Pleasant Surprises along the Way – Creating New Connections

Due to some family issues, for the past three days I have been trying to keep moving forward, making sure that the student and teacher schedules from the timetable make sense are are balanced as best as they can and wrapping up a number of new initiatives in anticipation of the return of our faculty. At times, I have found it difficult to keep focused and am sometimes looking for distractions. Yesterday, when I went to moderate the comments on my blog, I noticed that there were two new incoming links to my both, one from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and one from the American Library Association (ASA). Imagine my surprise when the author, Debbie Stafford referenced a post that I created over a month ago about four essential questions that I have been thinking about regarding the implementation of Web 2.0 tools. I cannot wait to share this with our librarian, to see if she found the connection.

Not being one to toot my own horn, I still find it baffling that someone whom I never met, in a profession that I do not practice (librarianship), stumbled upon questions that I have about using the new tools, and found them compelling enough to highlight them in their own set of questions about the tools. I wonder how Debbie found this post, which I wrote three weeks after NECC. Part of me is amazed that not only did someone find my thoughts, but thought them worthy of helping them shape their thinking. It is amazing how these new connections are made each and every day, and how contrary to the thoughts of Andrew Keen in Cult of the Amateur, that these new connections and relationships are made by thoughtful and intelligent people around the world and that we are helping each other forge and shape our ideas.

As we start school, it also reinforces the notion that a single person, with a single thought, can begin to change the world, as their message begins to spread to others. It reinforces the need to push our teachers and students to begin to share their voice with the outside world so that the can develop an audience, connect and establish relationships with others. The challenge is to get them to take the first step, to allow themselves to expose themselves and potentially be vulnerable. It is scary when you first begin this, because you don’t know if you will be validated and accepted. You don’t know if anyone will listen and be interested in your ideas. It is scary not knowing whether you will be worthy enough of another’s time and interest.

But we  have to encourage all who are willing to try, because if they don’t, they may never know if someone else will find their ideas interesting, as I have over the course of these ten months.

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