A few years ago we took a family vacation to a widely spread out location. The kids suggested that we use Voxer, a Walkie Talkie app that we could download on our phones to communicate. Now of course, they were looking for an opportunity to venture off without adult supervision. Regardless, the app served the purpose, but afterwards, I was sick of late night chirping when the kids would Vox (term coined to represent a message sent) one another. I eventually wiped it off my phone, never to be used again.
Well, I went to an Emerge training in Region 10 and one of the presenters Charles Cooper @Thrasymachus, mentioned using Voxer as a PLN. Immediately, the chirping began to ring in my head, the late night giggling of my kids started haunting me. No way was I going to download it again. That only lasted a few minutes as I found myself convinced enough to try anything to meet students where they are. So, I looked inside the Vox… What I found was beyond my expectations. Well, considering I didn’t have any positive ones, that’s not saying much. However, I was completely inspired by a few of the chats that I received invites for. The groups were filled with savvy educators eager to share and learn from one another regarding various topics around Ed Tech. Each group had representation from all over the map with various levels of expertise that in the end created a harmonious balance. Some groups create conversation around a daily topic or question. Others utilize the space to brainstorm ideas about how to revamp education. While another group may use it support each other regarding a specific task. Whatever the motivation, Voxer provided a space for each that ventured beyond 140 characters. I have found myself more engaged and encouraged to go out and conquer my educational atmosphere with extreme urgency based on some of the conversation. However, sometimes the conversation can get so involved that it is difficult to keep up, especially with members residing in different time zones.
One morning while catching up to what was being said around the question of the day, I found myself being followed by my Assistant Superintendent. She heard some of the conversation and gave me a puzzled look. I simply explained that I was getting my PD on the go. This gave me a chance to explain Voxer and How it can be used for Professional Development and from that, I have been given a training session to demonstrate to others. Considering I’m still the new guy, this was a big deal and all because I looked inside the Vox.
If you decide to take a look, let me know what you see.