Sustaining relationships and friendships over time takes effort. This weekend I am having lunch with six other women who were my friends way back in primary school and secondary school. That’s pretty amazing, since that was a long time ago! We don’t always see each other, and sometimes one of us may be temporarily on ‘leave’ for a variety of reasons – work, health, family and the like. But, we know where we are and we know we will be back. It is a connection that we will take through our life journey.
In my work life, I have many colleagues and friends with whom I connect in a professional context. These connections, just like my group of friends from school, needs to be nurtured and effort is needed to sustain them. Since 2008 I have been part of a growing professional (personal) learning network (PLN). Recently, I attended two workshops organised by the State Library of Victoria with Alec Couros and Will Richardson, on learning networks. I was lucky to be invited to both sessions and to find that there were so many of the people who I knew and had connected with through my online networks since 2008. You can follow further conversations on Twitter with #plnlead and #vicpln.
The networks, over time have grown, strengthened and taken on a new purpose. What seemed to be a network to learn from and share ideas and resources, has now matured and become one that can influence and shape education. The dialogues have become deeper and the reflection more evident. Sharing resources and links is still important, but what can be achieved through ‘voice’ is really something worth tuning into.
In 2008 I wrote a blog post about The Power of the PLN, and also Learning in a Networked World, and presented at local conferences. Here is one I did in 2009. You will see mention to Alec Couros and Will Richardson, as well some local talent too!