Many of those who read this will say, "Plurk? What is Plurk?" Plurk was once a happening place where educators met met online and shared ideas. It was before the days of prolific teacher pages on Facebook and #edchats on Twitter were just taking off.
Plurk allowed me to build a PLC (Professional Learning Community) with educators all across the country. We shared technology tools to use in the classroom and lesson ideas. At the time, I was teaching in rural Arkansas, and to hear so many ideas from diverse educators was invigorating and inspiring. Because of Plurk, I got to connect with people like Kevin Honeycutt @kevinhoneycutt (a sought after keynote speaker), Michael Soskil @msoskil (Pennsylvania's 2017 Teacher of the Year), Dyane Smokorowski, @mrs_Smoke (Kansas's 2013 Teacher of the Year), Kimberly Wright @kimberlywright1 a TLI Teacher Leader from El Paseo, Texas....the list could go on and on.
What happened to Plurk? Well, it began to get overrun with spam, people began to drift to Twitter, and it stopped being the "it" place for educators. I personally have never been able to make the connection that others have in Twitter. I miss the idea sharing and the support of other educators I found on Plurk. Just this week @mrs_smoke and @msoskil shared a picture on Facebook from an old ISTE and laughed because one of their badges had a Plurk ribbon. I mentioned in the thread that I missed Plurk.
I realized lately that although the PLC I created on Plurk may be gone, I have been slowly building a new one on Facebook. Many of us that met on Plurk ended up connecting on Facebook, and I'm so thankful to still have those connections. Just this morning my friend Mitch Weisburgh @weisburghm connected me to a great reading opportunity for my students this year. However, I'm starting to make other connections that are getting my creative juices going.
It began by following teacher pages. You know, other teachers, like me who were just sharing links to their blogs. I would get lots of good ideas, but communication was just one way. For the last two or three years that's all I've really done, and to be honest it really hasn't fed my teacher soul. Recently, Facebook suggested some groups that I might like to join, and that's when things began to change. To begin with they are groups that share my same interests...I'm going to be teaching fourth grade next year, and the groups centered around that age group. Also the members of the groups are active. When someone poses a question to one of the groups, the others are diligent to see that it receives some type of response. Seeing this type of collaboration and interaction between teachers has reinvigorated me. For the first time in several years, I've heard about online tools that are new to me, I've been inspired to try new things in my classroom, and I feel a confidence about starting the new school year that I haven't felt in awhile.
If you're looking to connect with other educators through Facebook Groups below are a few that I recommend.
Just a place to share my thoughts about education, technology, and whatever else pops into my head.