According to Twitter, I’ve had an account since 2007. Before that, I took the traditional approach to learning.
That typically meant signing up for courses, taking workshops, going to conferences, and doing a lot of error and trial. With my background, my focus typically was education, technology, and technology in education. I make no apologies for that. That was my job and I’d do anything (well many things) to stay on top of things. I shudder when I look at some “leaders” who are still mired with approaches of years gone by.
Being a member of Twitter changed all that although not much in the beginning. A Twitter account only works when you follow and interact with smart people. A trite phrase back then was “the smartest person in the room is the room”. I still see it these days but it had a more special meaning for me back then.
These days, I follow a lot of people. Some I follow directly and others I follow on Twitter lists, private and public. Ontario Educators should know about the lists since they’re my resource for Friday mornings. My routine for learning involves a number of things but I really value the inspiration that appears in those lists.
In addition to letting the lists generate content, I’ve started paper.li documents for each of the lists. Daily, it pulls together inspirational content from members and puts them in a newsletter format. On my timeline, it will look something like this.
These documents provide such a wealth of information. Just click the link in the Twitter announcement above. I’d be lying if I told you that I read them from cover to cover although I try my best.
From these, I get a sense of what’s relevant enough from others to share it along with a continuous feed of news stories. They’re not always about technology or education and that’s a good thing. We all like following politics.
Here’s a perfect example of some learning that I was only able to have as a result of someone sharing it and paper.li making it part of a document.
Here’s What Happens Every Minute on the Internet in 2020
Click through for the entire graphic and story.
For those that think they know everything, it really should be a humble realization that there is so much available to learn. It brings back another old trite phrase “the internet is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant”.
For those who are not connected, this should serve as motivication to get connected and connected to wise people. I so value those in my lists or, as I like to call them, “Active Ontario Educators”.
The connections made and their value supports the notion that learning never ends. It’s almost criminal when people join Twitter because they were required to because of some course and then drop it when the course is over.
Of course we live in interesting times. These times, technology, and education are not sitting still for anyone. We all need techniques to try and stay in sight of things. This is one of the ways that I do it myself.
3 thoughts on “The value of a network”
I started o Twitter in ‘07 as well and I’m pretty sure we first connected then or ‘08 at the latest. It’s amazing how this little social tool has connected educators. Zoe (@zbpipe) led me here, and made me realize that while I’ve been focused on blogging daily, I have lost touch a bit with reading other blogs.
Your post reminds me of the power of this (educational) network ’we’ helped start many years ago.