A conversation I had with S. Downes last year at CADE/AMTEC was brought back to mind this week in a blog post over at mctoonish. It seems I said something to the effect that calling something a ‘personal’ learning environments was to kind of miss the point. What we are doing, is what we have mostly always done, and that’s community learning. The vast majority of the things that we learn in our lives, and some of the biggies ‘talking’ ‘walking’ social interactions are learned by us in the vast cauldron of the community experience.
The last couple of weeks for me have been no exception. As some of you might be aware, i’ve spent some fair amount of time over the past few weeks creating a few videos online. I have, in fact, committed to creating a video, everyday, for the rest of the year. It’s an idea that I got reading D’arcy’s talk in twitter of his 365 photos he took last year and realizing that I simply do not have the intellectual fortitude to take that many pictures. I was then reading the thinking stick (jeff Utecht had linked to edtechtalk and it had popped up in my technorati filter that was tracking people talking about http://edtechtalk.com) and he was saying that this year was going to be the year of live video.
Now, John Schinker and I had been playing around with a flash server that would allow us to do some live video/audio streaming. He Jeff Lebow and I tested it out for a while and figured that the thing would probably work. I was also talking to Nancy White and compatriots about how one of the things we were trying to do with Edtechtalk was to find an easier way to have people be able to participate, as the ‘second wavers’ those folks who come to the technology as a tool and not as a passion, have occasionally had a difficult time getting through the sometime difficult navigation at ETT to be able to participate in discussions.
Darcy Norman, in Calgary –> talked to him a few time, have read his blog for a couple years, twitter each other.
Jeff Utecht, in China –> an edtech person I’ve never actually talked to, who is part of the wider world of my edtech community.
John Schinker, in Ohio –> IT coordinator for a school district, we do a weekly show together and break things together occasionally
Jeff Lebow, New Hampshire –> we’ve been breaking things together for years. (it’s more of a break (me) fix (him) relationship.
Nancy White, Seattle –> Had the pleasure of presenting with Nancy two years ago in New York. We share our learning in a bunch of ways…
An idea formed through twitter and some blogs and some technical razzmatazz worked out through skype and the ETT community. Now I have alot better understanding of how the whole flash video thing works, both in my server and in drupal, have a bunch of new ideas for projects that I may work on with some other folks in my community and have created a little video jigger that I can show off my boy in his new hockey helmet.
Now that list of folks in my community and that story doesn’t include the variety of other discussions and talks that led up to the decision to do the videos, learn the geek stuff I needed to get that done, the stuff I’ve been doing at UPEI that sort of encouraged me… you could add a dozen more people to that list.
But this is what learning is like for me. I twitter/skype/blogpost/email and most of all ‘share’ everything i know with the people in my community and they are kind enough to share what they know… and sometimes I actually learn something. Is this my ‘personal’ learning environment?
I hope they’re not all in my head 😛
Even if you are… THANKS COMMUNITY. you guys rock.