Reflections on Utecht, Jeff 2010, Reach, USA, pgs. 1-40.
Topic for Reflection: Building a Personal Learning Network (PLN) for the purposes of Professional Development. (Say that 10 x in a row!)
First of all, I read the Introduction even though it wasn’t on the requirement list. I always like to find out about the story behind the story and introductions can be good for that. Jeff, I want to say that I thought it was very brave of you to share with the world that you have a learning disability. I was very surprised to learn that you had difficulties with reading and writing in school. It sure doesn’t show.
Wow! Think of the impact you are making expressively through the skills of reading and writing alone, through the Coetail Course. Bravo for you! I have a child that also finds it challenging to read and write. It encourages me to know it may not necessarily be a limitation for him because it certainly isn’t for you!
Now, onto my reflections on chapter one and two of the book:
The cover of your book is a startling image to me. The first impression I get is of someone shut in a prision reaching for freedom. A grim picture. After a few moments of reflection, I think I understand what you are saying. You are encouraging us to reach out of the darkness and the smallness of our world into the light and the openness of the outside world. Put in literal terms, you’re telling us to get connected through the internet to the bigger world out there and to like-minded people so we can share ideas, best practices, and learn from each other (OK, do I get an “A” for that, Teach?!)
I’ve never thought of using RSS and Twitter for professional development before. Twitter, to me, was receiving a stream of inconsequential details from someone with a big ego that thinks the rest of the world wants to know that he “just had a coffee”, “just finished watching a movie”, “going to bed now…” In turn, I figured no one would want to know about my inconsequential goings-on either so I never used my account. I have had a RSS set-up before but I could not keep up with the readings. Again, I never thought to use it in professional development.
Of course, because of the requirements of this course, I will have a “go” at these forms again and maybe some other forms I’ve never tried. I think the difference will be if I connect my RSS and my Twitter to people I “know” (such as to cohorts from Coetail). Then, I have a personal connection that encourages me to keep on reading, when I’d rather delete my RSS stream. I’m more likely to follow Twitter if they twitter about things of substance (not what they ate for lunch but what they just did with their students during a science lesson!).
I don’t feel that I am particularly in the “darkness” or in the Dark Ages but who knows? Maybe there is a world out there so enlightening that I will realize that I have been stuck in a dark corner of my own world.
There is a Chinese proverb that goes like this:
Frog in the well cannot conceive of the ocean.
A frog sits in the well and he looks around him. He says to himself, “This is my world! This is the entire world. What I see is all there is to the world!” In fact, he’s sitting in a dark, narrow well. The light is right above him but he refuses to look at it. Maybe he’s in denial about his circumstances. This proverb is to caution people against believing that everything they’ve experienced is all there is to life. By doing so, we cheat ourselves of potentially enriching experiences. We have to have the mind-set that there is more out there and have that adventurous spirit that makes us crave to experience and learn something different. We should never think we’ve “arrived” in life. I have a feeling that the Coetail journey is going to bring us to new places of thinking and connecting to people. It will be a stretch for me at times. Someone “friended” me through my Coetail blog and I freaked. I’ve never been “friended” before online with someone I don’t know. I did a search and discovered she was one of the Coetail cohorts (wheew). My first thought was, “Who is this? Is this a stalker?” LOL. Anyway, I’m already out of my comfort zone.
What sounds do Frogs make in your language?
guagua (Mandarin Chinese)
gwaa gwaa (Cantonese Chinese)
kero kero kero (Japanese)
cruá cruá (Spanish)
Image Source: https://bookbzzz.com/2011/01/03/eat-that-frog/