Slowing Down

(Image from Nancy White‘s ZAAZ Social Media Event, July 2008)

It is very hard to believe that a week has passed since the Discovery Educator Network Leadership Council National Institute at Discovery Headquarters in Silver Springs, MD. Like all Discovery events, this one was a blockbuster with so much learning, so much fun.
What really impacted me so much was not only what we learned, but how we communicated as we learned. Live blogging on Day 2, Part 1 and Part 2 redefined the use of social media for me with nearly 60 participants blogging live with presenters. Then add to that mix that presentations were broadcast live with and Mogulus, (broadcast platforms that integrate into CoverItLive), with Nokia phones transmitting live multiple/simultaneous feeds into Mogulus, while we Tweeted and Purked, then updated our social networks simultaneously with Sending links and images as well, I learned that participating in live blogging redefined the concept of multi-tasking at rapid speed. Whether geocaching with Bridget Belardi, teleporting in Second Life with the DEN SL LC, or just absorbing anything from Jennifer Dorman, I was almost overwhelmed when on the last day I viewed the projects that 60 Leadership Council members created. Creative, cutting edge, and all classroom ready for integration. Wow, what a powerhouse of learning opportunities.

But after that amazing week (and two in Europe shortly before LC), last week I was off-line, on a curious kind of self-imposed disconnect, feeling guilty about ignoring my digital devices, my expanding network of friends from DEN LC, requests to follow, join, and connect. I took an online vacation, and strangely it felt good. Jumping back to my social networks today (I always start with Twitter), I found that a whole new thread developed which explained where I had been, and even perhaps why. Will Richardson’s July 25 Tweet led me to his post on Controlled Connectedness, which made me realize that “network separation anxiety” was my ailment. Richardson’s link to “Nancy White’s idea of slow communities” calls into question network participation and how we communicate. Her presentation reminded me of the importance of slowing and controlling our social connections.Her slides, “Thinking about ‘Slow Community'” are listed below:

So, where does all of this lead me. Simply to a reminder to myself that I sometimes need to slow down, to control my connectedness, to take an occasional “time out.” I know that I cannot learn all that is “out there.” I barely keep up with the 5 bloggers I promise to read every day. Still, reflecting on Richardson and White, I feel better about slowing down enough to lend manageability to my endeavors. I owe my social network a huge indebtedness every day because I continue to learn from them. A very special thank you to the Discovery Educator Network for a perfect week, and to all the participants at the Leadership Council Institute for opening a whole new world of social media and PPLNs.


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One Comment;

  1. Nancy White said:

    I enjoyed reading your reflection – thanks. You and Will have added the individual dimension to my ponderings, because I think these decisions are both individual and they — at the least — accumulate to the group and network level, even if the choices are not made at that level. Thanks for the additional food for thought.

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