The growth of #PHYSEDagogy
Reflecting on the last nine months, the evolution of PHYSEDagogy has been fun to watch. Honestly, it started as an idea that it would be fun to do a Google Hangout on Air where #pegeeks could get together to discuss physical education where we weren’t limited to 140 characters as on Twitter. I remember being part of a Twitter conversation with Matt Pomeroy where the hashtag #pegeeksunite was used and that was the spark that started it all. At the same time, I was in the middle of my graduate research looking at teachers using non-traditional forms (social media, EdCamp) of professional development. So I thought to myself, why not? So in early January, we did our very first #pegeeksunite Hangout on Air where I had the opportunity to chat with 7 or 8 other PE teachers around the world for an hour long conversation.
One of the underlying principles of EdCamp is that the people who come are the ones who were meant to be there. Much of the EdCamp concept is rooted in Open Space Technology and that is how PHYSEDagogy has grown. I have never had a formal agenda, business plan, or long term goals with this project. Much of it has been spontaneous and I try or implement new things as soon as I have a new idea. It may seem a little chaotic to operate this way, but I feel entirely liberated and very creative with having the ability to do things on a whim without having to wait for any sort of approval. In education (and many other facets of life), change and paradigm shifts often take a great deal of time to really take hold. So it is refreshing to have a platform where change is instantaneous.
In February, I had an idea that it might be fun to have a 5 minute conversation with another Physical Education teacher from somewhere on the planet. My inspiration for this was from all of the Sunday night conversations I have watched throughout my life on ESPN’s Sportscenter. I don’t think I have ever held to that 5 minute window, but some of the conversations I have had have been fantastic. I don’t quite remember when the term #PHYSEDagogy came to me, but it was right before that first conversation I had (with Matt Pomeroy) and the #PHYSEDagogy: Teacher Spotlight series was born.
As the year went on, I started to see some fantastic conversations taking place in the Physical Education community on Twitter and through PEPLC. I wanted to continue to push forward with some new ideas for PHYSEDagogy. I realized that I couldn’t do this by myself. To be honest, I never wanted PHYSEDagogy to be about me, I always viewed it as an umbrella under which several leaders in the community could have their voice heard to discuss best practices in physical education to push our profession forward. In fact, I have many other educational interests (particularly educational leadership) and I know that my time with PHYSEDagogy will not be forever. I wanted to make sure that when my time contributing to this project was finished, that the conversation and idea of PHYSEDagogy did not stop with me.
In August, Naomi Hartl (@MissHartl) and Matt Pomeroy (@physed_pomeroy) tweeted at me that we should do a Google Hangout on Google Scripts. I have been utilizing scripts since early in 2013 and I am totally hooked. We did our first hangout on gClassFolders and I felt that the three of us had instant chemistry working together. I have worked with Matt quite a bit before, but this was the first time I had really worked with Naomi. After our second hangout on Autocrat, I felt more strongly than ever that it was time to ask them if they would be interested in becoming a three person team on PHYSEDagogy. They were both interested and just like that we became a team.
Not only do Matt, Naomi and I have great chemistry in working together, we all have unique voices and strengths to bring to the table. As PHYSEDagogy continues to grow, I am very excited to continue working and learning with them while continuing to push the Physical Education profession forward.