Friday, January 8, 2016

If We're Not Lost, Where Can We Be Found?

Over the holiday break, it occurred to me that newspapers and websites would soon be posting their year in reviews and their predictions for the year ahead.  We need those kinds of bookends in the field of adult education, especially with so many changes afoot.  We need to process, discuss, reflect and gear up to tackle new challenges. Alas, I feel like we're always in reactive mode, struggling to catch up and adjust to our circumstances.  That's why we need to rely on more modern communication tools than the phone tree. 

When trying to come up with my list of INs and OUTs going into 2016, I asked for input on Twitter using the #adultedu hashtag. No response to multiple attempts.  I tried my Linked-In network of 500+ connections and I think I posted it on an adult education interest group as well.  Obviously, holiday break isn't the best time to get a hold of educators. Or maybe I was using the wrong medium. I tried Facebook, but I only have a few professional connections there and the one who responded preferred to table all work-talk until class was back in session. During the same time, I've been deluged with notices about people broadcasting from Periscope.  And others telling me that Snapchat is the next big thing.  Neither indicators were from adult educators, but it piqued my interest and made me a little jealous.  Instagram is the platform that I've taken to the most in 2015, but haven't found any adult ed angles for professional development.  Going into 2016, I've vowed to learn Snapchat and Periscope... or at least try my hand at them.

So this is where I pose the question to you: Where in the digital world can you find adult educators? What is our preferred platform? Where are the professional development discussions happening?  How can you take the pulse of adult educators and high school equivalency teachers?  Please chime in with a comment. Any insights are appreciated, not just by me, but also by the isolated educators who wonder onto this site and perhaps have some of the same questions and a desire for more input, camaraderie and interconnectedness.



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