Meet Margaret Powers, the Lower school Technology Coordinator at a private school outside of Philadelphia. We at TechnoTeachers have been following Margaret’s writings for a few years now. In fact, she was one of our interviewees in writing our book, TechnoTeaching.
Margaret has come through once again to meet with Jules to talk about building digital communities, adapting Google Glass for the classroom, and how leading with your passions can lead to many followers on social media. Read on!
TT: Why did you initially decide to become a teacher?
MP: For as long as I can remember, I have loved to learn and loved the idea of working with students. Back in high school, I began to research approaches to early care and education and the more I learned, the more curious I became about how young children learn. After living abroad and later studying in Reggio Emilia, Italy as part of my undergraduate degree, I realized that teachers could truly be global facilitators of learning relationships. I became a teacher because I wanted to work with students and help them discover their own curiosities and explore ways to share them with others, particularly using technology as a tool to connect with others around the world.
TT: How did you move from being a classroom teacher to being a consultant/writer?
MP: While I was getting my Master’s degree in International Training and Education, I started working as an Education and Technology Consultant. I supported early childhood clients in web development and social media and international development clients in using technology to build digital communities. When I began teaching, I continued to work with organizations around education and technology, with a focus on early childhood, global education, and design thinking. Currently, I balance the two roles, keeping active in the classroom and doing consulting work, locally and globally.
TT: How have you gained your following on social media do you think? Top tips?
MP: My social media presence is something that has grown organically over time. I have been on Twitter since 2009 and over the years, as I have participated in and helped facilitate EdCamps, ed tech conferences, and global partnerships, my PLN has greatly increased. Being active in a number of Twitter chats has been another important way for me to connect with new people through that medium. Each tool is different, so in Google+, my following is based around G+ Communities and MOOCs or groups I am a part of related to those communities and on LinkedIn, my connections are a mix of past professional connections and groups I have participated in or managed for other organizations.
My tips would be:
TT: Why do you think it is important to grow as a teacher / share your ideas with others?
MP: I think it is extremely important to continue growing as a teacher because it helps you to stay engaged as a learner and aware of the experiences students are having today in and out of the classroom. By sharing your ideas with others, you can become part of their professional learning networks and develop reciprocal teaching and learning relationships with others. By sharing my own ideas, I have a chance to reflect on my own practice and get feedback from educators and ed tech organizations about tools and pedagogical approaches that might enhance students’ learning and I can also offer the same to others through my blog and social networks.
TT: Which are the top 3-5 pieces of work you'd like us to share in this blog and why?
MP: Here are my top picks.
You can find more about Margaret by following her on her website—a virtual résumé
blog. Let us know what you think!
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This is where Jules and Nic will post articles, links to interesting sites and things that we think our TechnoTeachers will like.