learned with me in this journey.


As a leader and a learner, I think it is vital that we build connections not only within our Board, our school and our communities, but also throughout the world, where we now have access to many others who are so willing and eager to share their learning. As this is the future for our students, if we don’t connect and learn how to be innovative together by building a digital learning network, we will soon become illiterate in the world that our students are living in.

By becoming connected, we build trust, and through trust, we transform systems:

“Alone we are smart, together we are brilliant” (Steven Anderson)


About Kim Figliomeni

Principal ~ Digital Learner ~ wife of @hollywoodfilane ~ mother of 4 boys ~ life long learner ~ food fanatic ~ #LWT
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12 Responses to Becoming a Connected Leader & Learner – The Journey

  1. Lindsay Wowchuk says:

    I am just looking at your blogging page now as I embark on my journey in the blogging world. It is humbling to know that becoming a connected learner takes time. I have been starting out small with Facebook, Instagram, and most recently Twitter. It is amazing who you can connect with on Twitter. What a great experience it must have been to have worked with George for a day and to hear is great insight. I am starting my journey into the blogging world and it was great to read some of your blogs – thank you.
    Lindsay Wowchuk


  2. Shari says:

    By becoming connected, we build trust, and through trust, we transform systems:
    “Alone we are smart, together we are brilliant” (Steven Anderson)

    Those are some seriously important words to live by! Thank you for taking the risks and sharing your journey with us all, Kim.


  3. Kerry Desjardins says:

    I love your honesty in all that you do and your ability to take risks in making your learning public is so incredibly inspiring. You have pushed me outside my comfort zone with twitter and although the process is slow I will continue to press forward………your encouragement and support means so much. You are an integral part of our leadership team in that you never hesitate to share your thinking and learning with everyone. You have strengthened the bond between all of us and continuously remind us that staying connected regardless of location is key to moving forward. I look forward to continuing this learning journey with you.


    • Kim Figliomeni says:

      Your journey with twitter is just that, your journey – take your time and continue to go forward in your sharing. I appreciate your comments very much and I really value how we all use our strengths to learn with each other and to be connected – I love that we can continue this learning journey together and look forward to the future


  4. Alexa says:

    Wow Kim…love this blog and you have inspired me because of your learning journey. I remember when I just started to tweet and now I am willing to even blog….I was wondering if you could help me with my first blog? You are a natural. Thanks for being part of our learning journey at SNCDSB…and thanks for your patience. I am hoping your practicum continues….since we are all starting at Point A…and striving for Point B. ( GC statement). Let’s keep this epidemic going!


    • Kim Figliomeni says:

      Thanks so much for feedback and sharing Alexa! I would love to help you start a blog – I think it is a great way to share your learning and reflect on things. I will definitely continue my learning and sharing – I still have a long way to go!


  5. Nancy says:

    Thank you Kim. Your blog was very inspiring and I will certainly continue to grow as I have obtained a VP position since our course. Thanks for the good read and reminding me that to be a good leader, I have to remain a constant learner:)


    • Kim Figliomeni says:

      That’s great to hear Nancy – congratulations! I’m so glad that you were inspired and I look forward to connecting with you in the future as we continue to learn together 🙂


  6. Jen Kruse says:

    Awesome to read Kim, I couldn’t agree with you more about feeling like we are isolated at times but with the digital world we really are never alone. We all work together to be brilliant, each bringing our own strengths.
    Thanks for sharing your journey!


    • Kim Figliomeni says:

      Thanks for sharing that Jen and for being an amazing learner and leader within your classroom and school. I love all the learning we do together and always appreciate time to collaborate together


  7. Randy Costa says:

    Great job Kim! It took a lot of guts to put yourself out there – you’ve had a wonderful journey of growth and inspired many (including me). Proud of you – your courage, your perseverance, humbleness and growth. You’ve changed the face of our school and your connected aspirations has spread to your staff and the eagerness of the students who are engaging in connecting and learning amongst themselves, other schools and others in general. Baby steps …. Starts the journey. Congratulations! 🙂




    • Kim Figliomeni says:

      Wow thanks so much for that reflection Jay! Throughout this whole journey, my hope was not only to learn myself but to inspire and connect with others, and to learn together about the importance of connecting and being innovative together. I appreciate you taking time to reflect and for following me on this journey – one that I hope continues on as we continue to inspire each other and to be inspired by our students, other learners and ourselves!


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