How is your PLN doing? : Seven Degress of Connectedness

How do you connect with others and develop a PLN (Professional Learning Network)? If you wonder how people manage to connect, develop partnerships and  stay connected, you can participate in our #amplifiEDU twitter chat to learn more. For now, I can tell you the story of how our #amplifiEDU group came together and how we interact being spread out in 4 different countries, in 3 different continents.

My connection started face-to- face with Silvia Tolisano, as we worked together for one year at Graded – The American School of São Paulo, Brazil. We became not only working partners but also very good friends. But then Silvia went back the US and how would we keep in touch, each one of us so busy with our local lives? We manage to Facetime to exchange ideas and get updated on family news, we also kept updated on each other’s blogs and twitter, and also met at conferences whenever possible. The point of this is that a good personal and professional connection should not die because people move or are far away.  The benefits of keeping such strong professional connections are huge. Through my connection with Silvia I met Andrea Hernandez (US), Chic Foote (New Zealand) and Katrin Barlsen (Argentina).

We then decided to create #amplifiEDU to discuss ideas about what amplified education means to us. You can see my personal introduction about amplifIEDucation at my first blog post in Portuguese (amplify your learning using Google Translate!): “Amplificando o ensino-aprendizagem: uma ponte entre o Brasil e o mundo“. Google Hangout has been our regular meeting place. For me it works really well. It is as if we were in the same room with the added advantage that a small window into each one of our worlds is opened during these chats. So we not only talk about our work and ideas, but we sometimes also share our lives. It can be my daughter’s German boyfriend that I introduce to Silvia and Katrin who are also German, or it can be Andrea’s son who I see while she is cooking and talking to us, or it can be Katrin in her car listening to our chat while she picks up her son at school. All of this shows how a perception that “virtual” connections are cold and distant is not true.

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Rodd Lucier in a blog post called Seven Degrees of Connectedness, explains really well what these online connections may look like and what levels of connection can be achieved. It is interesting to notice that face-to-face and personal factors are very important in his descriptions. From Rod’s blog post, Silvia Tolisano created an Infographic that you can see below, showing the Seven Degrees of Connectedness:

I would describe the type of connection that I have started to develop with this #amplifiEDU group as a Stage 5: Collaborator, and I hope to grow the connection to other stages; while my connection with Silvia is a Stage 7: Confident level.  What I thought was interesting about Rodd’s blog post was his perception that we may be at different stages with different people, as in his quote below:

“The thing is – I see myself in different stages with different people and groups. I’m wondering, where you see yourself in the different relationships you’ve developed? Each stage of connectedness has impacted my learning in different ways.  Have you had similar experiences?”

Think about in what stages of connectedness are you? And if you want to hear about other people’s experience, share yours and of course connect, participate on our next twitter chat. Below you can see the hashtag, time and the questions we will ask, so you can be prepared!

twitter chat

Our Questions for the Twitter Chat:

  • Q1: Look at the 7 Levels of Connectedness infographic & self-assess. Please share where you think you are as a connected learner.
  • Q2: What does it take to become more connected? What has brought you to your current level of connectedness?
  • Q3: What are the rewards of being connected?
  • Q4: What discourages you from connecting?
  • Q5: Can you find a tweet to connect with? Take the time to reply to someone else.
  • Q6: What is ONE THING you will do to amplify your level connectedness or your area of influence?Read more at Upcoming #amplifiEDU twitter chat from Silvia Tolisano (langwicthes).


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