I have recently been listening to inspiring Podcasts that have made me think. One of them was by Bob Sprankle who replayed a Keynote by Cheryl Nussbalm-Beach given to the state technology conference in Maine.
The thing she mentioned that has really got me thinking is Personal Learning Networks. This is a term that has been thrown around recently. (especially by people who don't seem to sleep and like to Twitter :-) But for some reason it is really connecting to me this time hearing it. I am not sure why. I guess before I always thought "that makes sense.... everyone should have one", but I really didn't think about who was in mine or what it has meant.
So, I made an Inspiration chart in my head to help me think about it and I am going to make it also on this computer when I get done blogging (if I am not interrupted and totally forget). For this blog I am going to do it in the linear way I am used to. What I just realized that it is an expanded online Personal Learning Network that has gotten me going and kept me learning for 25 years!! (yes, I am that old).
First it was Andy Carvin who I stumbled onto in the mid-90s. He had a website, which is probably still up there called "My Waste of Bandwidth" (or something close to that). He is now writing a blog called "Learning Now" at PBS and Twittering and everything else... He is one of those people who must not sleep. When I read what he had to say it really opened my mind and made so much sense. From that I joined a discussion list called WWWEDU. The list still exists, but is not as active because people have moved on to blogs and twitter. I learned SO much from reading that list and my Personal Learning Network expanded. Although I was teaching in a school where not too many people understood what I was thinking and although I moved several times I always kept that Personal Learning Network. I also joined another list called "techstaffdevelop" run by Barbara Bray (another tireless educator) the CEO of My eCoach. I had the pleasure of meeting both Andy and Barbara at different NECC conferences by noticing their NAMETAGS and being shocked to meet a person face to face that I knew online. So, that is one node that will be on my PLN chart.
Then there are the people I worked with in Missouri and Utah at the eMINTS project (or eMINTS National Center). Each day I realize how much I learned from Monica, Cynthia , and Jennifer and the others that I worked with there. What I learned came with me and I am still in touch and learning with some of them. I also met others during that time who I learned a great deal from, among them David Warlick, Bernie Dodge, Ferdi Serim, and many others.
There are the people I met through my interest in READING instruction. I especially appreciate Donald Leu, who probably does not remember who I am, but who graciously let me read and cite one of his articles that had not been published yet when I was doing my Masters in Ed Tech. Being a part of the Mosaic list and the Reading discussion list from IRA.
Well, the interruption happened.... So I will have to continue tomorrow...
(I want to add that by naming people I am not trying to impress anyone, but just expressing the amazement of connections that can be made and life long learning that can happen because of technology.)