The world at our feet

August 4, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Posted in 21st Century, Collaboration, culture, Web2.0 | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Retiro Park friendOn my first Retiro run after my US vacation (mostly walking today ☺) I was thinking of the richness of my friendships worldwide, due mainly to the creation of the internet and the worldwideweb. While a first grade teacher in the mid-90s I started looking for a class to collaborate with in the SE United States- so we could compare geography, climate and lifestyles, maybe learn some Spanish and increase motivation for learning literacy skills.  We found 2 classes to partner with via email messages and the teachers of these classes became two new colleagues of mine. While it lacked the depth of the collaborations I have now, the communication and friendship created stirred things up in my classroom and motivated my reluctant writers and readers to take more risks.  Even though we were living in rural New Hampshire, we weren’t limited to our physical environment.

The next year I went to LA to visit relatives and took a side trip up the coast to visit the classes we were still collaborating with, bringing a scrapbook from our class to give each class. During my visit, I took many pictures and video of our partner classes, as well as books they had created for us, back to my class. This face to face meeting added another level to our friendship and collaboration. Reflecting on this created a feeling of how rich my life and professional experiences are. In opposition to what many non-2.0-connected people believe, communication online and belonging to PLNs does not mean one is indoors in front of a computer all day. It is the relationships that are online-based, geographically-based and those that are both that make my life so rich and offer limitless possibilities.

So then I come back from my walk, make a tuna sandwich and sit down to check email and Twitter. I see this post,
twitter post

Click here to view video

Here is a video where Clay Shirky is talking about the transformation of the media landscape, but it is perfectly aligned to how the read/write/collaborative web, even just email, has transformed my life as well as the world.

Thirty years ago I had friends who I had met personally and kept in touch with via postal mail, wall-connected telephone and face-to-face. Now my friends are made up of those I have never met in person, online friends who I have met face-to-face, and those who I know face-to-face but communicate with via email and social networks. The friends who I know personally but can’t see everyday don’t fade away because we are connected via email and facebook. In Twitter, many people who I “follow” I don’t communicate with directly, but benefit from ideas and resources they share. In the last year, I have connected face-to-face with more than a dozen online friends and this created a greater depth to our friendship and it’s so easy now to find people to collaborate with on any idea anywhere in the world.What I want to say, after meandering a bit, is that when I reflect on the many friends I have around the world, while still deeply connected to my friends in the US and Spain, I appreciate the richness of life that is available to me and anyone who seeks it.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: