Monday, June 30, 2008

N.E.C.C. Sessions-Day 1

After missing the keynote because of flight delays (had to stay in Detroit for a night), I finally began my sessions this morning with "Creating a PLN in SL." For those who are acronym-challenged, this means "Creating a Professional Learning Network in Second Life." I've blogged about Second Life before and I was curious to see how educators were playing in 2L. This session was a panel discussion by the Discovery Educational Nework (DEN) in 2L Leadership Council. This council began in May 2007 and currently has over 500 members in the 2L DENinSL virtual world. Some members that the virtual environment will some day become part of education in a big way but for now the focus was on using 2L as a way to expand professional and personal learning networks. The simplist way to understand how 2L can expand your learning network is to think about how you interact with other professionals during a conference you have attended. A real-world conference provides a gathering place for professionals with similar interest to interact. I am in San Antonio with teachers, administrators, and vendors from all over the world. It lasts for 4 days and then we go back home and rarely do the conversations continue. In 2L, this type of interaction can occur anytime and there is no travel involved. I can be at home with my laptop and attend a conference (or other professional development opportunities) virtually with people around the world and have conversations just as I would at a real-world conference. The key is networking. Who informs your learning? How do you inform your learning? Is it limited to the key people in your district or is it expansive and includes educational leaders from around the country and around the world?


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