Over on Facebook, I’m making a special effort to keep the TCEA Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) closed group going with fresh tips and content. When I started facilitating MIE sessions earlier this year (I’ve had a chance to facilitate 10 across Texas), one of the challenges was reconciling who would be attending at these events. As you might imagine, community building can be tough, albeit rewarding, work. I’m always inspired by Sarah of Edumatch fame, not to mention many others.
My goals were simpler–to build a community of Texas educators, and sure, why not, a few folks from outside Texas. The community had to tap into a need for educators to be heard, to have a place to share their ideas. Robyn H. inspired the Facebook closed group since she has a group for US Microsoft Innovative Educators. I had already tried, unsuccessfully, to create a Voxer group, Skype group, Diigo group. The idea came one session when I asked the audience, “How many Facebook users are there here?” and the whole audience raised their hands. Facebook, not Twitter, was the virtual space teachers, principals, technology directors seemed to inhabit.
The group is now 195 educators strong. Wow.
The group that came about for Texas educators is TCEAMIE. You can join at http://ly.tcea.org/jointceamie
What lessons did I learn?
- Go to where the people are, don’t try to make them come to you.
- Take advantage of multimedia to respond to questions and issues.
- Break the rules, invite others to join who have questions and/or responses.
- Tinker until you get it right.
- Ask for forgiveness.