Testing the water temperature

And rapidly on the heels of post number one comes my second valiant effort at being profound…or at least something slightly less than dull!

My hope that post number two would come with somewhat more ease than the first one was quickly dashed away. I sat in the F2F meeting and watched everyone copy and paste one another’s blog into our mandatory RSS readings. So much for the hope of remaining ‘under the radar’ when it came to an audience; we’re now all following each other.

In contemplating the idea of online Personal Learning Networks, I am realizing that part of our class is to force us to create these networks for ourselves. Using one another (Andy, Vu, and Nancy for example) and a few other recommended sources (Langwitches and Practical Theory are some), we are mandated to explore this world of connected and online learning.

How authentic will these be, though? I am already finding myself gravitating towards the blogs of the people I know, I mean really know, in person (what I call “real friends” right Clarence?). So, is this what will then start us on our path towards building a PLN online? Is it kind of like dipping our baby toes in the water to test it out?

Maybe some of us will decide the water is the perfect temperature and take the leap. Others of us may slowly ease our whole foot in, then the other, and so on until we’ve comfortably acclimated to the water temperature. And maybe some of us may decide that the water is still a bit too cool, not quite right for a swim just yet. Guess we will see…

4 thoughts on “Testing the water temperature”

  1. I think most people start this way when building their PLN. I started with David Warlick and Will Richardson. Within weeks of commenting on David’s blog he wrote me an e-mail. At that time he became a “real person” to me. You might not remember but in November 2005 only two months after starting my blog I had a Gizmodo (Skype like service) call with Will Richardson. We were both testing out this new piece of software. I got up at 5am to talk with him…at that moment he became a “real person” in my network as well.

    We constantly gravitate towards what we know and who we know. From there we meet others. Online PLNs are no different than friendship groups in real life. You make a friend, meet their friends and now their friends are your friends….next thing you know you have a network of friends.

    The same works in a connected world….start small, start with people you trust and the network will grow naturally.

  2. I totally agree with what Jeff’s said above, his experience mirrors mine in getting to know individuals in my PLN. However, I do think you’ve hit on a specific point about this course:

    By “forcing” you to follow people, instead of you choosing who to follow on your own, this isn’t really a *personal* learning network yet. It’s more of an online community that you’ve joined. I think over time, you will find the personal bit, and it might not contain anyone from this course – which is totally fine.

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