Unimportant and Uninteresting Understandings

The title of this post reflects my state of being at this moment.  I have delayed this blog post for 7 days thinking that something magical and enlightening would come to me. I felt like this guy waiting…….

but it didn’t.

I am sitting here pondering over the hours of mindless (but fun!) link jumping I did this week.

Here’s what it looked like:

  • -signing up for #flatclass2013 and jumping around that wiki for hours
  • -reading the blogs on my reader, reading on flipboard
  • -commenting on a few blogs that I thought were interesting
  • -reading the required readings this week several times
  • -watching videos
  • -link jumping for hours
  • -setting up Google+
  • -following more on twitter
  • -reading cool collaborative projects that people are doing
  • -tweeting a few things here and there even though I can’t imagine anyone would care
  • -getting creative in my classroom with using the theory of connectivism
  • -etc etc etc

 

I am sure we are all there doing the same and now I sit here to reflect and I have nothing.

So, my reflection this week on the essential question about how things are changing in my classroom is that things have been changing ever since I embraced the notion of using technology in a more embedded and seamless way.  I have changed and I know my students have as well.  Have things changed since the start of Course 1? Probably not in a huge way but I, as a professional, am feeling a bit more connected and some ideas are coming together for me…albeit slowly.

The kids we teach build their networks without realizing it through social media, gaming and the day-to-day “geeking” out that they do.  I recently heard someone say that today’s graduates from high school do not remember a time when they didn’t have this access to technology where as we, as Mark Prensky in his article are digital immigrants.  The one issue I have with this term is that immigrants suggest that we will never really assimilate and be a part of this culture.  I think I am in the sense that I am engaged with it, open to learning about it and wanting to effect change in my practice with it.  Does it come naturally? No, but it is slowly…

My understanding of building a PLN through these cohorts, twitter and blog reading gets me a bit frustrated because I don’t see that happening as quickly as I would like and I am not really sure what it looks like when it arrives but I’ll wait and see…

What does your PLN look like? How do you build it, maintain it and put into it?

That’s my question for those that are reading….

 

4 thoughts on “Unimportant and Uninteresting Understandings

  • Tim – you stole my throughts!!!! You are writing here about all the challenges that I am having this week, and all the questions that are being raised in my head. It’s slow. I think I have an idea sorted, cut and dried and then I read something to blow it all away. We continue on …

  • I understand what you are going through. I have started countless posts, leave them as drafts, go on to another thought, repeat, since starting this course. I am having a hard time focusing with all the ideas swirling around in my head.

    As for my PLN, I am connected with people in my same field (elementary teachers) mostly through Twitter. I would much rather find people who are on Google+, but maybe that will come in time.

    Now I am mostly a consumer; mostly passive, but I do participate in some chats when I can.

  • Hi, Tim –
    My sentiments exactly – how did you plagiarize my thoughts? 😉 I find myself having different conversations with my students in class ever since this cohort began, and I also find myself engaging with what’s going on with them in the world of technology.

    I feel fortunate to have a great eTeam supporting me at school who just about is willing to help me with any idea that I might have. The problem is that “any idea” (regarding technology) doesn’t come so often or in any striking way… just slowly, as you say. I find myself asking more questions about how to be more digital literate and what my students are up to online – within their PLNs if you will – and encourage them to see their learning in a new way just like I’m being encouraged to do. I’m doing all the things that you’ve listed (sharing your frustrations), but the thing that I’m noticing more and more right now is that my students are great at helping me feel like I’m not an outside immigrant lurking around their digital culture. I’ve my PLN of my immediate coworkers (who are awesome), online colleagues (divided up with appropriate labels in my Tweetdeck), and students who are willing to try anything with me. I’ll keep you posted on the status of my maintenance as this course moves along. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing these sentiments and helping me feel not alone.

  • Great question:

    What does my PLN look like? Kind of like this: http://www.aharef.info/static/htmlgraph/

    Go here and then put in the URL to this blog, or to your twitter account or to your Google+ account to “see” what your PLN looks like. Focus on the blue balls as those are all links between you and the outside world.

    How do you build it, maintain it and put into it?
    Slowly…..I grew up on a farm and it so reminds me of farming. You plant a seed in March/April that you won’t reap the benefits from until August/September. Growing something virtual or in real life takes time and attention. We don’t always see the fruits of our labor today….but over time you will.

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