Friday night is upon us and the end of the school year is nigh. I have not had time to scratch two sticks together lately however once I get into the holiday groove and on the road I shall try my best to post a little more here and there. Two school days to go. Just two. Two.
Tony Loughland is our special guest on the Friday Follow Twitter Interview this evening. Tony is Associate Dean (Professional Learning) within the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. I am curious to learn more about Tony and his thoughts regarding tonight’s questions, so let’s begin…
1. Please share a little about yourself with the readers.
I am an accidental teacher educator with a background in primary school teaching. I say accidental because I always thought my part-time foray into teacher education at UTS Kuring-gai in 1997 would be exactly that, a part-time job to supplement my meagre teacher salary. Then I was lured into honours studies investigating primary school students’ understanding of electricity then into a PhD on environmental education in primary school. I always wonder what would my career have been like if the Department offered me a job in the bush in the early 90s. That was my motivation to get into teaching from bricklaying, I wanted to be a country school teacher
2. Describe the role played by social media in education.
From my perspective I see an impressive groundswell of professional learning that is emerging from teachers. The PLN that teachers are creating for themselves seems to me to create the conditions whereby teachers can claim to be professionals in charge of their professional development. Furthermore, the PLN is inherently democratic and entry levels are not dictated by income, status or location so I am quite excited about this!
3. Tell me about your relationship with social media. How do you feel about social media?
I have an ambivalent relationship with social media as I know that sometimes I spend too much time in my PLN rather than with my family or in the writing cave. Instinctively I feel the energy, immediacy and dynamism of the PLN incredibly alluring but at the same time I work in a world where intellectual property is hidden behind fire walls that teachers cannot or do not want to access. So as with most parts of my life I struggle with the balance thing!
4. What do you feel are you strengths?
I like listening to teachers who are doing great stuff in classrooms. I am suspicious of authority and will always back the underdog. I back the collective over the individual. I like dogs.
5. What advice do you like to share with people?
I am in no position to give advice to anyone especially if I have not met them. 1.
6. Are there any questions you would like to ask?
When is it home time?
Your question echoes my opening spiel somewhat Tony… when is it holiday time! Thank you for being part of this weekly excursion into the world of Twitter and simply getting to know a little more about the educators that we follow. Readers, please add Tony to your Twitter feed and remember to check out his web site as well. Cheers!