When Cyndie Jacobs and I co-chaired the Bring IT, Together Conference, we specifically wanted to be inclusive of all educators in the province. One of the groups that we wanted represented on the organizing committee was principals. At the time, I’d never met Paul McGuire in person but I knew his online persona and liked what I saw and invited him to be on the committee and he agreed.
So, fast forward to when I met Paul. We had the committee together at the Convention Centre and were going to do a tour or something. This guy comes up and stands beside me. What happened next was one of life’s most embarrassing moments…
Me: “Can I help you?”
Him: “I’m Paul McGuire”.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment. What a doofus I was!
Anyway, as a result we worked together then and I continue to learn from him and get inspiration in a number of areas. It continues today.
This past week, Paul was invited to co-host the voicEd Radio This Week in Ontario Edublogs show. Normally, I do all the planning including choosing the opening and closing songs. If you follow Paul you know that he now features a podcast and blog posts devoted to new music. I thought that I’d ask him to share a couple of songs. He did, from an upcoming show and post that hadn’t hit the airwaves yet. He offered this one…
It’s now one of my favourite tunes. I listened on YouTube before the show. Unfortunately, we don’t play the entire song on the show. But, the video is above. Her YouTube page can be found here.
I couldn’t help but think about this while out walking this morning. Without my connection to Paul, I might never have enjoyed this song and, as a result, this collection.
This is one of a complete list of learnings and inspirations that I’ve had a result of being connected online. Since we live a highway apart (a big highway, the 401), we probably would never have met. Now, reading a new blog post is a special experience for me.
I’m writing this on a Friday morning, listening to Chey and Pav’s The Drive show, more connections, on the radio. I can’t help but think how lucky I’ve been as a result of these connections.
On Fridays, it’s a chance for me to try to help others make connections with a series of #FollowFriday posts on Twitter. It’s one hour a week that I try to devote to help people make connections with others through the province. I’ve been asked why I continue to do it – it is a bit of work but I hope that others will get the same value and make the same sort of connections that I’ve been so fortunate to make personally.
I recognize that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea – I’ve had two requests for removal in the years that I’ve done it. I’m OK with that too. I wish them luck with making meaningful connections in other ways.
For me, it’s been a way for me to accelerate and diversify my learning.