In past years education stakeholders would have loved to have been able to throw out ideas or ask people for help when needed. Unfortunately if during those fleeting moments they weren't by a computer then they would have needed to contact colleagues afterwards and most probably these 'pebbles' would have been lost amidst the piles of 'big rocks' (to use Stephen Covey's language) needing to be tackled. To develop and maintain an active global PLN would have required an enormous amount of time, energy and resources.
With today's technology people can grow their PLN sans the time or resource constraints. Literally with the touch a button on their phones, at any time, anywhere, people connect with others in their fields of expertise/interest to exchange info, collaborate or just shmooze. If an idea suddenly emerges and a person wants to refine it or seek guidance, all it takes is the push of a button, some thumb movements and voila- that person has instantly connected with his or her PLN to help analyze and think through his/her idea.
Ironically it was being a part of each others PLN's that led to the coordinating of a Google Hangout between three educators in three different regions of the United States which helped flesh out an idea that would hopefully benefit Jewish educators and Jewish education moving forward. (Thank you Akevy Greenblatt and Dov Emerson!) We are hoping that #JEDCHAT, a global twitter chat open to all Jewish education stakeholders, of all denominations, will afford the opportunity for PLN's to be developed and expanded with the ever-crucial goal of affording students rich and authentic learning experiences in their respective Jewish learning environments.
When you have a moment, take a look at Dov Emerson's as well as Caren Levine's blog posts which help explain the nuts and bolts of #JEDCHAT. If you are brand new to Twitter or want a refresher take a look at PEJE's You Can Speak the Language of Twitter. (Thank you AVI CHAI Foundation and many others for re-tweeting these posts.)
And I'll see you 'on the grid' Wednesdays at 9pm EST on #JEDCHAT!