Sunday, September 11, 2011

Alone, together - in my PLN

Here we are at the end of Week 2, what happened to Week 1?, I blinked and missed it. I have spent spare moments throughout yesterday catching up on reading and watching.

I enjoyed watching the keynote presentation from Alec Couros, it inspired me to finally put pen to paper and illustrate my PLN (Personal Learning Network) which is now a work in progress.

Something that struck me was the story about the girl who contacted Eric Whitacre (composer) and inspired him to create The Worlds Largest online choir . Eric used his online network to put forward a challenge which to date has seen him receive 2052 responses "it was all about connecting ....all around the world...these individuals alone, together". The phrase .... 'Alone, Together' made me realise that this is exactly what an online network allows, as it is a window for one person to connect to many like minded individuals.

Couros refers to Twitter as "one of the best professional development opportunities", I would certainly agree with this. I remember when I first connected to Twitter (March 2008) and I was sadly dissapointed because I was expecting to be able to make connections with many learning professionals - I followed 2 people, I tweeted twice then gave up.

When I connected again under my current profile kimmy_mc I was participating in an online course and had the opportunity to connect with a few people (followed a few people that they follow), I read a few things (so followed the authors), saw some retweets that I was interested in (and followed them) ...and it took off ...exponentially. Now I follow 155 people (not very many in the scheme of things) but I struggle to keep up with the volume of information that comes at me when I log onto Twitter. It is professional development in the palm of your hand. (literally, now that I have an iphone). Admittedly I am a lurker and I should share more, I will share more...just watch me!
As a result of creating an illustration of my PLN I was inspired to review my earlier posts on my FO2010 blog to reflect on 'where I came from' in those initial steps of my online journey.

Inspired by Alec Couros' family portraits, I included the above image. Also as an illustration of something that is so big you need to look for the finer detail, if you look closely you can see my tiny 1 year old (at the time) son sitting at the base of the tree. This was taken in the beautiful Queenstown Botanic Gardens in New Zealand on a family holiday - very happy memories.

I also watched the recording of Fridays Elluminate-Blackboard session. Todd did a great job explaining how to use Wordpress effectively as a blogging platform. What I would have given to have that type of instruction for Blogger when I first started blogging. I still have 2 seperate blogs as I am unable to merge blogs on Blogger - a bone of contention with me ... so if anyone has any suggestions please enlighten me.

A key take-away for me from Todd's presentation was to keep blog posts concise, or was that Lisa's recommendation? Clearly I need to work on that ! So many development opportunities. Speaking of which, I have not even addressed the questions that Lisa had re: Alec's presentation, perhaps these are becoming 2 seperate blog posts. 


emapey said...

You are not alone! You wrote "Now I follow 155 people (not very many in the scheme of things) but I struggle to keep up with the volume of information that comes at me when I log onto Twitter."

You can read about the Dunbar Number,
Human Brain Limits Twitter Friends to 150 - Technology Review

bonnie k said...

Hi Kim,
So funny I had that same initial experience with Twitter too. I followed a great friend on mine to it. I was overwhelmed as he took off.
I lurked and responded a bit but not much. I didn't feel a part of any community even though I was folioing educators. But when I returned I was with others in a tech retreat sponsored by the National Writing Project and slowly my group grew and took wings and Twitter got easier to use and more interesting. I read like crazy from Twitter links.
Alone and together.

Mike Bogle said...

Regarding merging blogs, I must admit I don't know a great deal about Blogger (I switched to WordPress several years ago), however there does appear to be an Export Blog option in

Settings / Other / Blog Tools / Export Blog

There is some further information on this here:

Hopefully that helps - regardless thanks again for posting!

Mike Bogle said...

...sorry I didn't finish the thought :) The point is that you're also able to import blogs as well. So if you're primarily interested in collating the posts into a single space the Export / Import process might do the trick :)

Kim Mc said...

Thank you emapey, I liked Dunbars number, that would explain it, I'm max capacity but I am going to have to add some more follows from potcert11. Maybe that will increase my brain size 

Nancy Lewis said...

I'd love to see your illustration of your PLN, if you're keen to share :)

Kim Mc said...

Thanks for your interest Nancy, here it is In dropbox

Nancy Lewis said...

Thanks for posting, Kim. It's interesting that there's a huge empty space on the "work" side of your illustration. Is that because you don't feel work is a good source of learning? Or because you were focusing on personal resources rather than professional?

Kim Mc said...

Yes I did recognise this and I admit I have been focusing on developing my personal learning environment and network of contacts over the past 2 years. I had 18 months of maternity leave which afforded me the time and gave me mental stimulation. I have been back at work for 9 months and it seems so far removed from this online world that I have discovered but I have been challenged to introduce my personal learning to my colleagues in a professional environment. I need to take the step and I think the links will happen and my PLE will start to fill in the blanks on the 'work' side. I'll let you know how it goes. Kim Mc