#nablopomo #nablopomoed Best About PLN

#nablopomo #nablopomoed Day 14 The best thing about my PLN is…


The best thing about my personal learning network / neighborhood is the relationships. We follow each other on Twitter and in blogs, Google hangout on topics of interest, and join communities in Google Plus and Flickr. We know the interests and issues dear to us, and share, connect, and collaborate on those interests through our connections in these online areas. We celebrate our successes together and we move forward together from failure. We support each other in our projects, often collaborating to make them successful. And we nudge each other to new ideas or revisions. In the rush of our lives in our separate worlds we connect to learn and grow in spots.

What do I mean?  Check it out:

Fellowship of the Open Spokes Channel and Community

a group of educators sharing their world in topics that affect education founded by Ben Wilkoff

Edugood and TFotoFri (this one with Denise Krebs )Flickr Groups [ You may even meet them! ]

#midleved and #geniushour Twitter hashtags — by so many amazing eductors

Making Learning Connected #clmooc — with many of the amazing people of National Writing Project and Connected Learning

Check out the ideas in the vlogs, blogs, tweets, and comments on each of those links and you will read and view the connections among the participants — in and out, here and there, but definitely connections of relationship — of caring and supporting each other.

Then, join in. Because the best thing about your PLN will be the relationships you build.


Hang Out

In photo: Top  Denise Krebs , Kristine Full, Sheri Edwards, Theresa Allen, Tracy Watanabe

Connected Learners and Friends

Spot Image: Spots by Sheri Edwards at Tumblr

Connect in the Middle #etmooc

Middle level educators have joined together through tweets (#midlevt), Diigo Group, and a wiki to find common ground and to explore and discover solutions to issues.

As we can, we take questions from our #etmooc experience and answer them according to our mid level focus:

How important is connected learning? Why?

Is it possible for our classrooms to support this kind of learning? If so, how?
What skills and literacies are necessary for connected learning? (and how to assess?)
How do we develop these?
How do we remix what we do to transform our teaching into learning worthy of our students’ futures?”

As we forge our own adventures in connectedness, we often return to the neighborhood of middle level educators for inspiration.  Please consider these responses from our group to the above questions:

Gallit Zvi  (and check out Ben and Gallit’s Neighborhood song!

Denise Krebs  (also check out her #geniushour posts )

Lorraine Boulos (also check out her reflection “Why are we doing this?” )

Sheri Edwards

And please join us if you are involved in middle level education!  If you respond to these questions, or if I, and forgive me if I did, forgot your post so far, have answered the questions, please add a comment below with your link.

If you have other questions, please ask!

Welcome to our neighborhood !

Digital Story Telling Poetry – A Project #etmooc

I’m behind ( need rhizome post) and ahead (digital storytelling) — racing like a turtle  and I can’t keep up, yet I add to the story with a segment from  past post from 2009 because of this encouraging post by Verena Roberts for next week’s digital storytelling #etmooc. We have much to learn the next two weeks. And another idea those of us teaching, might be to to use poetry as a vehicle to tell a story.

April is Poetry Month and on April 18th, it’s Poem In Your Pocket Day.  Want to participate? Here’s an idea…

Share Poetry Strategies and Digital Tools

Help spread the power of poetry — share ideas on twitter for how to create and share poems during the weeks before 4/18 — or do this right now to develop a project ready to use in your class —  for “A Poem in Your Pocket Day” on April 18th. Label tweets hashtag #pocketpoem, the official hashtag. Then we’ll have many strategies and tools to choose from for a fantastic Poetry Month.

An audience. A purpose. Authentic.

Here’s an example:

Create your own visual poem on Bubblr; blog or email it to friend for “A Poem in Your Pocket Day” on April 18th:

My Poem:


Barren earth

Blossoms in bubbles

Of delicate dew

For butterfly blessings

Mother Earth to you.

The visual:

Or link here: A Poem for Your Pocketby Sheri Edwards

Here’s HOW TO:

Go to Bubblr at http://www.pimpampum.net/bubblr/

Use the “tag” box to type a topic on which you want to write a poem.

I chose these (separately as needed): soil, spring, dewdrop

For your search, many photos will appear for you to drag to the current slide.

As I chose my photos, I added the cloud and text.

Then I published with a title and name from which the code can be created to embed or link or email. Enjoy.


Other Poetry Resources:

National Poetry Month

Poem in Your Pocket

Eagles Write Poem in Your Pocket 2011


The Challenge before 4/18:

Please learn or relearn or share a tool for poetry, or a digital storytelling idea from #etmooc which can be adapted.

Create it.

Post your creation and a how to.

Tweet your post with your poem and howto: hashtag #pocketpoem, the official hashtag

If you  can, comment here with your poetry post link!


Thank you for encouraging poetry, and have fun with digital storytelling for #etmooc.

Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness…

Reflect curiosity and wonder…

Art in the Middle #etmooc

Oh how I love this video introduction by Susan Angel. Her gentle words spill over into the artwork floating behind her story. This is what our schools should be about: exploring who we are and where our talents are. What fortunate students to have a school that finds art an important part of the curriculum!

I’ve found Susan on Twitter and invited her to our Connect in the Middle wiki. Any other MidLev educators are also welcome to join our neighborhood, and help make it grow.

Wowser!  Let’s watch the video, and try some art!


Building Our Neighborhood Neighbourhood #midlev #etmooc


Welcome to our wiki!  We have members !  We have resources, including a Diigo group and Evernote Notebook.

We have ideas for prompts and projects on the page Possible Projects.

All because we, together, want to build a neighborhood for support and sustenance in this hectic education world.

If you haven’t heard Dean Shareski’s Sharing As Accountability session, please do. It’s what we are doing as educators — accepting the responsibility to share our knowledge with each other for our students.

Here we go…




Thank you all for your continued commitment to “Learn and Share.”  Have a great week. I hope to tackle a prompt sometime this week. Remember, we build from each other, as we can. Gallit asked if there is a chat feature in wikispaces — does any one know? I think I can make a discussion page for each page we have. You are all organizers, so you can play around with creating pages and adding widgets. Let’s learn that wikispaces together.  Thank you!



Photo: CC by teach.eagle

Building Neighborhoods #etmooc #midleved : an invitation


We’re building a new neighborhood. Want to visit for a while?

As I learn more about PLNs through #etmooc, especially from @bhwilkoff, I realize I have a responsibility to help find and support the sub-committees that have a common focus.  Ben Wilkoff calls these sub-committees “neighborhoods.” These neighborhoods support each other in efforts to transform education, to make changes for our students’ futures.

The people listed in the image at left are connections I’ve recently made through ETMOOC  blogging, Google Plus, and Twitter. The educators are passionate middle level educators — teaching students in grades 5-8 (10-14 years of age). From their tweets and blogs I am learning more about educational technology and student engagement.

As a middle level educator, I find we have needs that differ than other levels. So, I’d like to invite middle level educators to connect in order to support our efforts to develop curriculum, pedagogy, and strategies to infuse technology and student engagement through other strategies, such as project/problem/passion-based education or the #geniushour. I appreciate the inspiration received from my friend, Denise Krebs, a fellow middle level educator in our neighborhood.

What if we connect and reflect together via Google+, Twitter, and blogs? We can add common documents and resources to the Connect In The Middle wiki and share resources in this group Diigo. We can connect our blogs, and reflect/comment on our questions and solutions together. Perhaps we can design student projects that connect these middle school students in a safe environment as they apply their digital citizenship to complete these projects.

The possibilities are endless, and involvement would be only as needed for each of us. Some might visit for a while; others might connect more fully, and some visit occasionally.  After all, we would be building a neighborhood that we visit for different purposes.

The first questions I’m considering, based on the first week of ETMOOC are:

    • How important is connected learning? Why?
    • Is it possible for our classrooms to support this kind of learning? If so, how?
    • What skills and literacies are necessary for connected learning?
    • How do we develop these?

Please read my responses here: Connected In The Middle Post. Do you have ideas about these questions? What are your questions? How can we help each other?

Please consider joining the conversation / connections for middle level educators to act on the conversations in ETMOOC and beyond.

To build your middle level neighborhood, please follow these educators who have inspired me this week.

Laura Gilchrist ‏ @LauraGilchrist4

Bernice Homel ‏ @BHomel1

Gallit Zvi ‏ @gallit_z

Rhoni McFarlane ‏ @rhonimcfarlane

Scott Hazeu ‏ @scotthazeu

Laura Coughlin ‏ @CoughlinLaura

Ben Wilkoff @bhwilkoff

Joy Kirr ‏ @JoyKirr

Lorraine Boulos ‏ @RaineCB

If you would like to join the middle level neighborhood, please comment below, and join the Connect In The Middle wiki.

Thank you, @grammasheri and welcome to the Connect in the Middle Neighborhood !

Expanding Hubs Vlog 2 #etmooc

Connected Educator

In the image above you see part of the “hubs” of my world, from local to global, personal to professional. If you click the image, it takes you to my Flickr image, complete with links. From each of these parts of my life, I learn and grow, share and collaborate, create and remix.

The Hub: What is it?
019_2013_comfortable_spotIt might be learning drawing in a Google hangout with a granddaughter; we share art in Scoot and Doodle. I share it in my 365edugood #edugood photo group for the “coziest spot in my house” photo.

It might be teaching my granddaughters how to crochet, and one of them returns to teach me to knit.

It might be a student telling me how to pronounce “PSY.”

It might be a colleague sharing a Common Core State Standard lesson or video.

It might be a colleague on Twitter collaborating to create a presentation (using Twitter, Google Hangout, Google Docs) to encourage others to jump in and extend the conversation.

It is a group of middle level educators gathering together through Diigo, a wiki, and their own blogs to figure out the new literacies and connectedness that our students need in our curriculum. It is asking, “How do we remix what we do to transform our teaching into learning worthy of our students’ futures?” It is working together to answer that question.

So is the hub you, the center of your world, choosing to interact and interconnect to learn and grow and create with others? You make the choices. You decide which connection to nurture. It changes, depending on the life that happens to you that day. So perhaps we’re more like droplets, forming bonds, wanting to connect and reconnect as the fluid, the ideas, warm up. And in the stream you choose to follow, flowing together, the effect moves from “me” to “we.”  Denise Krebs on a Google Plus Post, with comments from Ben Wilkoff and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, suggest the “me to we” concept. Sheryl said, “Networks are me directed. Communities are we directed. ” Ben asks how do show which hubs are more valuable?

I can’t put importance on a hub or connection; because each IS important. On any given day, because “life is what happens when you made other plans [John Lennon],” the connections can change; they are more fluid for me, even if I choose them as the “me.” And when I’m in the flow with one connection, we become “we” and flow together. I think again that perhaps we are more like droplets than hubs, droplets that yearn for connection and acceptance, flowing about and choosing the bond that at that time and place fit. When the energy changes, the bond breaks and moves on, perhaps never returning, or perhaps always returning because the mutual connection is so strong.

So many metaphors work: hubs, spokes, wheels, droplets, strings, and threads in a tapestry. My new friend, Lorraine Boulos, in a comment on my blog, says, “I see this incredible tapestry and how we are all threads in this tapestry. Each one of us unique and different, but together, creating something new. It makes me think of Covey’s sixth habit – Synergy. The whole is actually greater than the sum of its parts.”

I think we are dropping threads into the hub, allowing them to weave to and fro, connecting here and there until something sticks. And in the sticking, the tapestry grows.

What is my world, my hub, my droplet in the fluid of ideas?  You will see the movement from “me” to “we” to “me.” You will see networking and community. Listen and watch:

1 22 2013 vlog from Sheri Edwards on Vimeo.









We are:


Each of us: A Hub,
A droplet in the fluid of ideas
A thread in the tapestry of community.
Worlds within worlds
Local –> Global

Each of us: A Hub
A droplet bonding with the next.
A thread blending into the next.
Reaching out
Gathering in
Making sense
Self –> Worlds


Each of us: A Hub
A droplet flowing with the stream.
A thread twisting with another.
Worlds –> Worlds

Each and Together: Hubs
A droplet bonding to another.
A thread fusing to the form.
Remix –> Create

Each and Together: Hubs
Droplets whirling into pools.
Threads  knotting into multi-dimensions.
Purpose and Action
Fluid Reactions
Learning –> Change

Each and Together: Hubs
Drop and droplets
Thread and tapestry
Linger here
Stay there
Learn and Act
Worlds –> Renewed

"Extend the Conversation...

How do your communities form and grow? How are you stretching your connections and building new communities?


What say you? How do you move your “network” to our “community?”  Share your ideas.