Connecting 131031

leavesI have enjoyed posting about Connecting in October.

Following up on links and suggestions has made me more aware of my personal learning (connecting) environment.

A post by Jackie Gerstein encouraged me to think about how I might visualise this environment. I liked the way Jackie encouraged her students to create a PLE diagram that included at least ten different online communities and then to reflect on this PLE.

Jackie’s post includes Cynthia Mills‘ reflection:

The first thing that I learned about myself as I created my diagram of my PLE was that I’ve come a long way since the beginning of this class when it comes to being involved in social media and actually forming a PLE! To be honest, I’m not sure I even knew what a PLE was. Not only do I see myself evolving, I see myself growing as an educator because now more than ever I am inspired by educators from all over the world. I think what makes this new-found knowledge even better is the fact that I am not intimated anymore; I’m having fun, and I’m not “afraid” of making a mistake anymore!

I do think fun and playfulness are keys to developing a personal learning (connecting) environment. Like Cynthia, I believe we grow as educators by sharing openly.

Bonnie Stewart has encouraged me to think about identity too. I liked her observation that “I think the conversation about becoming a networked educator needs to be – at least in part – a truly public conversation, one where random connections can be made and the scope and scale of the discussion isn’t limited by membership on a class list, even if that class list is free to sign up for”.

Bonnie will be facilitating a week-long conversation on “Building a Networked Identity: Becoming a Connected Educator” as part of the MOOC-ish course on Online Instruction for Open Educators. She has a one step guide to becoming a connected educator … “um, talk to people. Online, offline…network with people who are interesting and interested in stuff you find interesting. Learn. Grow”.


I enjoyed reading about Bonnie’s work and liked her description of her blog:

This space is intended to be both a public conversation and a breadcrumb trail of work and ideas in progress. Feel free to engage with these ideas, borrow these ideas (with attribution, please and thank you) or tell me I’m wrong about these ideas. Preferably civilly.

My October has been a delight following breadcrumb trails, conversing and reflecting.

Connecting, Collaborating and Cooperating

2844866760_b9d96a9568_oI received some fascinating incoming links this morning. They prompted me to think about the ‘C’ words: connecting, collaborating and cooperating.

#ETMOOC is onto the second week of the second topic of the course, Digital Storytelling – Multimedia, Remixes & Mashups. The Advice for Participants page for the course notes:

We’re aiming to carry on those important conversations in many different spaces – through the use of social networks, collaborative tools, shared hashtags, and in personalized spaces. What #etmooc eventually becomes, and what it will mean to you, will depend upon the ways in which you participate and the participation and activities of all of its members. You may even establish and grow your personal and professional learning network (PLN).

Stephen Downes’ OLDaily took me to this Creative Commons post by Billy Meike. In the post, Billy reports:

The future of Open is a dynamic landscape, ripe with opportunities to increase civic engagement, literacy, and innovation. Towards this goal, the Science Program at Creative Commons is teaming up with the Open Knowledge Foundation and members of the Open Science Community to facilitate the building of an open online course, an Introduction to Open Science. The actual build will take place during a hackathon-style “sprint” event on Open Data Day on Saturday, February 23rd and will serve as a launch course for the School of Open during Open Education Week (Mar 11-15).

Richard Byrne shared a link to maps of the telecommunication cables that cross under oceans and seas.

I enjoyed discovering that Greenland is connected.


After looking at the maps, it was interesting to note Ryan Lawler’s post about Intel’s plans to build a Virtual Cable service for web streaming video content.

Via Clyde Street Daily I picked up a post by Valdis Krebs on Arrows on Twitter. I thought it was an excellent demonstration of social network analysis. In his introduction Valdis notes that “looking at a social graph from Twitter we can tell a lot by following the arrows…”


  • who is aware of whom/what?
  • whom/what is getting attention?
  • who is involved in conversations on specific topics?
  • who is central, and who is peripheral to the discussions?

Thanks to a link from Jackie Gerstein, I found the text of a danah boyd talk (30 January). In her talk, danah suggested:

Actively cultivating the right social networks both to activate in the moment and to help propel lifelong learning are actually fundamentally crucial.

After a morning of ‘C’ links I returned to Stephen Downes’ 2010 discussion of Collaboration and Cooperation. I think Stephen’s discussion of Autonomy, Diversity, Openness, Interactivity is very helpful in distinguishing collaboration and cooperation.

As ever, I marvelled today at the creativity of those sharing their insights and admired the way others connect to them and share them. I was reminded of Lyn Hilt’s post at #ETMOOC, Networking by Passion.

With the rise of social media and genuine online communities forming around passions of all kinds, there is no reason why educational leaders should limit themselves in terms of how and with whom they network.

Photo Credits

Connect with a Classic (TexasEagle, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Frame Grab from Submarine Cable Map 2013.

Facilitator graph (Valdis Krebs)

130121 PLN Finds

31500846_f941121ba3_oI have had a productive morning following up on some links in my PLN alerts.

Whilst looking at a range of resources provided by Google, I found this 2010 introduction to a personal learning network. It is a five minute video shared by ThinkFiz via Google Sites.

Today’s Cowbird story, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, is written by Michelle Johnson. It helped me think about how we share stories and how these stories can become a focus of problem-based learning opportunities. A post by Jackie Gerstein, Providing Opportunities for learners to Tell Their Stories, gave me more food for thought.

I was particularly interested in Jackie’s link to Small Talks “a new website (under development) that provides educators with resources to assist students in researching, writing and recording their own lectures on subjects they’re passionate about”. I followed up Jackie’s discussion of story-telling with a read of her post from last year, Flipped Classroom: The Full Picture for Higher Education.

My next find was a report of Connected Learning.  The report:

advocates for broadened access to learning that is socially embedded, interest-driven, and oriented toward educational, economic, or political opportunity. Connected learning is realized when a young person is able to pursue a personal interest or passion with the support of friends and caring adults, and is in turn able to link this learning and interest to academic achievement, career success or civic engagement. This model is based on evidence that the most resilient, adaptive, and effective learning involves individual interest as well as social support to overcome adversity and provide recognition.

One way of connecting is through video. I have been looking at Google Hangouts as one option for connecting small communities of practice. A few days ago I found Keek (“a new kind of social network. It’s the easiest way to share video updates with friends. You can upload video status updates (“keeks”) using your webcam or the Keek app for Android and iPhone“).

Via Paper.Li this morning I found Peter Csathy’s post, Instagram for Video. I followed up on two of his links:

Peter has six requirements of an Instogram for Video service:

  • Easy-to-use HD video capture
  • Apple-like user experience: seamless integration with the video capture device and one-click filters, effects, private/public sharing
  • Immediate untethered fast file uploading to the cloud
  • Optimized cloud transcoding
  • Intuitive video content management from the device itself and any connected device
  • Intelligent and secure delivery/playback

On my journey today I came across two fascinating sites that were particularly engaging: Jesse Chapman and Tina Roth Eisenberg. Tina led me to Barry McGee with another kind of a story … and thoughts about re-presentation.

Photo Credit

barry_mcgee_mural_11 (Douglas LeMoine, CC BY-ND 2.0)