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Challenge 2015; Contribute To The Worldwide Classroom

Reinforcing suggestions from favored PLN (personal learning network) contributors, A.J. Juliani, Silvia Tolisano, and Jackie Gerstein, one challenge for the coming year becomes clear; learners regardless of age or status, should find ways to contribute to the worldwide classroom. The Internet, and the unlimited accessibility to information means that our traditional concept of classroom must change. Modern learning spaces are built upon networks sharing knowledge and experiences. Thriving in these new learning spaces means being able to connect, curate, communicate, create, and contribute. The value of a learning network depends upon contributions from its members. Today, educational thought leaders are those people making consistent and impacting contributions to their learning networks. "It is more blessed to give than to receive."



Now, more than any other time in the past 100 years, education seems on the verge of a paradigm shift. You see, for the past century, most of the educational change has been “doing old things in new ways”. Today, we are beginning to see educators, educational institutions, and educational companies do “new things in new ways”. - A.J. Juliani


Networking is built on a concept of sharing. Networking is defined by the Merriam_Webster dictionary as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions”. In order for an exchange to take place, someone has to step up to SHARE. Without sharing there is no network. - Silvia Tolisano

The Internet of today has become a huge picture window and portal into human perceptions, thinking, and behavior. Logically, then, we would expect that schools would follow suit in matching what is happening via the Internet to assist children and youth to function, learn, work, and play in a healthy, interactive, and pro-social manner in their societies-at-large. - Dr. Jackie Gerstein

What did you learn from others?  What did you contribute to the learning of others? 
Dean Shareski


Three ways learners can contribute in the worldwide classroom


  1. Connect and Share - Social media are popular "virtual" meeting places for educators, with the most popular being Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Linkedin. The Educator's PLN and Classroom 2.0 are supportive online communities for educators. Knowing the power of the hashtag, and knowing when Twitter chats occur jump starts one's ability to connect and share.
  2. Curate and Share - The Internet provides access to unlimited access to information easily and inexpensively. The ability to effectively search and sift information is essential in a Web 3.0 world. Equally important is the ability to analyze and compare digital resources for their learning value. RSS readers and tools like IFTTT, help increase search efficiency by delivering subscribed material to the learner. Many apps have a "share to" box for distributing valued resources to the learning network. I use Twitter, Pinterest, and Flipboard for the bulk of my saving and sharing.
  3. Create and Share - Following processing and reflection, a new learning resource can be created. Blogs, presentation slides, podcasts. and videos are examples of artifacts that perpetuate and expand learning in the worldwide classroom. These artifacts can be used as evidence in a digital learning portfolio. Transparently sharing learning to authentic audiences raises performance expectations and creates opportunities for feedback, discussion, and the sharing of varied perspectives.


According to Dictionary.com, "a classroom is any place where one learns or gains experience". The traditional concept of classroom needs updating to fit the socially networked world in which we live. More than merely raising a hand, contributing to learning in modern learning spaces means connecting to others, effective curation of information, and creating new resources supportive of a worldwide culture of learning.

Related Reading



3 Reasons Why You Should Share... - Silvia Tolisano

Build A School In The Cloud - TedTalk, Sugata Mitra



photo credit: robotpolisher via photopin cc

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