Monday, September 27, 2010

From Concept to Reality....A Very Humbling Journey By. Bill Brannick

Today I am honored to have Bill Brannick, principal at Bonner & Prendie in Philadelphia, and my partner in this adventure add an incredible post from his blog The Constant Learner.

From Concept to Reality....A Very Humbling Journey

My journey into my PLN, Twitter and my own professional development has been documented in this blog. My personal growth on Twitter and a growing relationship with the great folks at the Van Meter Community Schools was highlighted in my first post. My own experience has taken me from one who truly doubted social media in education, while at the same time knowing little about it, to one who embraces this medium on a daily basis.

During my May visit to Van Meter I had a great experience and even better conversations. In one of those conversations, Shannon McClintock Miller and I talked about teaching our students together about PLN’s. She was completing her first year teaching a Web 2.0/PLN class and we discussed what an opportunity it would be to expand this learning experience to students outside of Iowa! (Present me with an opportunity for my students to learn and count me in!) The background of the class has been documented in our first class blog post, written by Shannon.

This post is not to rehash the background of how the class started, rather about the experience I have had since school has started. On the Philadelphia side of this Web 2.0/PLN class, we are starting something new! The background for the class was developed throughout the summer of 2010. Only a few days before the school year started I was officially given the opportunity to speak with my students and parents about the class itself. I had a relatively small yet very spirited turn-out for the meeting about the class. All of those who came to hear about the class signed-up for the class. A great start indeed!!

Our time together has been relatively short. However, I have seen the eyes of my students wide open! I have seen a willingness of each of the students to stay after the “bell!” (I am running the class as an extra-curricular class/activity; therefore, no formal ending.) The students don’t want to run out of the room when I say we’re done. Best of all, we have had some great conversation! Conversation about what they post to the Internet, about what tools they can utilize to use their time more efficiently and how to connect with those around the world.

When Shannon Miller wrote the post about the class, I literally had tears in my eyes. (I am proud to say I can be an emotional person!) The reason for my teary eyes…because I have had the opportunity to see students energized, interested and engaged with others their age about how to grow as an individual!

I am humbled by the willingness of Shannon, the students of Van Meter and the students of my school, Bonner & Prendie, to allow me to experience this with you. Each of you are my inspiration to become better each day! Thank you for your support, trust and respect!


  1. This is such a great story I think it's great that we as students are excited about this class. Speaking for my fellow classmates I think we are all ready and energetic about PLN class. I know I can't wait for class everyday we are connecting with so many other students and really starting to get to know one an other it's exciting it is all coming together.

    It is such a helpful and fun class to be in. I love how it is so informal and laid back. I think because it is so laid back I feel like I am working even harder to connect with people, and learn about all these web tools. It is mind boggling to think about how much stuff there is on the internet. It is so great how we are learning all of these wonderful tools to help that help us use all of our sources on the internet. I can't wait for what else we are going to learn about!

  2. Julia,

    Thank you for your comment!! As you can see from my post, you and your classmates in Iowa and Pennsylvania are truly inspiring me each day! Keep up the great work!!

    Mr. Brannick