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Connectivism revisited… February 12, 2009

Posted by handspiker in Uncategorized.
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Over the past week I have begun to see, much more than ever before, the value of connectivism. I have found blogs from colleagues to be enlightening and a powerful resource to share support and ideas with one another. My initial experience with Twitter was lackluster at the best. Initially I saw little value in a 140 letter message to be of any good. How can this connect people to anything worthwhile? Did I really care so-and-so was going into a grocery store? How about what’s his name he was going to the city?

As first impressions went I was struggling with how this would affect me in a practical manner to take within my classroom. However that has greatly changed in the last two weeks. Google Reader has been at the heart of this change and two particular people in general: Stephen King and Sarah Hill. These two people through their blogs have inspired me to push me in directions I have never even thought of. Through reading about their attempts at trying new things or interpreting things in a different manner I have felt the urge to explore some of what they have been trying.

Today is a prime example of such an connective sharing process. Waking up I read Stephen’s blog entry on Google Docs and Forms, which was inspired for him by Sarah’s blog (a cyclical process to quote Steve Kemp). In reading both blogs I was inspired to take a stab at exploring Google Docs. This exploration led me to create a Form for my Law class to try Journaling online. Entering their name, a small poll, plus their journal reflection, sends that info to a spreadsheet document for my perusal. This allows me to connect to students via my blog (where the Form is embedded), technology, and enables me to collect info in a much different way. This info I can turn into graphs that can be used to further class discussion. I am truly excited by this. Oh yeah, I save some paper too! A five minute read in the morning has lead to a change that I hope to turn out positively for myself as I explore more options to connect to my students. The cycle continues as I had to share this newfound knowledge with two of my colleagues (Jim and John) who I am sure will use this knowledge in their own classes and blogs.

Twitter as well has born some fruit. I am still a little overwhelmed with the amount of traffic that occurs on it. Perhaps Tweetdeck might assist me in sifting through the chatter, but I have as of yet found the time to explore that option. However as I have been sifting through the info I have found some useful links to blogs, news, and articles. Perhaps the use of Twitter is to find info that you may want to look for but simply do not have the time to do so. I have already used some of the articles and info within the classroom. With more time I am sure Twitter will become clearer to me.

Connectivism is becoming an integral part of my daily experience. I look forward to waking up each morning reading about and sharing with my colleagues ideas, thoughts and the learning experiences that each of us are having. This sharing strengthens us all, turning us into a virtual professional learning community. Thanks Stephen and Sarah 🙂