30-Day Challenge – Day 28 – Class Knowledge Sharing Paradox

Harold Jarche blogged about the knowledge sharing paradox today.  He defined this paradox as one where:

“….enterprise social tools can constrain what they are supposed to enhance. People will freely share their knowledge if they remain in control of it because knowledge is a very personal thing. Knowledge workers care about what they need to get work done, but do they care about the organizational knowledge base?”

pair of docks

A “Pair of Docks”

He went on to suggest that the more someone in leadership attempts to control knowledge-sharing, the less knowledge gets shared.

“The only way to build useful organizational knowledge is by connecting it to individual knowledge-sharing…The responsibility for knowledge-sharing must remain with the individual, but the organization can collect, collate and redistribute what is shared…The organization’s role in knowledge-sharing then moves from being directive to facilitative.”

I think there are interesting parallels to classrooms…and educational organizations.  My 30-Day Challenge question:

Day 28 – Can I create more sharing of student-generated knowledge or faculty-generated knowledge by working less at controlling it?

The Educause Learning Initiative released this month “7 Things You Should Know About Web Syndication.”  It noted that:

“Web syndication applies the principles of discovery and distribution to the online environment, offering content producers and readers a flexible, powerful, and largely automated means of accessing and distributing content…Information coming from a wide variety of sources may broaden student learning horizons as it inspires discovery, curation, and sharing.”

Six years ago, I led a brown-bag discussion here at the Center for Teaching Excellence on Personal Learning Environments.  Interesting to go back and see that this slide deck has been viewed over 3,600 times.  In a micro way, it suggests how distributed learning has progressed…and how knowledge has been shared  My point in this slidedeck was to use RSS to build an automated way to access and distribute content.  Fast forward six years, and one can now build customized class websites with WordPress that allow for this automated means of accessing and distributing content.  Last week in GRAD-602, we discussed content creation and curation…and we sometimes have a hard time separating the two.  As Jeff Nugent noted in a conversation this morning, we have gone from “personal” learning environments to group learning environments.

The technology is easy…it is the practice that may be the harder nut to crack.  As my colleague Enoch Hale noted in “We are all mutants,” we need to help “…faculty (like our students) imagine new possibilities.”

Part of that hard nut is developing a digital community for faculty that thrives and grows.  We have attempted that in the past with Blackboard, Ning, Canvas, and blogs.  All took off initially and then died within a few months.  The time commitment and return on investment just was not there for most faculty… and perhaps we were trying to control it too hard. For some, though, a loosely formed community did grow – but ebbed in and out – within Twitter.

In our Office of Innovation, we are trying a new space – A Third Space – as a place to aggregate digital exhaust from any of us in the office.  It is a form of web syndication…but is it community?  Would a similar space within a “class” help students take ownership of their digital work…and would it have legs to last beyond the single semester?

I would be interested in your thoughts….

{Graphic: New Wave Docks … but “pair of docks” stolen directly from Harold…) 🙂 }

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Off to Elon U Tomorrow

Our team from the CTE at Virginia Commonwealth University, Jeffrey Nugent, Bud Deihl, and myself, head down to North Carolina tomorrow to present at the 2010 Elon University Teaching and Learning Conference: Connectivity in Higher Education.  Jeff is leading a presentation with me on new opportunities afforded by networked learning, while I am teaming with Bud to present on the options personal learning networks open up for faculty development.

Besides some interesting presentations, this will give us an opportunity to see how another institution does an in-house teaching and learning conference.  We have attended several Faculty Academies conducted by the University of Mary Washington at the end of the academic year, and now we are going to observe one conducted at the start of the academic year.  Our long term goal is to come up with a model that fits VCU…hopefully before we all retire!

I will blog more after the conference.  For those interested, here are the slides that Bud and I will use:

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The Socially Networked Student

kistI am currently reading Bill Kist’s new book, The Socially Networked Classroom. While written for all levels of education from elementary through postsecondary, he focuses on the use of social media in classes from middle school and above.  As I continue to work with K-12 teachers in my graduate course, this book addresses many of the concerns that my target audience has regarding the use of social media in schools.  This use of social media is equally relevant in higher education, and ties in nicely with the work we are doing here in the Center for Teaching Excellence.

There are several things I like about this book.  The chapter organization grabbed me right off the bat.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fanboy of coffee in general and Starbucks in particular.  I have been “wired” long before I learned about computers and the internet!  So when I noticed that Bill  had organized his chapters into Short, Tall, Grande, and Venti, I was hooked!  Interestingly, Bill notes that the coffee you get from Starbucks is the same whether you order a short or a venti – the only difference is the amount of coffee you receive.  He suggests that teaching with social media is similar – you can use a little or a lot, but the use of social media makes sense in today’s new media age.  That leads to the second thing I like about this book – he gives real examples of teachers and faculty who are walking the walk – using social media in practical ways to enhance learning in their classes.

As I was starting this book, I received a tweet pointing me to a Youtube video from a young 7th grader.  In this video, she gives a tour of her personal learning environment (PLE). This project was conducted as part of dissertation research implementing the use of networked learning and construction of personal learning environments in a 7th grade life science class, and it is quickly evident that this student has a teacher who walks that walk.  It is short, but worth the watch:

I would suspect that this is far from the typical 7th grader out there…but would you not love to have this student in your college class in five years?  She not only seamlessly uses various social media to research and learn, but she works in a meta way to display how she is learning.  I love that she sought out different scientists to validate her research on her blog and when one did not answer right away, she found another.  Are you ready for this student now?  Will you be ready in five years?  She and her peers are coming.

Of course, who knows what a socially networked classroom will look like in five years.  Some of the processes our young student is using above did not exist five years ago.  It is a rapidly evolving environment.  I liked what Derek Wenmoth suggested in a recent post, “Toward the Networked School…“.  As the use of social media becomes more integrated in daily life, the distinction between what is done face-to-face and what is done online blurs and merges.  Faculty worldwide are exploring the use of a networked class, as this example using wikis, blogs and social networks from Helsinki illustrates.  Howard Rheingold‘s Social Media Classroom as well as George Siemens‘ and Stephen DownesMassively Open Online Course on Connectivism are other relevant examples.  No one model will necessarily emerge, but like Bill’s Starbuck’s analogy, there will be varying amounts of social media in most courses in the future.

socialgraphHaving taught online for over a dozen years, I am used to connecting with my students outside “class” time, as the concept of class time is rather meaningless in an asynchronous environment.  Our higher education students are increasingly arriving in our classes equipped with skills they have developed through high school that involve socially mediated communication 24/7 (albeit for entertainment and socialization, not learning per se).  As faculty, we are increasingly looking to social media to connect with colleagues down the hall and worldwide for our own development.   The concept of a personal learning environment in which we are aware of and transparent in the metacognition of our own learning is as relevant for faculty as it is for the young lady above.

Bill asks towards the end of his book whether social networking will be used to free students or more tightly limit their freedoms.  I would suggest that these skills at connecting enhance rather than diminish the role of teachers and faculty.  The socially networked student above has taken control of her own learning, but it does not appear that this has pushed her away from her teacher.  In many ways, it appears that they have formed a closer bond.  It validates my own view of social media.  I look forward to having more and more of these socially networked students in my classes…and working with teachers and faculty to help them make those same connections.

{Graphic by socialmantic}

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DIYU, Probably Not, But Use DIYU Resources, Definitely!

Over the weekend, I started a little project that will last a LOOOONNNNGGGG time.  My daughters have given me a scanner so that I might digitally scan some of the 2400+ 35mm slides that are sitting in storage up in the attic.  Works great, though it takes 8 minutes to do 4 slides.  (You do the math…)

slideboxSo to get started, I went shopping for something I used to have – a lightbox to sort slides.  No one locally had them anymore, and those online cost over $100.  But a little research on the web and $30 of materials from Lowes, and I built my own in a couple of hours.

It works great, I have started sorting through and digitally scanning slides that are 40 years old…and I did it myself, but with ideas sparked through the web.

It is symptomatic of learning today.  We live in a DIY world.  If we are curious, we can find the answer to almost anything by digging into the internet.

And is that not what we want our students to do?  Gardner Campbell has talked about the need for students to learn at the meta level, and he stated this weekend, “…teaching must refocus from teaching the explicit to teaching strategies for recognizing and accessing tacit knowledge.”  I never took a course in lightbox construction, but I had the skills to knock it out when I need it.

DIY USo I believe in DIY.  Given that, I was disappointed in Anya Kamenetz‘s new book, DIY U.

This was my vacation read, and as such, it had to compete with three grandkids, but after a day with 2 to 3 year olds, Grandpa was ready for a book.  This book is on a topic about which I feel pretty strongly.  Anya quoted many in my personal learning network, such as Jim Groom, George Siemens, Laura Blankenship, and Gardner Campbell.  And she writes for one of my favorite magazines, FastCompany.  So it should have been a hit.

But it left me feeling like she had hit a base hit instead of a home run.   In many ways, Anya has jumped on the open source / open access bandwagon others have blogged about for the past few years, and to her credit, she turned a profit doing so (at least, I assume that is what “bestseller” means…).

CogDog gave a good review of his impressions of the book in his post, “The Gaping M Shaped Void for DIY Education;” impressions that mirrored mine.  He asks two good questions:

  • What is going to motivate the large swath of a society to become educated or to learn something in a self-directed fashion?
  • What is going to drive people to learn what they don’t think they need to learn?

The motivation question is spot on.  Anya seems to equate success with salary, and therefore writes off the potential of higher education to contribute to the democratization of society (though she does lament a bit about the need for such).  In the end, she suggests that formal higher education is really only for ten percent of people, while the other ninety percent would be well served using informal learning networks and just-in-time training (page 136).

I am not sure where she gets her figures, because the latest Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac shows that nearly 28% of Americans complete a four-year degree or more (though granted, that means 70% do not).  Nearly a quarter of Americans also complete some college or complete a two-year degree.  I studied community colleges during my doctoral studies and spent ten years working in community colleges, so I do not denigrate these colleges as less than four-year institutions.  They have a mission that differs from research universities, but both are needed in this country to both provide access to learning and create the new learning that drives our country.  So currently, a little more than one-third of Americans complete a two-year or better degree, and better than half have some college (and for many community college students, that meant they obtained enough skill training to get a job without necessarily completing the degree).

Anya is correct that current society expects a higher yield.  College is listed by politicians across the land as the right of all Americans.  She just does a lack luster job of describing how this country might generate that increased yield.  She is the latest in a long list of authors who suggest that disaggregating learning from credentialing is the answer, with technology as the means by which this disaggregation will occur.

For other views on the book, check out Jon Becker’s curation of reviews in this Google Doc.

Yet with all that was wrong with her book, Chapter 7 – Resource Guide – contains a lot of good information.  She lists some pretty good web resources for students to use to help align their studies with their interests.  She provides a rich list of open educational resources.  Given the strong economic flavor of her book, she gives future students good tips on keeping their education affordable.  Finally, she advocates strongly for both physical and virtual networks as key to employment.

So this is not necessarily a book that I would recommend to education colleagues.  Rather, it is one I might recommend to my grandkids in twelve years as they begin contemplating their academic journey.  However, given how much the world has changed in the past ten years, who knows what I will be recommending a decade from now!

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Is the CMS Dead? (…and other UMW FA 2009 Fun)

Bud Deihl and I traveled north a few miles to attend the University of Mary Washington’s Faculty Academy 2009 in Fredericksburg, VA.  It was a chance to reconnect face-to-face with some of my Twitter friends like Martha Burtis (see her reflections on this day here), George Brett and Laura Blankenship.

One of the highlights for me was the lunch debate between the Right Reverend Jim Groom and John St. Clair on “Is the CMS Dead?”  In a lively back and forth, the original Edupunk Jim suggested that the course management system was only good for management, not learning, and as such, SHOULD be dead … but appeared to be more undead (I knew zombies would appear at some point in his talk).  John countered that he thought the talk was about CMS – conservative mid-sized sedans – and that he thought most people wanted a sensible automobile and not some do-it-yourself hovercraft!

Both gentlemen gave great passionate arguments to their side.  I talked to Jim afterward and asked why the question had to be CMS “or” open systems?  In the past two semesters, I have used the Blackboard CMS for the things it does well (document and link management, rosters, grade management), but also used blogging, Jing and wikis for collaborative work with my students.  In other words, Blackboard served as a portal and launching point for my students into the open web.  This seemed to me to be a case of “AND” rather than “or.”

I enjoyed the lunch debate, but in reality, the whole day was fantastic!

James Boyle gave an invigorating keynote on “Cultural Agoraphobia: What Universities Need to Know About Our Bias Against Openness.”  Having just come off the Board of Directors for Creative Commons, he was uniquely qualified to discuss this issue.  He started with a history of the internet and how openness was a bug meant to be fixed later, but the internet grew more rapidly than anticipated and openness spawned many wonderful opportunities and profitable enterprises.  It definitely caused problems and concerns, but also amazing positives in the business world, entertainment, government, and education.  Yet, Boyle stated that education has yet to deal with its concerns and instead simply is biased against openness.  He noted that openness meant not only the ability to copy but also the ability to improve.

Thoroughly enjoyed the talk.  Jeff Nugent has recently had us at the CTE discussing licensing our Center organizational web material with a Creative Commons license.

I attended a great panel discussion by UMW faculty on their use of blogging in their classes.  It was a chance to see a very diverse mix of blogs associated with writing classes, art classes, science classes and math classes.  One of the take-aways was that blogs allowed time for students to reflect on critical issues for which there just was not time in 50-minute classes.

Cole Camplese of Penn State University gave an excellent talk on emerging trends impacting teaching and learning.  I loved his observation that we view what our students do as “technology,” but that it is only technology to those of us born before technology.  To the students raised in a wired world, it is simply a means of communication and connection.  I was blown away by the fact he listed that 40% of students at Penn State no longer bring a TV to campus.  They get their “TV” and entertainment straight off the web.  He noted that our universities are still designed as if our students are going to receive our wisdom and reflect it back to us, when in reality, through their own content and knowledge creation, our students act more as amplifiers than reflectors.  At Penn State, they have cast blogs as a form of digital publishing and are exploring ways for students to keep their own digital content.  If blogs are viewed as personal content management systems, then digital expression is seen as a form of scholarship that must be systematically supported.

I was also impressed that a third of PSU faculty reported using YouTube instructionally.  🙂

The last session of the day was a workshop run by Laura Blankenship on “Creating a Personal Learning Network for Yourself and Your Students.”  We will be discussing the same topic at our upcoming Teaching and Learning with Technology Institute in June, so I was interested in seeing how Laura presented this concept.  She did a great job by first focusing on problems that needed solving, and then brainstorming from the group web applications that could be used to solve these problems.  In the course of the discussion, we discussed RSS feeds, Google Reader, delicious, Jott, and a host of other tools.

One last side thought – Twitter was very active among participants, and the hashtag #umwfa09 made note-taking unnecessary.  However, Twitter had scheduled maintenance today which hit right at the end of Cole’s talk, and it was momentarily frustrating to lose it mid-conference (so much so that I complained about it in Facebook!!!)  🙂

Great day – looking forward to Day Two tomorrow!

Personal Reflections

End of the semester, and a good time for reflection.

For their final assignment, we asked our graduate class that Jon Becker and I taught on Educational Technology and School Leadership to reflect on their 15-week journey. Their reflections are captured in the Wordle above. We had twenty-five K-12 teachers who immersed themselves in the Web 2.0 stream for a semester and examined applications to their teaching and to school leadership. The reflections indicated that they thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

The Wordle points out some obvious observations – everyone focused on technology and their students. Many discussed the immediate application of web tools to their teaching in their own classrooms.

I was struck, however, by some of the personal observations that did not emerge in this Wordle. One student noted that she had just been selected as Teacher of the Year for her school, which she attributed to her engagement in our class and her excited reapplication of her learning from our class into her own school. Another student stated that she had originally wanted to move out of the classroom and into administration because she felt burned out in the classroom. Our class had so re-energized her that she now saw that she could have a greater impact on children and learning by remaining in the classroom and helping her digital kids grow. Several students used the same term in their individual reflections – “life-altering”.

While I am both proud and humbled by the impact this course had on many of our students, I suspect much of the impact was similar to the impact I saw in myself this past year. The more I network and connect, the more it impacts me on a personal level. Our students began to see this too. Many reflected that “professional development” had taken on personal aspects that they had never considered before.  It was a paradigm shift to move from professional development as something you attend to professional development as something for which you take personal responsibility.

This provides interesting context as we get ready for our week-long institute with seventeen faculty on teaching and learning with technology.  Trent Batson lamented yesterday that “life on campus goes on as normal. Faculty members are still expected to publish in traditional journals, still expected to meet their classes in rooms equipped with chalkboards and designed for lectures, and still expected by their students to tell them what they should know so they can write it on paper during a test.” Our hope in the institute is to break that cycle – help faculty see – at a personal level – the impact that the web now has on teaching and learning.  Jeff Nugent suggested one way to prepare for this week was for each of us facilitating it to return and update our own notion of our personal learning network. So here is what I came up with:

(Link to full size image)

My PLE contains traditional methods of information gathering like journals, listservs, and even morning coffee sessions. But I am also mindful of and tapped in to numerous web applications, where I hear the conversations taking place worldwide on topics of interest to me. Some of those conversations pop up in Delicious, some through my Google Reader, many from Twitter or Facebook. When I go seeking information, I tend to look in Delicious or Wikipedia, but I also still Google things, though I am increasingly looking to Twiiter as a search engine.

While I tried to collate items in neat areas of “collect, communicate, collaborate, and create/share,” the truth is that the interconnections are numerous and blurry.  Twitter is all of the above.  Our class wiki was all of the above.  Delicious many times is all of the above.

The key for me is that the web now weaves itself into all aspects of my work life at a deeply personal level.  In keeping with the interactive nature of the web, it is no longer enough to passively receive information.  Personal learning includes actively connecting and communicating with my network across multiple paths.

It seems that the “buzz” about PLEs and PLNs has died down recently, yet I found it illuminating personally to relook at my own concept of my own learning environment and network.  I suspect that it will continue to evolve.  What do you think?  What resonates with you?  What seems off base?

I would be interested in your thoughts.

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Telling Your Story Differently

Like any major institution, there is sometimes overlap in training opportunities being offered around campus.  We noticed this morning that I have a workshop on blogging today and Technology Services has one next week.  Interestingly, mine is about web publishing and instructional opportunities (with 4 people signed up) while the other is about the mechanics of setting up a blog, and has 12 people signed up.

Workshop In Stone

I probably read too much into this, but it suggests that people are not interested in the conversation about “why” one should or should not blog, they just want to know “how” to do it. And one reason I read too much in to it is that whether we are talking 4 or 12, few faculty in general even consider blogging as part of their professional life.

The issue may not even be blogging per se, but rather “workshops” as a verb.  Few faculty in general see a need to change how they do what they do.  While workshops remain a necessity to efficiently provide training, those who read this probably have shifted much of their professional development to the social media landscape (as I have).  But the majority of faculty do not use social media for their PLE, and if they see no need to change, they probably view workshops as something they do not need.

This was on my mind when I opened the April edition of Tom Peters Times newsletter, which arrived today in my email and contained several interesting articles on customer experience.  It linked to the following video of a Southwest Airlines flight attendant rapping his mandatory pre-flight  safety announcement.

You have to admit that this person delivered his message in a new and compelling way!

I am not suggesting that I begin singing my workshops…that would definitely drive down participation.  But I do think we in faculty development need to [re]examine our approaches in light of social media.   Taking a cue from the marketing types, networks like Twitter, Yammer, and Facebook could all be used to announce and draw in participants.  But more importantly, I need to look at the total delivery.  Would a “conversation” about blogging with faculty here be enhanced if bloggers from around the world joined the conversation by live streaming?  Why do I look at workshop format as locked in stone?  As the flight attendant noted, maybe I need to shake things up a bit!

And if the “customer experience” was enhanced, would word of mouth spread that news around campus, growing demand?

Be interested in your thoughts.

{Stone Carving from Flaming Text}

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Ada Lovelace Day

Ada Lovelace (per Wikipedia) “is today appreciated as the ‘first programmer’ since she was writing programs-that is, manipulating symbols according to rules-for a machine that Babbage had not yet built. She also foresaw the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others, including Babbage himself, focused only on these capabilities.”  Wikipedia goes on to explain:

“During a nine-month period in 1842–43, Lovelace translated Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea‘s memoir on Babbage’s newest proposed machine, the Analytical Engine. With the article, she appended a set of notes. The notes are longer than the memoir itself and include (Section G) in complete detail a method for calculating Bernoulli numbers with the Engine, recognized by historians as the world’s first computer program.”

I first became aware of Ada Lovelace while in the Navy.  The Department of Defense computer program “Ada” was named for her.  Ada Lovelace Day, March 24th, was created by Suw Charman-Anderson to “to draw attention to women excelling in technology” by having everyone publish a post on this day about a woman in technology she or he admires.

I certainly have some fantastic role models in my PLE, so thought I would highlight them:

Laura Blankenship

danah boyd

Martha Burtis

Kim Cofino

Vicki Davis

Gabriela Grosseck

Jane Hart

Gayla Keesee

Jennifer Jones

Michele Martin

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Sarah Robbins

Barbara Sawhill

Elaine Talbert

Sue Waters

Then again, being surrounded by women who excell at technology is old hat with me.  My twin daughters grew up digital and continue to this day to use technology.  Melissa Frail is at MathWorks and Stephanie Watwood works out of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.  Ada would have been proud of them…and all the women listed above.  They all will serve as wonderful role models for my two granddaughters, Molly and Marin.

Annual Report Reflections

I should be working on my annual report – it is due in a week…but I am reflecting instead on the bigger picture. Last year, I reported on the number of faculty served, the number of consultations conducted, the number of workshops presented, the number of conference presentations conducted…all good stuff and all typical in our line of work.

And I’ll be able to list numbers again this year. I have done workshops, presentations, published an article, consulted, and served a number of faculty.

Yet this year feels different.

Since submitting my annual report last June, I have begun using delicious as a communication and networking tool, placed material on SlideShare and received feedback from people I have never met. shifted from reading blogs to active blogging, and become an active Twitter user. It has been a transformative year for me. For more than a dozen years, I have been enamored with the technology. Now suddenly, I have become enamored with the connections and this network that has accepted me.

This “social” stuff has become a big part of my life and my job…and I am struggling with how to capture that in the bureaucratic necessity of an annual report!

Clay Shirky, in a video presentation, made an interesting statement about the context of his recent book Here Comes Everybody. He said:

“We’ve reached an age…where this stuff is technologically boring enough to be socially interesting.”

He goes on to explain that the technology – whether computer or mobile – has become so ubiquitous as to be taken for granted, and as that tipping point was reached, the social effects began to manifest themselves.


I could cite numbers – I follow and am followed by 138 people in Twitter (or 137 plus the Mars Phoenix lander). I have 45 people in my delicious network. My blog has had 1,900 visits in the past four months. I worked with 10 other faculty in a year-long Faculty Learning Community exploring engaged online learners. But, I am increasingly aware of the people behind those numbers.

I value my colleagues here in our Center – Jeff Nugent and Bud Deihl, who swim in these waters with me.

I value my students, who dive in to these same waters and grow to see the relevance. At a dinner last night, I met up with some of my grad students from last Fall, and the first thing they started talking about was how much they continue to use delicious!

I value some connections made a year ago, such as Eduardo Peirano (Uruguay) and Gabriela Grosseck (Romania) – who opened my eyes to an international perspective…yet a perspective similar in many respects to my local one. Closer to home, I added John Krutsch and Barry Dahl to my networks after meeting them at eLearning 2008, and continue to connect with them almost daily four months later.

I value the encouragement I received from superstars like Will Richardson and Wes Fryer, and up and coming stars like Sue Waters and Michele Martin. These four, along with Jeff and Bud, had more to do with my sustaining my blogging now for six months.

I value recent connections such as Ken Allan (a New Zealander who I met through the 31 Day Challenge) and Jon Becker, a fellow VCU faculty who also blogs and Twitters (and his blog is one of the best designed I have seen).

There are dozens of others I could name and I would still leave some out. Suffice it to say that the effects flowing from all of these varied social connections definitely manifest themselves daily in my life and work, and I think I am better for it – I know I am different because of it.

Am I making a mountain out of a virtual molehill, or is transformation occurring to others besides me? I would be interested in your thoughts and comments.

My PLE Journey

Doing a Lunch and Learn session tomorrow on PLEs. At Jeff Nugent’s suggestion, I tailored it around my own journey this year in building my PLE.


Having a little problem with SlideShare embed…so above is the presentation but click here to view.

We will see which generates more conversation, my face-to-face session or this blog post and SlideShare posting. Be interested in your thoughts.