Monday, August 14, 2017

Welcome to @teachSDA

Leveraging technology to grow connections


The 2017-18 school year has begun for me here in the Southern Union and many of you have started as well.  Some of you have been a part of the teachSDA community for many years and some of you are new.  I thought it would helpful to remember why we started teachSDA.  

Chris Webb was a former student of mine and during his academy and college years he developed a love for education.  I was overjoyed and encouraged him at every opportunity.  He eventually graduated and began teaching in Taiwan.  He was an amazing teacher, I like to think I had a bit to do with that.  But he quickly realized what many of us veteran teachers learn early.  The classroom can be painfully isolating.  Educators become so busy with the day to day management that they lose perspective and connection with those around them.  The system also tends to isolate and silo teachers giving them very little opportunity to expand their professional network.  Add being on the other side of the world and the issues are magnified. 

So what could be done to solve the problems?  Chris and I continued to talk through emails, Twitter, Facebook and video chats and eventually came to the conclusion that technology could be a helpful tool to connect teachers from diverse backgrounds and locations.  So many of the day to day issues we deal with as teachers are universal.  So we could benefit from the creativity and wisdom of others.  The platform could also be used to advocate thoughtful and deliberate educational ideas in Adventist Education.  So the first Adventist Twitter personal learning network was created.  Over the course of that first year a website and newsletter was added; eventually a Facebook was added too.

We've continued to grow over the last five years and now are part of the Adventist Learning Community project.  Thanks for journey!  We hope you'll continue to join us on TwitterFacebook and www.teachSDA.org