Thursday, July 3, 2008

Reflection on Cheryl Oakes' Presentation: Flat Agents of Change

I often tell people that I've learned more in the past 3 years by reading blogs and listening to podcasts than I had learned in all my years of formal education combined. It was interesting to hear Bob Sprankle make a similar comment in this presentation about the effects blogs and podcasts have had on his professional development. My professional development and growth is something I completely attribute to my network. By network I'm not talking about wires, ethernet ports and hubs. I'm talking about the people that I follow and those that follow me. This "following" takes place in three major spots for me. The blogs I follow are all aggregated in my Bloglines account. My podcasts are managed in iTunes. My most influential following now occurs within my Twitter network.

About a year and a half ago Alice Barr was pushing me to get involved with Twitter. I set up an account but didn't see it as a valuable tool. I thought the idea was kind of strange that I would follow what others were doing. After attending NECC last summer in Atlanta I heard more and more people talking about the power of the Twitter network and decided to go back to it. I must say that I tend to head to Twitter now before I go to my RSS reader for information. Twitter is generally much quicker in returning hot topics to me than my RSS feeds. If something big occurs in my world, it is sure to be spoken about in Twitter.

My professional world has truly flattened. My network involves people on 5 continents and many different countries. Time zones and distance are not a problem with my network. As Bob Sprankle mentioned in the presentation. This does not need to take up your life. You can check in and check out at times that work for you.

I did try making a podcast as part of this presentation and added it to my page on the Seedlings Ning. I have been following the Seedlings Ning for a few months now and have found this to be a ever growing network of educators who are willing to be there for each other and support each other in many different ways.

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1 comment:

Cheryl Oakes said...

Mike, you said it! My professional world continues to expand with twitter. I am enriched by the 140 character conversations, who would have thought. But, twitter has taught me to be succinct. I use it before my RSS as well. Connections are so important. In order to make connections, our reflections have to be posted. It is all good.