So a colleague and I kept chatting after the #IBChat on Twitter.
As we reflected on the experience, I asked what my colleague’s most important takeaways were from the hour-long Twitter conversation. It was her first chat on Twitter, and she said it was at times overwhelming with the speed of the conversation and that it gave her a sense of “Community as professional, local, human, with an empathetic circle [as the] environment of it.”
I was struck by her impressions, and wanting to help her clear her thinking about the learning experience, we began to debrief what the PLN had shared.
The role of research in service and service as action
Ideas for service as bridge within and across the continuum
The role of relationships for sustainable service learning
Embedding service learning in the curriculum
How is empathy learned?
The role of reflection and action
How service learning provides personalized, authentic experiences that stick
Our dialog deepened as we dove into the idea of how the #IBChat itself illustrated the concepts of community and empathy, which were demonstrated as the group chatted.
Somewhat surprised by this comment, I replied with a sudden insight: one of the reasons why I value conversations with the Twitter PLN is each one’s generosity of spirit.
The IB Educators Network PLN shares so unselfishly.
Another quality of the community that my colleague met on Twitter yesterday was the intellectual humility of each person.
Each one of these individuals is accomplished and influential, many of them Workshop Leaders, Team Visit Members, and Consultants in the IB Educators Network. “When they speak,” I thumb-typed to my colleague, “you just have to stop and listen. And you learn.” Yet, they come together and they learn from each other. This intellectual humility is a big part of why I trust these educators, and why spending a mere hour in conversation with them often yields transformational learning.
I was very proud of my colleagues, a couple of whom participated by sharing Tweets, and others who listened in on the conversation. For many of them, it may have been their first Twitter chat, signifying both intellectual risk-taking and intellectual humility. Participating in the global #IBChat was a small, first step, but it was a giant step towards self-directed learning.
The colleague that I chatted with long after the #IBChat had concluded captured it well when she said, “I’m looking forward to reflecting with others outside of our circle.” She concluded our chat with, “Widening perspectives lead to the growth mindset.” A few seconds later, she typed, “And we are just starting!”
PD is just a bunch of ideas until we make it our own, finding its meaning for ourselves and our practice. And it was just like that.