In his keynote address at the 2018 IB Global Conference in Vienna, Will Richardson had his entire audience raise their right hand and repeat after him: “I want to be found…by strangers on the internet.” An uncomfortable laugh followed, and it was clear by looking around the hall that many educators weren’t quite sure what to make of it all. (For those interested, Richardson describes this exercise, a staple of his talks, here.)

After reading the title of this week’s module, I have to admit, I was a little taken aback. A lurker. A word with such a negative connotation. After reading more, I realized (much to my disappointment) that it was a fairly accurate description of a lot of my professional time spent on social media.

I joined Twitter in 2012, but only really started using it in the Fall of 2017. My original intention in reactivating my Twitter was to provide me with a forum for sharing out the learning happening in my – what I thought at the time was a fairly unique – learning environment. 

Since that first tweet, I have become “connected” with so many great educators. After attending a few conferences, I started to realize the power of Twitter. The number of great educators that I followed began to increase, and for me, it became more of a platform to learn from others. While I do occasionally share an original tweet, most of my tweets are just retweets.

I want to be found by strangers on the internet.

I do.

As I laughed along with the crowd, while repeating these ten words, I saw the truth in the statement. Not only do I want to be found, but I want to connect with others. I want to share my thoughts and ideas, and engage in discussions. COETAIL is pushing me to do just this – to become a contributing member of my PLN.

From lurker to contributor. That is my goal.