Everything I needed to know wasn't available in Kindergarten...

This year (2009) I learned the value of establishing a personal learning network that includes others who don’t think like me, while still sharing the same goals and sense of responsibility. By aggregating the blog/twitter/status/etc. feeds from my community into a single iGoogle or Netvibes page that also allows a single output to my own knowledge distribution portal, I become part of an intellectual community that learns and grows side-by-side with emerging technologies. It’s potent stuff (AND stress relieving), to say the least.

A common misunderstanding prevalent on today's Internet and abundantly evidenced by the social sites devoted to education interests, is that the Web should be used primarily as an information sharing tool. However, although information may help reduce risk, genuine learning increases capability. Education needs more information as badly as a certain golfer needs endorsements.

Instead, teachers should form smaller learning communities that can grow "with" emerging technology. Principals would be wise to foster such communities among their own staff yet local communities should not be afraid to reach out beyond the borders of their locality, subject domain, and age/grade focus. Combining both homophilous and heterophilous communities into a community portal creates a powerful combination for ensured growth and future-proof development. IMHO :)

Power Point example of this approach can be viewed online here; http://issuu.com/dallas/docs/pd4community

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