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):
- Having a ready “always on” community of experts and answers to pressing questions
- You have a “river” where you can go to drink and get refreshed, it’s constantly flowing and moving, unlike a reservoir
- Discovery of new resources out there that others have pioneered or stumbled upon, trying out new things is a safe and supportive environment
- Never feeling alone or in isolation, but rather feeling connected and included
- That you get to travel around the world and witness what others are doing, even if you have scarce professional travel resources
- 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
- Exposure to new ideas, a constant professional development training course
- Sharing between people, not just Educational Technology or Edublogospehere but across many disciplines.
- Making new friends and professional contacts for collaboration, events participation, chatting, etc.
- Having a sounding board to bounce ideas off of for consensus checking, seeing opposing sides, validation, relevancy, peer review and the like
- 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
- 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
- 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.