From lurker to …

It seems a long time ago that I wrote my first blog post I am a lurker…but I am changing… I was ready for some changes to my teaching practice however I did not anticipate the transformation that enrolling in COETAIL would allow me. Welcome to Joel 2.0!

COETAIL has opened my eyes to a vast array of possibilities in the classroom. I have enjoyed learning from and with so many brilliant people that I can not name them all. Some are local ( check out our  COETAIL lunches at ISL, every Wednesday) some are more further afield. It has been a real roller-coaster of learning. And what has pulled me along? Pedagogy has been the driver. Technology has been the accelerator. 


In the past year I have been sharing my thoughts regularly through my blog. I have blogged about the classroom, the learning that has been taking place, the good and sometimes bad. But the biggest thing behind blogging is the reflection element to it. It allows us as Educators time to think about what went well, what could be improved, and what could have been.  You see blogging is our job.

I have a new role this year as Activator of Thinking and Learning. We are making our thinking visible and creating a culture of thinking with help from Ron Ritchcart and Project Zero at Harvard. I thought that a way of making our roles visible was to create a blog to show what we are doing and all the brilliant things that are happening in our school. Tanya gave me the spark to host it at COETAIL so that we could gain a bigger audience and create further conversations around the world. Welcome to Thinking at ISLux.

So now I am running 2 blogs. Not only that for my Course 5 final project Travelling Tales. I created another website to host resources, information and host out Travelling Tales etc.

So now there are 2 blogs and 1 website that I am looking after. This is from someone who just over 14 months ago had never created/organised a blog/website. I think my thinking is becoming pretty visible!

Photo Credit: e-box 65 Flickr via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: e-box 65 Flickr via Compfight cc

Commenting on Blogs

Reading and commenting on other blogs also gives a greater understanding to our role. It is our job to model the correct behaviour to children. COETAIL has really set the tone for this. Starting commenting with a positive response, asking questions for further information, giving help and advice with links to other readings/ videos etc are all how we want to be spoken to in a conversation. And that is what blogging and commenting is. An Online Conversation. You see online and offline it is all the same.  


Twitter has been a great source of information and a way of connecting with others around the world. I am connected to many educators around the world. Getting amazing ideas every single day. In fact I have become quite obsessed with Twitter. Currently I am using 4 different Twitter Accounts. This is from the person who  previously used Twitter to check the latest football gossip. Twitter is like eating cake. Hard to stop!

Photo Credit: @Twitter Flickr via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: @Twitter Flickr via Compfight cc

All  of the Twitter accounts are for different audiences and for different purposes.

    1. @bevansjoel – a way of connecting and collaborating with other educators across the world, reading about current ideas, reading new articles, sharing what I am up to, Twitter chats, Professional Development, you name it…
    2. @mrbevsclassroom – is an insight into what is happening in the classroom. Connecting with other Classes around the world, Giving children a voice/audience to their learning
    3. @travellingtale – A Twitter Account to help my Course 5 Project. A way of connecting classes through Travelling Tale
    4. @thinkingatISLux – A new Twitter Account to share what is happening at International School of Luxembourg as we strive to create a Culture of Thinking in the Lower School. This is to share good practice in our school, share ideas from others and current reading and ideas into visible thinking. #islthinks

Twitter Chat

Twitter Chats are an amazing way to have a conversation with other like minded people.The hashtag is such a powerful thing.

There is such a variety of chats or conversations that you can really find what ever you want to. You can join in, lurk or do at bit of both. Personally I find the slow chats a fantastic way of being able to join the conversation when time allows. Lately I have been joining in with #AfricaED and #ITSEIntSch because of this reason. However I have taken part in a few others too including #COETAILchat. I recently came across //” target=”_blank”>#creativtychat that interests me too. Choose one that suits you. Join in the conversation.


I am connecting with people around the world who are asking for feedback or ideas. Joy Walker asked me to connect with her so that we can share ideas and resources about Seesaw, Blogging and e-portfolios. Joy created a great Flipboard Magazine which I contribute to. NKS reached out for some feedback on her amazing Course 5 project.

Global Collaborations

I recently was also asked for my permission to use my tweets in a presentation that was made by Ryan Jenkins ( a Lego Tinkerer)

Screenshot from Twitter. CC J.Bevans
Screenshot from Twitter. CC J.Bevans


From Lurker to… Connector. 

I think that biggest element of COETAIL to me is the connections that I have created along the way and continue to do so. I look forward to continuing this journey over the coming weeks, months and years after COETAIL. I am now applying this to my classroom and my class. That is why I decided to create Travelling Tales. So that they can connect and collaborate with others around the world to create a  Travelling Tale.

Would these connections be possible without technology?

Photo Credit: Neil. Moralee Flickr via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Neil. Moralee Flickr via Compfight cc

5 thoughts on “From lurker to …

  1. I remember that first blog post! You have really shown how transformative a PLN can be. I think you have outlined a massive change in terms of your online learning. And equally importantly, I think it shows the impact of a teacher’s PLN on student learning. Amazing stuff!


    1. Thanks Rebecca. It is much appreciated. It has been such a fantastic journey throughout COETAIL. I have learnt so much from fellow COETAILers and from my PLN. I see my online learning community as a huge part of my Professional Development and I honestly do not know how I would cope with them on a day to day but also in the long term. I really do thank COETAIL( and you) for pushing me out of my comfort zone and transforming me as a globally connected educator. Thanks!


  2. Joel, First of all, you don’t need to reply to this. this is not a ‘oh I have to leave a comment for someone comment’ I genuinely mean the following message.

    I have consistently come back to your blog as you always make it interesting and ad something to the week’s reading.

    I have to say we started this course at the same time but you have left me feeling ashamed. You have done so much with your PLN and I feel inspired to do something about mine. I’ve been concentrating a lot on ‘in the class’ change but I can see from your Tweets and blogging how much you are getting from web2.0 and I am determined to follow suit.

    Awesome stuff and this post just proves it!


    1. Thanks Iain. Your comments mean so much to me.
      I have really enjoyed the whole COETAIL process and learnt so much from all the people on the courses. I think one of the biggest aspects about COETAIl which makes it so successful is the huge community element to it. Learning in isolation is challenging and difficult. Learning in a group is so much more manageable. You find people who you connect with and it makes for a much more meaningful experience.
      As COETAIl comes to an end for us it really is about connecting with those who we can learn from and I will continue to check in on you in the future.
      Good luck with it all.
      Thanks again for your comments.
      Cheers, Joel


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