These blogs posts are drafts of thoughts, concepts and ideas that I am putting out there for comments before finalizing. If you see errors or if you disagree with my statements, please leave me a comment!
When I think about my PLN I think about one of those flipbooks where each page has an image and as you quickly flip through the pages a single image becomes an animation. Sometimes I start at the beginning of the flipbook and sometimes I start in the middle. If my fingers are really sticky or I’m a little sluggish, I don’t see all the pages that pass by but just a few.
Each page holds a unique image that stands alone on its own but as a group it tells a story. At times I can refer to only one image to find what I want whether it be learning or pleasure or I can rely on more than one page or even the entire book to find accomplishment. My PLN is the same. I don’t use all of my network or tools everyday, or even every week. Some are used more often and some are pulled out for special occasions.
My PLN is composed of both individuals, whether it be single people or collaborative entities or organizations that contain reliable training resources like atomic learning or lynda.com. I have individuals in my network where I go to for inspiration or when I need an answer for a problem. By establishing a relationship through communication and collaboration, I have a network or people (or websites) that I know I can trust and feel confident I can get the help or guidance I am looking for.
Even though my job centers around online interactions, most of my most reliable resources are people whom I have seen face-to-face, can recognize them (and their voices), and would invite them into my home for dinner. In these relationships I feel that I often give as much to the network as I get from it, although it isn’t always an even exchange.
For my other social media interactions, for the most part, I am a taker, a user of information rather than a creator. So maybe these activities are my “P-Listening-N”. I am gradually trying to give back to the network and this is something that I need to work on. When I do create, I am not always sure that the artifact I create is being viewed by anyone, other then the intended. This might be part of my “P-L-Environment” where I am collecting, connecting, reflecting, and sharing. I do know what it feels like to get an unexpected comment as I mentioned in a previous post from experiences from my personal blog, so that anticipation continues on in my professional side. This feeling of building a community has encouraged me to make comments or give other feedback to an originator when I visit blogs or other social media site. I must admit though, being a user of information, might be one reason that I like twitter since the interface isn’t one that expects a response.
I see the potential for growth in my PLN as I’m able to focus on more clearly defined ideas about technology in education, social media, and other interests. When your interests are so varied it is something harder to focus in on specific resource that will help you and it often becomes overwhelming. I have learned to that I can’t read and participate in everything and I need to pick and choose. I can only see this getting easier as I get more focused.
When I began thinking about this assignment I hadn’t read the class website so I didn’t realize that our topic was supposed to relate to the Bonk book. I am very focused on the visual so thinking about removing that element and focusing on just sound is a new way of thinking for me. I had the idea of going out in the field and recording bird calls and songs and then breaking them down so that others might be able to recognize birds by their calls. I began looking around to see what species were still around so that I could concentrate on those. I had the idea of getting a couple of friends who are good at recognizing birds by their call or song to go out with me and do a “Richard Nelson” style podcast of verbalizing the natural world around me. When I realized we had a more directed assignment I was disappointed that this other idea would have to be put on hold and also relieved that the topic would be easier!
A two-minute podcast….how hard could that be! I asked my spouse, who is an accomplished documentary producer, how many words can you fit in two minutes. He told me that if you talked really fast maybe about 60 a minute. If you want the conversation to be more natural then less words. I had just written the text for the third podcast and it was about 600 words.
So a two-minute podcast requires concise thought about what to include to get the message across but still be engaging and entertaining. This would be a great lesson for students for a presentation style assessment.
I’ve done audio editing before so that part of the process was familiar. I had not added multiple tracks (for the music) so that was new to me and clearly will take more practice. I used Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) for the recording and editing. It is free and is pretty straight forward. There are a lot of tools and features but you don’t have to use them. If you are using a MAC and want to export to .mp3 you also need to download the LAME MP3 encoder (http://lame3.buanzo.com.ar/Lame_Library_v3.98.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX.dmg) (Lame, yeah, I thought it was lame too!). When I was recording I didn’t stop the once I started with when I made a mistake–I just started the sentence or phrase over again without worrying about pausing or redoing sections. I think for the first podcast my recording was about 5 minutes with all the start-overs and mistakes. This process got better for me as I went along.
I decided to upload my podcasts to soundcloud.com. I really like the embed player. If you have a pro account (which I don’t have for my personal use) you get some added features, one of which is that you can add text comments as seen in this image.
So here are my podcasts:
(Note: I reference heidi.com in my podcasts as a way to get more information. I don’t really own this site so you won’t find more of my information here. The site is for Swiss clothing company.
Podcast 1 on Bonk Chapter 3
Podcast 2 on Bonk Chapter 4
Podcast 3 on Bonk Chapter 5