In my view, connected learning and PLNs are the best things since personal computers and blogs. My PLN looks like a major league baseball all-star team. I know that many of the people like NASCAR versus baseball, but I will stand by my metaphor. I think Steve Anderson will maybe forgive me.
I follow some of the biggest names in education and educational technology and some of them even follow me back! I often times feel like a really little fish in comparison. I mean the people in my PLN are located all over the world, have presented at numerous conferences (many of them keynote speakers), and some have won awards such as teacher of the year, best blogger, or top innovator in education.
I share my PLN by being totally open on the web. I make sure that my digital footprint stays on a mostly professional level, my Facebook page does include some people that I went to high school with and I do not share a lot about my family. I also will be sharing my PLN with people at a conference I will be presenting at next month. I haven’t presented at a conference in about ten years, but I feel so strongly about the power of PLN and twitter that I feel obligated to go out there and share.
I also want to share how I use my PLN as I begin studying for a self-directed EdD in the open and how the educational theories of heutagogy, connectivism, and peeragogy help to form me and hopefully inform my PLN. I am also trying to get a presentation spot at the TIC Technology Integration Conference in Dubuque, Iowa in June. I am hoping to meet one of the people in my PLN face 2 face. Vicki Davis, one of the co-creators of the flat classroom project will be the keynote speaker!
Every classroom should be able to support collaborative connected learning. I truly believe in the ideas supported in the flat classroom project, especially the idea that we can knock down the walls of the classroom by involving students in real life, real time, global education. It doesn’t matter if there are just a couple of computers in the classroom or if you have a total 1:1 program at your school. Global educational experiences are at your fingertips.
Connected learning should be a part of every curriculum. Whether it is part of standards, the core curriculum, or not at all, every teacher has a responsibility to lead their students to becoming connected learners.