I am watching the first Matrix movie and reading my Tweetdeck. I was reading Ben Grey's wrap-up post on NECC and left a comment there. I found others discussing something that has been bothering me for a little while. It starts with a tweet from Steve Dembo (who talked me into starting twitter at MACUL 2009 by the way)
"If I took nothing else away from NECC, it's that we need to spend more time bringing in new choir members, & less surfing the bleeding edge."
I could not agree more. I am a "newbie." I have been a middle school technology teacher for five years, but before December, 2008 I had never heard RSS, Readers, Flickr, Twitter, Digital Storytelling, or anything Web 2.0 or 21st Century. I took a "23 Things" class through my local ISD and have immersed myself ever since. I started as a lurker reading around a hundred blogs. I have recently started blogging more myself, got active on Twitter, and commenting on others' blogs. I have started to get into conversations with some great educators.
Although I am so new to all of this I have already presented a Professional Development session on Google Reader and Delicious for middle school teachers in my district. Compared to almost every teacher in my district I am an expert! They would be lost in even the most basic sessions at NECC.
But as I commented on Ben's blog I feel like the top edubloggers have an "exclusive group" that is easier to "follow" than join into the discussion for the average classroom teacher. While I have written this Morpheus has spent the whole time explaining the "new technology"of the Matrix to Neo. He could never become "the One" without Morpheus as his mentor.
I suggest that each of the edublogger leaders take 10-15 newbies under his/her wing and actively engage with them and guide them in their struggles implementing new teaching strategies and tools. When I tweet a question usually no one answers me. I understand it takes time to build my PLN, but an expert to guide me would be very valuable.
So in answer to Sheryl NussbaumBeach who tweeted
"pondering "agents of change" who are unknown -- can one be an agent of change if those who need changing do not know about them?"
I say yes! Start with those of us who do know about you and we will share with other teachers.
I have the opportunity to be a technology consultant for one hour a day for the second semester of this next year. I hope to engage as many teachers as possible in my building with student-centered teaching using technology. So who wants to help :)