In this class we have used just a few of the thousands of Web 2.0 tools that are available on the Net—most for free—to help us connect, collaborate, and create with our crowds. The video below shows a wonderful use Spreadsheet, one of the gDocs that we used this semester as a Form to do our quizzes and class evaluation. Most people think of spreadsheets as a business or science tool for calculating numbers, but consider what these four people did with it:
Now consider that this video was sent to me by Joshua Williams, one of my former IDST students. In a sense, Mr. Williams is still connecting to this class, collaborating with us, helping to create more meaning. He is part of my personal learning network, and I appreciate that.
Now here is the Sunday School lesson: I must cultivate that PLN. I must find ways to add value back for Joshua Williams, and all those others, so that my network, my crowd, will stay alive. If I feed it just a bit, then it will feed me much more. Your network works the same way.
In this class we have focused on using the Net for building and feeding our networks, but as some of you have pointed out, the Net is not the only way to build a network. I thought that point was obvious, but it is worth making anyway. Most of us still build and feed our networks the old-fashioned way: face-to-face. Well, it's Thanksgiving, an ideal chance for you to return home, to your family crowd, and feed the network. Here's my Sunday School question for you: what value are you bringing to your network, to your crowd, to your family? And don't be silly enough to think that your mere presence is sufficient, though it is the necessary beginning. What value are you adding beyond just showing up? Though I'm reminded here of Woody Allen's famous quip: 80 percent of success is showing up.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family.