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Online networks aren't the best CPD ever

As a PGCE student in 2003, I was introduced to the Staffordshire Learning Network's geography Forum. It started in 1999, and many of its inhabitants have been blogging for over a decade. This isn't a story about bashing networks, nor is it the words of a wise old elf wriggling out.  I have benefited massively from social media, and it is very useful so it would be disingenuous of me to bash them.
Just that, Twitter, Blogs, Forums, TeachMeets are all great, but it's the people that make them great, not the social networks that facilitate them. What is more, it is our decisions as users around how we curate the different feeds that enables great CPD packages to be put together. It's the creativity of individuals that create some fantastic opportunities.
However, true CPD is rooted in the deliberate practice of skills, and although ideas can be shared over networks, unless these ideas are practised and perfected in classrooms, their impact is limited.
Social networks allow people to reach a much wider audience, much quicker than ever before, but it has also made it more difficult to ensure high quality.
It's quite easy for the quality to be drowned out by the white noise. How much do you really know about the people whose wisdom you follow? How authentic are their voices? Do they practice what they preach?
On the other hand, I know some who don't value new contributors or contributions to social media and TeachMeets - they may be sharing something not of interest or a well-worn groove. Personally, I think those new to social media provide the best value.  The new voices are more valuable than the old.  Some events can feel like the same people sharing the same stories to the same audience.  To those people I say get involved!
How critical are you of online media? Are you a passive consumer, or a critical creator? 


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