Alec Couros asks: What Does the Network Mean to You?

Alec Couros has put up a Voicethread asking for feedback from people on their experiences with networked/social learning. I am posting this VT here so that my visitors can jump in; and because I just think it is great and want to archive it in my blog.

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Alec’s 1st Voicethread was somehow inadvertently deleted. Luckily I was able to listen to all the contributions just before it disappeared; and have paraphrased and summarized some of these voices, see below.

There seemed to be a general consensus among Voicethread contributors that a network means some of the following (summarized from my meandering and inventive memory):

  1. Having a ready “always on” community of experts and answers to pressing questions
  2. You have a “river” where you can go to drink and get refreshed, it’s constantly flowing and moving, unlike a reservoir
  3. Discovery of new resources out there that others have pioneered or stumbled upon, trying out new things is a safe and supportive environment
  4. Never feeling alone or in isolation, but rather feeling connected and included
  5. That you get to travel around the world and witness what others are doing, even if you have scarce professional travel resources
  6. In general a wealth of tools, resources and experiences that money can’t buy (nor school budgets allow) that save time, as the resources come to you through RSS and twitter, etc
  7. Exposure to new ideas, a constant professional development training course
  8. Sharing between people, not just Educational Technology or Edublogospehere but across many disciplines.
  9. Making new friends and professional contacts for collaboration, events participation, chatting, etc.
  10. Having a sounding board to bounce ideas off of for consensus checking, seeing opposing sides, validation, relevancy, peer review and the like
  11. The network allows people to have better and more productive relationships with their colleagues, including “offline” local staffs and teams that they help to train or share with
  12. Some contributors where more detailed and focused on technical facts, while others expressed feelings and social implications of being networked. All spoke of the great benefits in both directions
  13. Lots more that I can’t remember fully, 20+ voices with much to say and share. Heck that summarizes the network… keep sharing

Incidentally, I learned of this activity through twitter, a microblogging social/professional network that I participate with. Below is an example of a twitter tweet stream related to this topic.


Related posts:

  1. PhD Dissertation – Examining the Open Movement: Possibilities and Implications for Education (Alec Couros, Dec. 2006)
  2. Alec Couros – 21st Century Teacher
  3. Web Tour: Open Thinking Ustream Webcast

3 thoughts on “Alec Couros asks: What Does the Network Mean to You?

  1. I think Alec’s VT proved the value of being networked. By simply putting a request out on Twitter he had twenty plus people in his network ready and willing to contribute to his presentation.

  2. I am new to this world of networked technology…Although I play around with the internet at home, I do very little with it otherwise…I started taking online courses thru my school districts Instructional Technology department this summer. I am not afraid of technology; however, I just don’t totally understand how it all works and what you need on your computer to do it, and what all the terminology means…I am going to continue to learn more about technology so that I can become comfortable enough to better enhance my students learning using it myself as well as letting them use it also…My problem is this type of learning isn’t going to come overnight for me…So I will have to take very little baby steps to begin with until I become more comfortable with applying what I have learned into the classroom…My goal is to use one form of technology this year, and continue to build on it in the coming years…

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