Nibs from Nancy

Instructional Technology Integration

Nibs from Nancy

It’s a small, small, world!

April 4, 2012 · No Comments · integration

We are blessed to be living in a time when educators can use technology to cross time and space boundaries to connect, share, collaborate, trouble shoot, and grow and develop as professionals.  Thanks to the power of the Internet and web 2.0 technologies, educators have countless ways to talk with each other to learn and grow together.  By nature, educators are a unique breed of professionals with incredible skills, talents, attitudes and possibilities to help shape the lives of students. Often overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated, this group works tirelessly to be successful.   They help their students, and they help each other.   Today, I was pleasantly reminded that it’s a small, small world.

When I opened my email this morning, I received an email from “Sara.” I am not quite certain if or how I might know Sara, but she alerted me that I had a broken link on my blog, and provided me a link to another educational site that I could use to replace it.  The site that Sara suggested was awesome, including various types of interactives.  Immediately, I updated my blog, replied to the email to thank Sara, and then Plurked about it in my PLN (Professional Learning Network). While on Plurk, I checked to see if Sara was in this community.  I didn’t find Sara, so I invited her to join my Plurk PLN, which includes various practicing educators  across the country. (I hope she will join and benefit from this community.)  Using Plurk, educators, information technology and instructional technology people from all over share ideas and resources.  They share links to content based materials, best practice ideas, training opportunities, and cutting edge technologies.   They share and/or collaborate on web based projects.  They troubleshoot, giving and receiving help.    And…whether they are aware of it or not, they actively participate in the growth and development of the people in the PLN with each post that they make or read. It’s a wonderful thing to see practicing educators use technology to improve how they deal with educational issues. 

Educational standards, curricula and supporting technologies are continuously changing;   ‘Tis the nature of the beastie.  How we as educators approach change and new implementations to maximize teaching and learning often takes the support of a community.  That community may be “in-house,” but it might also be virtual. After all, whether you live in Kansas, Texas, New York,  Virginia or anywhere else in the world, similar issues are encountered by educators.  How an educator addresses the issues is often the subject matter of a professional PLN.  Insights, experience and perspectives often help the members of the PLN to approach the educational issues, and often serve as a catalyst for change.

As more and more educators use technology to connect, share, collaborate, trouble shoot, and grow and develop as professionals, I think that we will continue to see our world shrink.  Barriers imposed by time and space are being erased, and replaced by possibilities. It’s a small, small world, so it would seem!

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