#etmooc has my brain bouncing from one great idea and challenge to another. One challenge that is resonating with me is the idea of accepting the responsibility of sharing and connecting more purposefully and deliberately with other educators more often, inspired by Dean Shareski.
At the same time, the idea of a personal/professional learning NEIGHBORHOOD (PLN)—started by Ben Wilkoff who inspired Sheri Edwards who in turn inspired Laura Coughlin (who named me as a person in her personal neighborhood—I am honored) and shared the concept with me—caught my attention. This interaction resulted in the creation of Connect in the Middle Neighborhood a place where middle level teachers of students from grades 5-8 can connect and share on a deeper level. Sheri created the wiki because she was inspired by what she has learned so far from #etmooc and Ben, to create a neighborhood where residents could “support each other in efforts to transform education, to make changes for our students’ futures.” Wow! It amazes me that such meaningful connections have occurred in such a short amount of time, but do you see what I mean about my brain bouncing from one great idea or challenge to the next?
None of this interaction would have been possible without technology, particularly, Twitter. Twitter via Tweetdeck is my classroom door. When I walk through it, I have unlimited learning possibilities. From January thru March I will be learning with and from other #etmooc participants. At the same time, I can walk through my classroom door and follow and virtually participate in such awesome learning experiences as last weekend’s #educon and/or numerous #edcamps (thanks, Cybrary Man). Through my classroom door I am able to volunteer to help out at #EdCampSTL, which takes place on February 9, 2013 (shameless plug). My classroom door also allows me to participate in #edugood A Project 365 to Focus on the Good in Education begun by Krissy Venosdale. Yes, Twitter is a pretty awesome classroom door.
So, when I walk through my awesome classroom door:
Am I in the ‘…process of establishing myself as a node in a broad network of distributed creativity’ (paraphrased Joichi Ito)?
Am I a resident ‘…in a neighborhood who rather than demonstrating the far reaches of my network, should be introducing my connections to the "locals" or my neighbors’ (paraphrased Ben Wilkoff)?
Are these two views of connected learning saying the same thing, or are they vastly different? Is it important to distinguish between the two?