What if, as educators, we didn’t share our…


What if, as educators, we didn’t share our…

  • knowledge,
  • experience,
  • good practice,
  • mistakes we’ve made,

CPD3…the list goes on?

Imagine what it would be like having to discover everything we know today, on our own, with no help from others.

I’ve no doubt, we wouldn’t be as an advanced society as we are today. Photo 01-06-2015 17 43 29

Throughout my 45 years in education, pre-retirement, I spend a great deal of time finding, creating and looking up “stuff”; more importantly, I shared it with anyone who was interested.

Sharing, for me, is the cornerstone of knowledge and one of the most important parts of professional development.

Having the tools to share what we find is definitely helpful; it allows us to share our learning and curated resources, adding to the global knowledge.

So what about now? Now I’m retired!CPD5

Well, “Olds Habits die hard“, for starters I…

  • have more time;
  • still browse the long list of RSS Feeds via Netvibes;
  • still evaluate and use New & Emerging Technologies (uNET) and
  • still communicate with my ex-colleagues.

By doing so, I also come across a wide variety of resources that I still feel I need to save, catalogue and be able to come back to later. More importantly, I still feel I should be sharing these things with the wider world. Yes, curation and sharing is still a large part of my life, even in retirement. I often reflect and ask questions, like…

Why…Photo 30-05-2015 21 35 58

  • were so many of those I worked with precious about things they found, created etc?
  • didn’t they feel the need to share? Not just the finds and creations but, the things that went well or, in some cases not so well; so others became aware of good practice and avoided making the same mistakes?

I’d like to think that we are all “Lifelong Learners” and that sharing our “finds” is important.

One of the things so many supported Learning Providers, here in the North West, said they valued the most, facilitated by the Regional Supports Centre – Northwest (RSC-NW), was the Forums…

  • LILT;
  • MILT;
  • SMILT;
  • Moodle Users;
  • Data Managers;

…the list goes on.

All of them providing opportunities to…

  • communicate,
  • collaborate and
  • share

…with others from across the North West region.

As you all know, the one thing we can all be sure of is CHANGE!

The RSC-NW no longer exist so, as far as I know, the forums may not either.

So how do the learning providers, that we supported, share the resources they gather, with…

  • their colleagues?
  • other educators?
  • learners? and/or
  • their Learning Provider Stakeholders?

Not just within their organisation but to the wider audience.

How do I share with others now that I’m retired?

Well for me it’s a 3-part process… 

  1. Gathering,
  2. Testing (where possible) and then
  3. Sharing the Resources, tools, new and emerging technologies etc.

Let’s look at them in turn.

1: Gathering – Information is no longer a premium. The Internet allows all of us to find as much information on any topic as we wish, from pretty much any source we want. I use, in the main…

  • RSS Feeds and
  • specific websites.

However, as with our Further/Adult/Community Education and Skills Learners (#FACEandS), the more important, and necessary, skill is vetting the information once we find it.

Wading through the junk can be tough and for many of us time consuming. I, and I’m sure many of you, have to rely on our experience, existing knowledge and aspirations as well as the valued input of our friends and (ex-)colleagues to help us sort the “wheat from the chaff“. (Valuable from the worthless)

2: Testing (where possible) – Once we find the potentially “valuable” resources, tools etc., it’s important to find time to test/vet them.

That’s where you have an advantage over me. I no longer have learners to try things out with or to get them to try out. 

For some curations, learners are an essential testing tool. I tend to rope in ex-colleagues if they are about.

It doesn’t stop there.

Once tested and found to be “quality” it’s important to store “them” and be able to find them again. 

Having good tools at our disposal is crucial so that the hard work we go through to test/vet resources/tools etc., doesn’t go to waste.

By using a system of tags that allow you to categorize those resources (and find them later), doesn’t just save time, it also helps, when required, to locate and utilize the best curations for the desired outcomes.

For this, I use Scoop.It, which brings use nicely to… 

3: Sharing Scoop.It is one of many tools that allows us to share our learning and curated resources, adding to the global knowledge.

Remember, alone we are smart but together we can be brilliant! 

You can see what I mean by visiting my Scoop.It page  Just left click the “funnel” to filter my curations by tag.

Go on try it – you know you want to! 

I should point out that only what I consider to be the best is added to my technologies Scoop.It but there are others that you or others may find useful as well.

So, I post their links to others via Twitter, Facebook, Muzy, Reblemouse, Blogs and My website acljohn.com, as and when I find them. More recently I’ve used the following hash-tag #FACEandS Search on Facebook and Twitter, in particular or visit my FE and Skills Learning Wall at acljohn.schudio.com to view the embedded posts (and more)

I feel “Curation” is becoming increasingly important and being able to filter information quickly and retrieve the saved information even quicker are skills we all need to develop and help our learners develop too. 

Whatever you do, please SHARE! 

PLEASE don’t be a…


John Dalziel
Retired eLearning Adviser



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