Thanks very much to Jesse Stommel whose blog post today — 16 Creative Online Educators — gave me a topic for this still-new blog: connectedness.

When I opened the post and saw this whole cast of characters, some of whom I know well and some of whom I have just admired from a distance, it felt like walking into a cafe full of friendly faces, people I could hang out with, just chatting and talking, sharing and learning. I’ve only met a couple of the people on that list in person, like Alan Levine (and we had been online buddies for a LONG time before that, way back to probably 2003 or so when I connected with Alan thanks to the free tool he had developed and shared online back in the day, Feed2JS) and also Howard Rheingold, who is a connector extraordinaire.

Yet even though we don’t meet in person, these people have been incredibly important to me in my work as an online educator: inspiring me (like how Alan and the whole DS106 crew inspired me to design my classes around creating stories), challenging me (Jesse, for example, has challenged me in some ways that have changed my approach to teaching very much for the better), and just helping me day to day in all kinds of ways (I sometimes feel like I am sharing an online office with the Michelle P-B even though she is 2500 miles away).

And these powerful connections all happened just as a result of “showing up” online, asking questions and having fun. I’ve got an omnifeed (thank you, Inoreader!) that pulls the different pieces of my online life together in one place: If you scroll on down, you can basically see what I do, every day, day after day: show up, ask questions, have fun… and connect.

At the same time, I understand that the open Internet can be kind of overwhelming, which is why I was so glad that Kevin Buck set up an OU Canvas Community where people using Canvas at OU could get together and share ideas. To make that community come to life, though, we have to work at it, which is why I created this blog… hoping to connect with other OU faculty using Canvas, sharing both here and via the same blog reposted inside that Canvas Community space. I’m going to try to make a daily contribution like this to our OU Canvas Community space, and I hope others will want to show up and connect. I know we will learn so much more if do that together, learning and sharing as we go!

And now: you know where to find me. 🙂

Learn, and then share what you learned.
(one of the Growth Mindset Cats)


Crossposted at OU Canvas Community.