Monday, April 15, 2013

Chapter 6 -- Building Your Connected Learning Community

Hopefully by now you all have created a Twitter account and you've spent some time thinking about the struggles and challenges of building your learning community. Share the biggest challenge you've faced or are facing in building your community and how you've worked or are working through it. Read other posts and see if you can help each other with your challenges. If you have not created a Twitter account take this opportunity to create one, be sure you're following INeLearn and the authors, lanihall and snbeach, and be sure to check out the hashtag for the book, #connectedlearner. Also tell us if you've chosen to use a Web 2.0 tool other than Twitter to build your learning community and why you chose that tool.

11 comments:

  1. I created a Twitter account when the DOE did Digital Learning Week, but then I let it rest. I just started back up and began to follow the suggested authors and some other educational organizations, and I'm already overwhelmed. I still don't get the hashtags- I guess I need to take time to read more about it and figure it out- but with emails and Facebook (from home- it's blocked at school) and Pinterest and this blog, I'm totally swamped with communication. I am way more integrated and connected than the rest of our staff (and even tech team), so I don't have anyone local to help me navigate- as one tweet today put it, "learning to live and work comfortably in the unknown" as we explore new technology (I think it was Edutopia). How do those of you with multiple venues for your learning community manage it all?

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  2. I made this website all about Twitter for my ILead presentation; I'm attending UIndy's principal preparation program: http://www.avon-schools.org/Page/9855. Hashtags can be thought of as communities of learning. People who are interested in exploring a topic more in-depth use a hashtag as a gathering place. Someone in your PLN (those you choose to follow on Twitter) will past something like, "Join our conversation about homework tonight at 8:00 #homework and then you can see everything being posted at that hashtag. If you want to join the conversation, you have to use that hashtag in your tweet so it shows up on that page. This was the biggest change on Twitter for me after I took 2 years off when I started my new position. I Tweeted the first time back in 2008 and was pretty active for a couple of years. When I back into the Twitterverse a couple of months ago, the hashtags threw me off. Now I see them as a chat room. The best thing is they are archived so you can visit the conversation if you missed it but also for research. Twitter is AWESOME for researchers!!

    Twitter is the best learning community, I think. I'm not on facebook and keeping up with blogs is too much for me in this stage of my life. I feel "less but in-depth" is best and Twitter is great for that. And when Twitter gives me too much to pursue, I am just going to step away for awhile.

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    1. I agree with your comment about stepping away when social media gets overwhelming and taking a break- just like we need "down time" in our face-to-face social life, we need that same escape from interaction at times in our online social life. Same with PLNs. We all need time to process, and I too find myself on and off of my PLN when I need to research. Thanks for addressing my TWITTER questions!

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    2. Thanks for sharing your TWITTER presentation, Catherine- it is great and so helpful! I'm starting to "get" it!

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    3. Catherine, I hope that you tweeted this, "The real beauty of Twitter...is that you are taken to places you didn’t know you even needed to explore." Well said!

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    4. I can't wait to take a look at your presentation. I had a personal mental block on twitter. I was so frustrated with social media and still find myself shaking my head. I sometimes wonder if I need to start with a clean slate. I want good useful information. I really am not interested in what my friends had for dinner last night. Am I bad? I guess I am swamped with so many emails and data to sift through each day. I just saw twitter as one more thing to collect "junk mail" on.

      I am interested in seeing how I can use it well to stretch me and improve my practices.

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  3. I have not had an opprtunity to start a Twitter account yet. It is on my list of things to do! My biggest challenge is finding time to read and process what I am now following. I feel at times I am just overwhelmed with it all along with what is happening in my personal life. We are going to 1:1 next year at school so that has been a lot to deal with. I am hoping that joining Twitter will eliminate some of the over load if I am going to just one area to follow.

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  4. Like others, I opened a Twitter account a long time ago. Today, the Twitter chat is a new experience. I believe that many established Tweeters produce a highly polished tweet that reflects musings. I can almost picture someone like Ian Jukes sitting at the breakfast table with coffee mug in hand thinking about “today’s Tweet.” They are a writing genre, and to me they are not unlike a haiku poem. My mind is not a big fan of haiku and so naturally it also tends to distain the letter count on the Tweet. I have to admit that I have made the Thursday night Tweet Chats and have learned a lot. This past week’s was on Digital Citizenship or DC or Dig Cit and maybe more that I did not figure out. It was very informative and I came away with many resources.
    So what is my biggest challenge in building a community? I have a great local community that is connected to me in some ways, but I would like them to connect with each other and then broaden the connection. How do you do this? How do you make others see the desirability in taking the time to invest in making connections? I am making the connections because it is important to me. How do you instill this need in others?
    In the book, the authors examine the “linking and lurking” and bringing them to action. What if no one is even doing this? I also believe that self-actualization is key.

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  5. I like many others started a Twitter account many years ago when it first started. For a long time, I barely paid attention to it. After attending many presentations about the usefulness of Twitter, I finally started to "get it"! I know use it as a tool to build a community of educators which I rely on for new information. My biggest challenge has been in building the right community and in getting the right stakeholders to follow me.

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  6. I have had a Twitter account for quite some time but I was a lurker instead of a contributor. I have begun contributing but have not produced the highly polished tweet that Therese mentions. I hope to become better at saying what I wanted to say by not spelling it out letter by letter. I am beginning to see more and more of those in our school community connecting with others so I feel we are approaching the tipping point in learning how contributing is powerful in learning.

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  7. I have twitter, now I just need to use it proficiently. I do have a question for all of you. How do you feel about using your real name? I currently use kdparsons, but I was considering opening a new twitter and email that matches the name of my blog. What do you think?

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