One of the three critical questions I think we need to be asking ourselves about our practice as educators is what are we doing in our classes everyday that assists students to develop and manage their own personal learning networks?
Part of the answer to this question is modeling the power of a connected learning environment on a regular basis. This can take many forms. Today, in Mr. Gellert’s Grade 7 Social Studies class, that meant a short video conference with Ms. Holmes’ class at Fort Worth Academy in Texas. Many questions were asked and answered, from the weather and the environment (the connection was part of a large Biomes project) to fashion and school uniforms. I think the students were suprised to learn they share much in common, despite their geography. It is truly a small world.
Working, learning and playing in the 21st century will require, more than anything else, for us to understand the power of being connected and the need to develop and nurture our own personal networks. Learning in the 21st century is, more than ever, about the power of the story.