Walk, Don’t Run

There’s no rush. This week in the Ontario Extend East Cohort, we are kicking off the Collaborator Module. There’s a high chance that you haven’t finished any of the previous three, yet. And that is more than okay.

This is open learning. The modules are there waiting for you to go back to them when you’re ready.

One of the main influences to the way Ontario Extend was built and is delivered is something called ds106, a wonderful community/way of life. Its content is all about Digital Storytelling and it grew out of a more traditional course at the University of Mary Washington. We mimic much of the structure of ds106 through our Daily Extend, Activity Bank and, most importantly, by asking participants to house their work on their own domains so that we can syndicate it all to our Domains page. In fact, the person that built the WordPress themes that make this happen for ds106, did it for us, too! Thanks CogDog! What a treat it was for me to get to work directly with him.

source: I think Giulia Forsythe made this image. Update: YUP https://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/7016352577/

I started in on ds106 as an open participant in Fall of 2015 and there are still a couple modules I haven’t been through yet. I have every intention of doing so. But because I am a part of that community (#ds1064life), I feel no rush to get through it all. I don’t want to move on. I moved in.

I’m lucky to have a nice and healthy PLN and I owe its inception to ds106. I hope that what we have tried to bring from ds106 to Ontario Extend can do similar things for you. DS106 contributes to a PLN simply due to asking that everything we do be in the open. So I got to know the others involved in it. I followed others liberally on Twitter, curated a blog roll, read those blogs, commented on them. Following someone who interests you gives you a glimpse into their network, too. Many of the leaders in ed-tech and pedagogy whose thinking excites and influences me now are only known to me because I saw that they were followed by other ds106ers and I checked them out. As you make new connections to people who interest you, their influences must be interesting, too. As you can see (look at the sidebar to the right if you’re on a desktop/laptop) by the not-at-all frightening doll/friend who authenticates me as an official character of the Internet, the connections themselves can be very interesting.

We hope that, by being involved in Extend, you can expand and super charge your PLN. My advice, should you want to heed it, is just to start walking towards the things that interest you and get to know the people there. No running.

So head on over to the Collaborator module and let the wonderful creators of it (Michel Singh from Collège La Cité and Joanne Kehoe of  McMaster University) guide you to start pumping up your PLN. See you there!

“Discovery Walk” flickr photo by Mark Morgan Trinidad B https://flickr.com/photos/markmorgantrinidad/6191026012 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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