Participate in a New Community

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 9.21.13 PMGoal 22: Participate in a New Community! of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators

“Things keep going on, they overlap and blur, your story is part of many other stories, and there is no telling where any of them may lead.” ~ Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

This year’s 30 Goals Challenge theme is, “This is MY Moment.” Each goal focuses on getting educators to believe their plans of action now will lead to positive changes and transformation in their teaching and learning environments. Join our our 30 Goals Facebook community to vote on goals and receive support.

My Reflection

One of the most exciting moments when developing our Personal/Passionate Learning Networks is finding communities in which we belong. You begin to exchange resources, ideas, support and experiences with each other and learn from each other. These conversations and experiences often grow into online friendships that sometimes result in face to face meetings or collaborative projects. Not all online communities are active and engaging. Finding the one that makes you feel at home can take time and you might have to explore many communities and social networks. Personally, I find communities that have developed around Twitter chats and Facebook groups are some of the most active, close-knit, and supportive. This year I am testing Google Communities since I think the platform offers valuable resources for engaging and sharing.

Many of the 30 Goals participants this year have been incredible at making our new 30 Goals Facebook community feel like a home. We are active daily and the teachers there are very supportive. They also offer encouragement, help, and valuable feedback. I have been very blessed to have such great teachers join this new 30 Goals community. They help me feel inspired.

Starting the Facebook group and finding this new community this year has motivated me to explore other communities online. I think visiting other communities, even for a short time, helps expose me to different thoughts and experiences. I also meet new people to add to my PLN. I don’t make each of these online communities my home, but I do enjoy seeing what other communities are doing and how they engage with each other and create a welcoming environment. I also enjoy testing the various social networks and platforms to see how they contribute or hinder the process of developing a community.

You can find educators online and interact with them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Edmodo, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, Nings, Wikis, and many other areas. This year I have noticed the use of  badges to encourage participation and engagement.  I am curious to see how this impacts the growth and engagement of online educator communities.

Do you feel like you have an online community you regularly visit and have made your home or center for professional development? What makes the engagement and interaction so enriching?

For this goal:

Short-term goal- Visit a new community this year. This can be online or face-to-face. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Participate in a Twitter Chat you’ve never participated in before. I recently have participated in the #EdchatDE conversations that are both in German and English. Hootsuite app translates my tweets for me! Here’s a Quick Start to Twitter Chats and a compiled list of Twitter chats and times!
  • Participate in an online project
  • Join a Massive Open Online Course. We are hosting the ELT Techniques free course which is taking place now till December. You get a certificate for completing at least 4 sessions.
  • You can also participate in the upcoming EVO sessions that take place in January 2014, 5 weeks covering a variety of topics. You can join me and over 10 other tutors who will host the Creating the ePerfect eTextbook session. Find out more here,
  • Join an Open Online Conference. The Global Education Conference just took place and we just finished with the Reform Symposium Online Conference in October. We will be starting a #RSCONChat in the next few weeks that hosts conversations led by the presenters. Our first guest is our past keynote, John Spencer, who is also the author of Wendell the Worst Wizard.

I’ve also participated in new communities locally. 2 years ago I moved back to the US from Germany and wanted to meet new friends. I joined and got together with a monthly pug community, writing groups, and event groups. It’s been a fun experience and I have had many great adventures. Rosco, my pug, has met some new friends as well.

Long-term goal- Make it a point to participate in different communities, especially if you feel that you are in a rut or need inspiration. Changing our environment and the people we surround ourselves with can lead to new ideas or projects.


Visit a new online community and let us know how you enjoyed the experience.

Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEdu, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, or adding a comment below! All goals are organized in this 30 Goals Livebinder.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Please fill out this Google Form if you reflected on at least 1 goal so you will be listed in a 30 Goals blog list and on a 30 Goals Twitter list.

Bookmark and Share

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

2 thoughts on “Participate in a New Community

  1. Dear Shelly,
    This has been an amazing year for me and I think for all of us in the 30 goals challenge team. Yes, this place feels home to us.
    When I shared my goal Nº4 I was about to to choose: “This year I would like to dare be a presenter at a conference as a way to give my PLN something back”. I feel all I have learnt is because there are so many educators who generously hold our hands and make us better teachers and better human beings. But it was something that had to do with leaving my comfort zone as well, or dealing with my inner fears, or maybe just because I love the behind the scenes. I will not achieve the goal I set, and I think it has to do with fact I couldn’t dare set the goal I really kept in my heart and had to do with gratitude.
    However I loved being a moderator at RSCON and even loved Chiew calling us to do more, and I felt somehow I was helping others.
    Lastly, though I didn’t dare set that goal I will have the chance to be involved as a moderator at EVO, and I have to say: “Thank you Shelly”.
    I am working hard to do the best I can, because I want to give my best, the best I can.
    We are almost finishing classes in this side of the world, it’s a time I feel emotional, though I feel tired and need a time to rest, and refill batteries I have always found it hard to say good bye to my students, even when I know most of them will return the following year, but I never know.
    Shelly, do you realise how much you have done, how much you do? I read and listen to you and I feel that if you were my daughter I would feel so proud. You are a community builder dear young lady. And more, you are part of our lives, at least that’s how I feel. I even think about your wedding, can you believe that?
    Well, this looks like a letter but it is meant to be a comment to express gratitude and because what you write touches all my senses.

    1. Hi Debbie,

      That is so sweet. And no way I am too old to be your daughter. I like your dare, because you do incredible work and more to hear about it. Thank you for agreeing to take part in the EVO :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>