1. Robert Schuetz

    Thanks George. Once again, you have given us something to think about. Earlier today I published a post that essentially begs educational leaders to get connected to a PLN (mass collaboration). http://goo.gl/PBRGah
    But, this dual path two learning makes perfect sense. In my role as technology coordinator, I typically make greater impact providing training for individuals or small groups. However, I also try two bring mass collaboration into the mix in the hopes that this will spark future connections through social media.
    BTW – George Siemens is one of the smartest people I have ever met. You are lucky your head didn’t explode during your three-hour car ride!

  2. Donna Adams Román

    Our district has recently started what we’re calling the Collaborative Teacher Project (CTP) that is set up to support both of these. Small groups learning together for the year around a self selected topic, but using systems such as edmodo and wikispaces to open the conversation up to a wider group. We also incorporated monthly tech workshops, one dedicated solely to creating larger PLNs, and the others support content, PLNs, and organization. Here’s a link to the entire project. One page has links to all of the individual CTP wikis, all of our start-up docs and ppts are on another. We just started training this summer. http://geneva304.wikispaces.com/home

  3. Celeste Lopez

    Yes! I am still synthesizing these ideas and don’t feel I have fully captured them enough to explain to a non-connector why they should participate in a PLN. I do think these two paths are at the crux of the transformation necessary for systems of education to stay relevant. The power of the PLN is difficult to describe until you experience it. Important points! Thanks for posting.

  4. Scott Johnson

    Good posting.

    Innovation and insight can be extremely fragile in a social context where difference can set off alarms of disloyalty to the group or evidence of misunderstanding the boundaries of membership. We take accountability as a high-value attribute and proof of genuine intent but it can also kill speculation as in the implied risk in the sayings: “going out on a limb” or “taking a chance.”

    Personally, I think people are as averse to innovation as they are to change and uncertainty. Who wants to be made fun of for their unformed inspirations–especially if they consider themselves professionals? The way to break this is to allow a space for anonymous inspiration where new ideas can be explored firstly as inspirations detached from initial explanation. In that manner an idea can be worked on in the safety of being the product of unknown authorship (blame). The reverse engineering principals we use to push outcomes back to their origins could work here. All of us carry the advantage of individual experience that allows group work to generate ideas an individual member may never imagine. Run that process backwards and who know where we would end up?

    My experience with Connectivism is the positive advantage of connecting not simply to people who share your interests or level of qualification but also the wholeness of their quirky selves. I wonder if accountability, as useful as it is for ensuring responsible contribution, is misapplied in those first moments of an idea coming into the world?


    It is rewarding to see that many of us think that innovation is the key to better teaching. Had I not shown my work before this was published, one could have thought that I´d fed from your post…I guess the truth is people still need to understand that our concept of innovation has to be reoriented…it is not enough to buy modern gadgets…we need to look differently at what we do and experience. The challenge is there…creative thinking should be destructive or as chaotic as our thoughts …holding on to old old thoughts and practices will take us nowhere new. ( I wil lbe delivering a workshop soon: At the Speed of Change – The Benefits of Innovative Teaching, it touches on the urgent need to fine-tune challenges in the classroom and to embrace transformation). I´de love to hear more about your finding =)

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