Saturday, April 25, 2009

Prioritizing the Personal in PLN: Learning to be "Self-ish"

Last week I had my first ever speaking gig at the New and Emerging Technologies Conference at Noble & Greenough school. Tom Daccord and I shared the podium and talked about Building a Personal Learning Network. I have presented many workshops, but this was the first time I have ever spoken in front of a large audience. I was nervous and excited. I had a great time and I think it went pretty well. I thank Tom for asking me. He is very easy to work with and I feel like we shared the stage well.

The theme of my portion of the talk was the personal in PLN. I believe that we need to nurture our own personal learning as much as we nurture our students'. Rather than seeing this as selfish, we need to make more of an effort to be "self-ish" (imagine me saying this word with a slight New York accent ;).

If, god forbid, your plane were about to crash, they always tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first. It is impossible to help others if you are suffocating. We all need oxygen and our students can't benefit from our wisdom if we aren't constantly growing. So don't blow it off, breath it in!

David Warlick was the keynote speaker at the conference. I have met him a few times and he is such an interesting, inspirational and generous man. I appreciated his talk, "We need to stop integrating technology and start integrating literacy!" He also took the time to give me feedback on my talk and send me some of the pictures he took. Thanks David!

I recorded our talk and put the audio together with the slides. The audio isn't great, and the slides are a little bit cut off, but here is the link if you want to listen. My section starts at about 25 minutes in. Enjoy.

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