With the abundance of online communities and tools now available to all of us there has been a lot of conversation lately of how people use these tools, for what purpose. The conversations have mentioned the fact some are seen as using these tools for self promotion, followings, name recognition, which I admit I believe some people do, but this is no different than what happens in our day to day, face to face lives, is it? We all have the same ability online, as we do face to face, we may chose to ignore what we find offensive, or follow along, either way the choice remains with the individual.
I am, as Sue Waters used to describe herself, a reluctant blogger. I am not skilled in writing, and it is something that does not come easily to me. I feel blogging is a means of reflection, having an opportunity to talk out loud, and maybe have someone listen, and respond who is interested in the same topic, is experiencing something similar or have an opinion on. We are all attracted to content for varying reasons, we are all attracted to different writing styles as well. What matters is this, I have a mechanism to write, publish, and possibly engage in conversations that would not be available to me otherwise. In order for those opportunities to present themselves to me, I also understand I have to make the effort to do the same thing with others, to be a good virtual citizen as well. Making connections, participating in conversations, extending myself beyond my blog to cultivate relationships – just as I do in my life everyday.
I believe we all contribute, we all have a voice and we all make a difference, although not everyone’s contribution and or difference may not be evident through a blog or online. For me my contributions to the greater good may not be through this blog, but I feel my participation in OpenPD with Darren Draper, the presentations we have done together about our experiences in providing professional development in a way not possible before now, have been important, have made an impact on those who attended the classes and the presentations. I know too I make a difference in my district; I am able to learn from those in my network and in turn share that knowledge with those I interact with face-to-face everyday. My contributions may seem small to others, but it is relative, the contributions I make where I work may never be seen by others in the online world I participate in, but that doesn’t mean they do not exist, or I do not matter either. I believe the words on this image apply to all of us,”There are some things we cannot do on our own” and “a strong and cohesive sense of community is essential to expanding opportunity to all of us”, maybe EdubloggerCon in San Antonio will be a time for all of us to talk about our sense of community.
Flickr Image Source user opportunity agenda