Thanks for Helping Me Get Ready

Dear PLN,

Last winter while dreaming of the summertime Iowa Reading Conference, I considered signing up to be a presenter for a breakout session on “Joining the Conversation.”

With my Flickr friends’ encouragement, I took the plunge. Here is the description for my session:

It wasn’t long ago when networking with colleagues was limited to our school districts, local councils, and, occasionally, state conferences. However, educators today develop global professional friendships, which lead to wonderful opportunities for our students. Explore how you can build your own PLN (Personal Learning Network) through Twitter, blogging, and Flickr. If you are considering joining the conversation, come and we’ll get started.

Now, here we are a couple days before the session, and I am really excited. I hope many people will consider it by attending my session. I know those of you who are reading this post recognize the benefits of joining in this conversation, which includes global friends and colleagues passionate about education. I want to share our enthusiasm with a growing group of educators.

About a month ago I asked for members of my PLN to add a note telling about the benefits of their PLN. So many of you responded here, graciously and with eloquence. Thank you for helping me get ready for my session!

Now, my handout is ready, and I am soon leaving to learn at an awesome reading conference, one I haven’t been to in six years because before this year it was always at a bad time in April. Now, it’s summertime!

But before I go, I would like to ask one more request of you, friends. If you are available, would you consider joining in the conversation on Wednesday, June 27, at 2:00 p.m. CST? We have a Twitter hashtag to follow: #IowaReads and a Today’s Meet session:

Thanks so much, in advance! I know I’ll “see” some of you there.

Your First Comment

This is a post for you to try your hand at commenting, inspired by my “Joining the Conversation” session at the Iowa Reading Conference and “Extend the Conversation

If you have not made a comment on another person’s blog — written out there for all the world to see — it can be scary. I remember the first few times I left comments. There were so many things I didn’t understand. Like why there were so many different platforms hosting the blogs. Did I have to get a log in for all of them? If I didn’t log in, sometimes my carefully crafted comment would be lost at the stroke of the submit button. Of course, I didn’t rewrite it. I just walked away dejectedly.

When I would make a grammatical or spelling mistake and push submit, I would cringe and take another two steps back. Sometimes I made a crazy comment because I hadn’t read the original post carefully enough. Maybe I can’t or shouldn’t do this after all! I’d think.

It took a couple months of commenting on blog posts I really loved to get encouragement enough to know I wanted to continue.

On my blog I’ve tried to eliminate some of the barriers to receiving comments. I think it’s pretty simple to leave a comment here. You don’t have to log in. You can be anonymous, if you wish. You don’t have to leave a URL or email address. I think you do have to write an “anti-spam” message though.

That’s why I thought you might like to try your first comment here in the safe zone! Another perk…if you make a mistake or don’t like what you’ve written, you can let me know and I can edit or delete it.

I hope after our session, you will choose to join the conversation! Start here with a triumph, a question, or a doubt you have about this conversation. You can also carry on a conversation with each other. That’s the beauty!