Now that Speech season is over (well, sorta until we go to Nationals…) and major gradschool projects are out of the way, I’ve had some time to nurture my online presence(s). I have made a lot of new connections to trailblazers in education and educational technology through Twitter; my PLN has truly witnessed growth that I would never have seen had I not gone to ICE 2011. It’s been a so far inspiring venture to see how quickly one person/connection becomes a node for other people to follow (or for other followers!). I can attribute so much of my own knowledge/growth this semester to Twitter that it has become one of my go-to topics to bring up during discussions in my human resource development and program development classes. (Seriously, PLNs, social media and Steve Hargadon have come up in just about everything I wrote so far this semester.)
Now that I’ve got a few new “toys”, it’s time to decide where I want my information delivered or broadcast. I used to only turn to English Companion Ning (ECN) to expand my knowledge base, but I now see ECN as a problem-solving network for me rather than a trends-delivering medium. I still contribute my thoughts and ideas to the discussions on ECN, but I have found more new ideas, tools and news from Twitter thanks to the shared interests of people I follow. For me, Facebook will remain purely social, with my Twitter streaming in (just for those friends that haven’t ventured into making education connections there). I imagine all of that added activity/traffic will force some to stop following me, but I have also had a while recently to think about how dedicated I am to education, both professionally and personally.
I revamped the blog to serve a few needs I anticipate as I try to make a splash in the edtech world. I needed a new theme that took advantage of new WordPress features. So far, I’ve come to really like the WordPress CMS. There is a lot more customizability now that they have programmed in more menu, hierarchy and widget management options. Twitter needed to make an appearance here, especially to broadcast some of my quick-hit thoughts, reactions or contributions to online discussions. I added a space for my growing resources and ideas. I hope to start posting some of my lesson plans, job aids and reflections from gradschool. Stay tuned.