Welcome to my Professional Learning blog.
My name is Matt Nicoll and I am a high school teacher in New Zealand, interested in improving the classroom experience for my students. I am open to trialing new approaches and hope to use this blog to reflect on my ideas and practices.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

#edSMAC: Stage Two

At the start of the term, I was lucky enough to start working with Philippa from Samuel Marsden Collegiate on a collaborative project, helping our peers build their respective PLNs. I talked about what I hoped this would achieve in an earlier blog post.

After starting with a hiss and a roar, I got a small group into using Twitter and TweetDeck, along with setting up search columns with the hashtags: #edSMAC and #edchatNZ. However, I have hit a bit of a stumbling block trying to move to "Stage Two". Philippa has left me for dust with the great work she is doing with her peers! Time to step up to the plate again...

From the meetings with these great colleagues of mine, I jotted down their goals from working with me and being on Twitter; they all want to build more connections with teachers of the same subjects, as well as other more individual goals. Twitter is not proving successful for all of my peers. Sometimes it is because they are not active enough on it (yet); sometimes it is because there aren't many other educators in their subject area out there tweeting. So, I need to find some other ways to help these wonderful people build their respective PLNs. Ironically, I sent out an SOS via...Twitter.

Another avenue to help my peers fell into my lap after EduIgnite last week. Sadly, none of my little group were available to attend EduIgnite, but I think the conversation that happened with Pauline Henderson, Bridget Compton-Moen, Aimee Sibson and Rob Clarke might just open some doors for them. #ChchEd was "reborn" (it had been used shortly after the earthquakes by Dr Cheryl Doig in an attempt to connect Christchurch educators). We have a Teach-Meet tomorrow and I can see this being a way to help connect the Christchurch education community, including my little #edSMAC crew.

As a side note, I have also been lucky enough to be granted funding to send myself and five peers to the #edchatNZ Conference in August. All of the staff going with me are part of #edSMAC, so I am very hopeful and expectant that this conference will help build PLNs even more.

So, #edSMAC is hopefully about to enter Stage Two at St Andrew's College...


  1. Have been thinking about this too Matt. There is an interesting disconnect between some teachers and using twitter and I don't think it is subject based. I am not primarily connected with Arts educators but people who love teaching. I wonder if this might be about mindset and how we each view ourselves as both educators and learners. I am hoping that being at #edchatnz will help them see the benefit of a PLN. I also think #edchat is the ideal way to get some robust discussion and see the value of being with more minds.

    1. Very concisely said. I agree wholeheartedly and share the same hopes