In April 2015 I was fortunate to be involved in a movement worldwide that gave a new definition to connected educator. My Twitter friends were gaining momentum and adding a platform to their social media swag called VOXER. It was such an amazing few months when VOXER appear on the scene. VOXER gave personality and voice to TWITTER like never before. Rather than tweeting a question we were able to post a voice message in a chat room that then was answered by multiple professionals from a variety of background adding instant depth to my Physical Education Curriculum. Personally I started connecting with my International Colleagues that I had recently engaged with at the SHAPE Seattle conference. I was invited in multiple chat rooms that ranged from Primary School Chat to Excellence in Tech. All lead by some of my Twitter Friends who I admired for their leadership. As I engaged I also noted the lack of local colleagues that were in these chat rooms as well as the separation between different inter-continental curriculums that at time hindered the take up of information.
My passion and drive lead me to the conclusion that as a professional I had a chance to create some unique and different in Australia that had never been done before after which the AUSSIE PHYSED CHAT was born. I encouraged two close colleagues to download the App onto their iPhones and instantly we connected on a more personal level. At this stage one of these colleagues I had never met in person. Voxer had created a link that connected three Physical Education departments in three different schools. We spoke of goals and lessons we were conducting and even had students engage with one another through posting short videos and asking for student led feedback.
The momentum slowly grew through the excitement of my colleagues and were we started with 3 rapidly grew to 9 which exploded to 27. We currently have listed 108 educators of Australian origin active on VOXER in the Aussie PhysEd Chat. The conversations were rapid, explosive and exciting. They entertained and challenged our practises. We have our theorists, practical educators, school leaders, Principals, corporate business owners, experienced teachers, graduate teachers as well as pre-service teachers all connecting on a variety of topics.
The groups excitement grew as we headed into both the Tasmania State Achper Conference and the Victoria Achper two day conference in November where the Voxer Members would meet in person for the first time. This was a surreal moment for those that connected as we had moved from a Twitter handle to a voice and now a physical presence in Physical Education. Both conferences allowed those there to give voice and video access to the Aussie PhysEd Chat via messages which had an exciting flow on affect to all involved. It allowed those not able to visit a chance to still be connected to the conference and receive the benefits of the professional learning so that their students were not left out.
In 2016 Aussie PhysEd Chat recognised that the volume of content being delivered everyday actually had the adverse affect of some teachers and as a result would disconnect from the group. Therefore we realigned what we were doing to create a variety of Aussie Physed Chat rooms to appeal on a differentiated level. These included:
As the creator of the Aussie PhysEd Chat I acknowledge that this passion by all educators had now grown larger than I had time for and I was not able to lead every channel. I created a Facilitators group(leadership team) from around the country that I had appointed as the Heads of each of the Chat Rooms to be able to guide the direction of the chat and lead educators to the change they are searching for.
As a facilitator group we are in the process now of developing a set of values and practises that we will then use to lead our own groups and create a connected platform that is unique and engaging. Educators are able to acknowledge their purpose and understand that their views and opinions are valued not judged. Within this facilitator group made of some of the most experienced and passionate educators across Australia we have three advisors who are there to offer advice and support to each of the Heads.
Some of our notable achievements so far as a network has to be:
The Aussie PhysEd Chat Voxer group are represented in each State and Territory within Australia as well as Singapore, China and Canada. The core connection is simply being passionate.
If you want to be involved in the Aussie PhysEd Chat please visit the following:
Top 5 Reasons VOXER needs to be on your device:
Number 5- Turn your 1 person show into a multi person show
Number 4- Allows you to demonstrate the word COLLABORATION
Number 3- Provides you with a look into someone else’s classroom
Number 2- Helps develop your passion for sharing and receiving
Number 1- CONNECTS you with like minded educators from anywhere in the world.