Monday, January 19, 2009

How has your Personal Learning Network Changed Your Life?

I am about to head down to the Educon 2.1 conference in Philadelphia. Last year this conference was a life changing experience for me. My online personal learning network came alive. My internet friends became real live friends and it felt like I already knew most of them.

In general, I learn so much from my blogging, twitering, plurking, deliciousing, facebooking network. They lead me to new ideas and tools, they help me when I'm in trouble, they inspire me when I'm stuck. I honestly don't know how I survived without you all.

Last year's Educon also introduced me (in person) to Lisa Thumann who has become a great friend and cherished colleague in the last year. She and I have so much in common, despite the hundreds of miles that separate us. It seems fitting that this year we will be presenting two sessions together. I hope to see some of you there.

I asked my Twitter network how their PLN has changed their life. Here is what they had to say. Please share your thoughts on the subject (I feel like I never get any comments anymore - I could use some comment love).

Jean-Louis Bontront
jeanbont @lizbdavis Getting lots of new ideas, finding web2.0 applications I didn't know existed, started a blog, getting colleagues involved too!
MagistraM @lizbdavis No longer working in isolation - always have resources for answers, ideas, suggestions. My PLN inspires me.

dmcordell @lizbdavis Instead of being a solitary librarian, I'm part of a group. I have mentors, teachers, friends from around the world.
cehyde9 @lizbdavis WOW. You all are so much on the cutting edge of everything! Links, resources, news, troubleshooting, answers, support. U name it!
C Hollingsworth
chollingsworth @lizbdavis my new PLN has re-energized me. I was getting bored and needed to start learning for myself again. Never knew what I was missing!
Holly B
h011y @lizbdavis My learning curve is doing loop-de-loops. Gained/offered ideas and resources. Enjoy "knowing" folks at other online events.
mrsbrowndog @lizbdavis In terms of 140 characters I can's immeasurable. I am more reflective & willing to ask for help here than anywhere else
jason_everett @lizbdavis I believe I have more focus because of my PLN.
Cathy Nelson
cathyjo @lizbdavis it has opened UNBELIEVABLE doors for me. My PLN will take me farther than I ever dreamed of going. Im now a global thinker.
Lori Feldman
lfeld52 @lizbdavis My PLN has given me new outlets for interests and given me a bigger "toolbox" to use at school
Theresa Murray
tamurray @lizbdavis I think my new PLN has helped me look at more sources and try some new things. Expanding my classroom resources.
Beth Still
bethstill @lizbdavis I'm a better teacher b/c of my PLN. More connections=more ideas for new and improved lessons. PLN=more personal fulfillment.
vtdeacon @lizbdavis as someone who uses project based learning it has really made me look at and helped me find more options for kids 2 present
Patrick Woessner
pcwoessner @lizbdavis For me? Best learning resource I could imagine. For most educators? I daresay it hasn't:
Neal Cross
nealcross @lizbdavis was pondering that some today; it seems like I can easily be overwhelmed by Good Information, the only bad is the distraction.
Nadine N
nnorris @lizbdavis I am so much more aware of recent research, best practices, new tools, high quality resources - I'm just plain smarter!

Image Citations
Thanks so much to Frank for this awesome PLN graphic!
"Get Connected" metaweb20's photostream on Flickr

This is the best image of me (in the hat) and Lisa (on my right) that I can find. Thanks to Kristin Hokanson for taking the photo. kristinhokanson's photostream on Flickr

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