One Does What One Can

Sparrow 01

Build PLN 2

1. What do you hope to learn more about with respect to your PLN in the coming weeks?

I hope to connect with others to help one  another with whatever we can, and perhaps connect with projects that help our students meet their standards in real ways– connected globally.

I hope to learn how people do balance their lives with the inspiration from their PLN, with the tasks of our work, and with the needs of our families.

2. What have you learned with creating your PLN that you wish that someone had told you before and what tips do you have to share?

I’ve learned that participation in tweets, social networks (ning, Facebook, wikis, etc.) and webinars helps to build one’s PLN. I’m thankful to those who welcomed me when I joined. Please read about that journey two years ago here (you will find many people to follow– and perhaps you were even tagged): Twitter Mosaic

One thing to remember is that your PLN is fluid: one connection will ebb today and then tomorrow will flow again; another link will breathe life into a project, and later will sigh away to come back another day. Your PLN breathes partnerships in and out according to needs. But the inspiration, the relationship does stick: we are sticky notes to each other, posting one day here and another day there. It will continue to grow, but will change; your projects will build, discontinue, rejuvenate. Just keep participating; that is key.

Participation means tweeting, retweeting, blogging (your own or in Nings you’ve joined, ASCD Edge, NCTE, etc.), attending and chatting in webinars, and joining projects (Build PLN Challenge, #JJAProject, Flat Classroom, etc.). It does not mean writing treatises, but rather adding some bit to the stream of ideas; something that helped you that could help someone else. Just choose a few of interest to you and check in at least weekly.

Places for Webinars:



TeachersFirst OK2Ask


Places for connecting in projects:



Teachers Connecting

VoiceThread Wiki

“The World is our Classroom!”

The Global Education Collaborative

But always remember: balance and basics. Just do what you can. Like teaching, you never know when that one statement, idea, or link totally changed someone else’s situation.

In the Middle East there is a legend about a spindly little sparrow lying on its back in the middle of the road. A horseman comes by and dismounts, asking the sparrow what on earth he is doing lying there upside down like that.

“I heard the heavens are going to fall today,” said the sparrow.

“Oh!” said the horsemen. “And I suppose your puny little legs can hold up the heavens!”

“One does what one can,” said the sparrow. “One does what one can.”

Flickr CC by raysto

So, even a small contribution can support someone’s needs.

“Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with a part of another; People are friends in spots.”

~ George Santayana

So go forth as you can; your PLN are your “friends in spots.”

What “spot” are you looking for to help you? What “spots” do you wear from which others could learn?

Photo Credit: Sparrow 1 Flickr CC by Fiqman Sunandar and Spots Pic Flickr CC  by raysto


on “One Does What One Can
8 Comments on “One Does What One Can
  1. Hi Sheri! You mention standards early in your post. I actually think that’s a spot where I have something to contribute! For the past two years, I’ve been working on making sure lessons are aligned to various standards. With the new Common Core standards in the US, I think there’s room for some guidance. You’ve definitely given me an idea for how I can share!

    • Kimberly: Please do keep in touch about those standards. You have a good idea to blog about aligning and applying standards in the classroom. Sharing your perspective and strategies on standards will guide many of us. 🙂 Sheri

  2. Hi Sheri, totally agree and it’s all about doing what we can.

    But I really love ” It does not mean writing treatises, but rather adding some bit to the stream of ideas; something that helped you that could help someone else”

    That is the approach I’ve always taken. Sharing what I know hopefully helps others while thanks those that have helped me with what I do i.e. pass it on.

    • @Sue, yes, you have added so many ideas and strategies for helping teachers and students become lifelong, safe learners in the real and digital world. I have sent people to your posts many times. Thanks for stopping by to point out what you think is important. Sheri

  3. Another fabulous post, Sheri!

    I love your analogies and the way you tie things together. The sticky notes and spots ones I found fabulous.

    With the spots, I was even thinking of pointillism and by itself it’s just a dot, but when mixed with all the other dots, it becomes fuller and completes a bigger picture.

    You inspire!

    Kind regards,

    • @Tracy – yes, pointillism would so fit the building of a PLN. Each new dot adds a detail, another nuance of light or shadow, feedback of possibilities to ponder to become more than we or our teaching could be without our PLN. Thanks. Sheri

  4. Great post! Thanks for the great links and thoughts about PLNs. I am having a great time building my network and you have provided even more links for me to follow. I’m still a bit overwhelmed by all that is available to me and I appreciate your perspective about the ebb and flow of information. Still, I find things all that time that I know will be useful and I haven’t effectively found a way to hold on to them.

    I am definitely look for motivation and ideas from others who’ve forged the way. I think I can contribute to an overall creative movement once I get the ball rolling. Again, coming back to the ebb and flow. Another blogger mentioned the balance between give and take in a PLN and I see that as something to explore too.

    Thanks again! @sarah_wg

    • Hi Sarah, I love your blogpost analogy to your passion for running — once we get hooked, we live it. I do think that is why you are a teacher, too. Teachers are passionate about what they do and about helping others discover their passions.

      You asked about organizing, and so I wrote a blog post about one of my favorite tools, Diigo. I just started using it again — I do love how it works. I also created a group for our new PLN.

      Read about it here: PLN Challenge: How Do I Organize?

      The Diigo Group here:
      ebchallenge group

      Thanks for your great ideas and writing! Sheri

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