Mrs. Vance Goes To School

Learning and Teaching with Technology

Archive for November, 2008

Epiphany

Posted by MrsVance on November 26, 2008

I wonder if it is possible to become involved in Web 2.0 tools and not develop a Personal Learning Network?

Until this week, I would have said, “Yes!”

I would have admitted to have been dabbling in Web 2.0 for the last year and a half. But I would have denied being involved in a Personal Learning Network. For one thing it seems presumptuous to claim to be in a network with someone that I do not know, and who does not know me. I would be tempted to say this is a symptom of being a “digital immigrant”, except my experience as a parent and as a teacher has been that the digital natives are much more likely to use Web 2.0 tools to extend face to face relationships than they are to create new relationships in the cloud.

But this week I have hit a few brick walls that I could not conquer without the help of the network.

I have leaned some things from the network in the past. But this week, I have short deadlines and needed faster answers than I could find on my own. So I sent some requests out over Twitter.

Where do you find music for a podcast? @cummminsl and @brianmullnl responded with a delicious link and podsafeaudio.com respectively. First problem solved.

Is it even possible to upload and link to an audio file in wikispaces? @jeffmason and @Thespian70 assured me that it is indeed possible. @jeffmason also sent a link to a great example of a wikispace with audio embedded in the manner that I proposed to embed my audio. And @jswiatek sent me a link that explained exactly how to do what I wanted to do.

Does this mean that these wonderful people are part of my Personal Learning Network? And this is where I get that tight feeling in my gut, like I am making a HUGE assumption about a relationship that does not really exist. I certainly learned something from them. But doesn’t the phrase Personal Learning Network imply that they might learn something from me also? Which is unlikely in the extreme.

Perhaps my original question should have been –

     “Does interaction via Web 2.0 tools make one a part of a Personal Learning Network?”

In the short run the answer to this question does not really matter. No matter the relationship or lack thereof, some very knowledgable people were kind enough to help me this week. I offer my most sincere thanks.

In the long run, I feel like I have had a conversion experience that I must explore further.

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