Coming Full Circle: Reflections on Technology and Connectivism

spiralPhoto by Jim Moran

Two years ago I went to an OTF and ECOO sponsored conference called Expanding Our Boundaries. When I attended that conference, I was relatively new to the world of web 2.0, social media, and theories of connectivism and constructivism. I know that for a fact because I have a digital record of it. Here’s my blog post from February 27, 2009.

It’s amazing to me to read how giddy I was about learning about hashtags and Twitter’s potential. I was a recent convert to Twitter, but still pretty much “new” to it. I had been blogging sporadically for about a year, but I was just starting to see what a valuable tool it was for my own reflection and professional development. (Boy do I get that NOW!) I was also particularly silly about the fact that Will Richardson had responded to two of my tweets.

Then if you go to the next post, I had to find a blog post to read and comment on in my own blog and then tweet about it. I also put in a video that I recorded that morning, and to my delight I can see people I now know like Zoe Branigan-Pipe! How amazing is that?

So today, because I’ve been lucky enough to form great connections with people like Doug Peterson, Cyndie Jacobs, and Brenda Sherry, I’m back at the very same conference with Will Richardson, but this time I was a panelist on last night’s discussion about social media in the classroom. I’ve been able to help other teachers who are newbies like I was, and I’ve been able to connect with people who I follow on Twitter.

Today’s most amazing moment came when Will was showing everyone how people shared links in Twitter and found that George Siemens was about to start an Elluminate session with his class so Will just clicked the link and had George talk to the entire room about Connectivism. I tried to record it on my iPhone, but it didn’t turn out very well. It was a pretty incredible moment for teaching the power of the network. It was also pretty fun when George tweeted some hellos to us.

It’s astounding how much can change in two years. Truly astounding. It’s hard to imagine a time where I didn’t have a network of brilliant and talented people who help me solve problems and provide me with inspiration. It’s equally hard to imagine a time when I didn’t actively reflect and question my own pedagogy. I feel very lucky to be where I am right now. I’m can’t wait to see where I’ll be two years from now.

“Coming Full Circle” is probably not an accurate title for this blog post, because nothing is being brought to a close here. It’s more like a spiral. You get the idea.

Wow.

Deep breath.

Let’s keep learning!

A Vision of Education in 2020

For my graduate class I had to write a paper outlining and justifying my vision of eduaction in 2020. I’m pretty sure I haven’t exactly rocked the APA format, and I’m also pretty sure my professor didn’t intend a 3000 word paper, but I had so many ideas I just couldn’t contain myself. Then I remembered that I had to to cite everything and it just…well…snowballed.

My vision is not an ideal vision. It’s not an edutopia, but I think it’s a logical vision based on current trends and research.

A Vision of Education in 2020

Note: I screwed up the first time I posted this. Should look nicer now.