Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn
Oakland, CA

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Online communities help me connect
By Barbara Bray    December 26, 2006 -- 09:29 AM

During the holidays, it is good to take time for yourself - maybe read - reflect. With the new year on its way, you may want to write yourself some resolutions. I do the same ones every year - diet, exercise, more time with my family. I love playing games. We played lots of Texas Hold íem, went to the movies, read, talked. Nothing like family. But here I am again, writing in my blog when the family sleeps.

I have connections with you, my online community. Something draws me to you. I find exciting resources online that I want to share. Itís cool when you share. I learn about new ways to teach and learn from you. The Internet is so big that I find my own place online in eCoach where Iím not bombarded with ads or popups. I went in this morning (day after Christmas) and saw that Janice wrote a tip on Inspired classrooms and Sara shared a resource - all when I was sleeping. How cool! This is what community is about - sharing, learning, writing, reading...

Are you blogging? Go ahead - share your stories. Remember to add your favorite blogs to your list - add your blog to
Technorati and add tags like education, communities. Hereís a story of mine on how online communities connect people with similar interests.

I moderate a listserv on professional development - kind of quiet now but it was pretty active several years ago. I met so many wonderful people on this list from all over the world. Few people really connected beyond the list emailing and chatting off the list. Think it was 1999 in Chicago at NECC as I was leaving my hotel on the elevator sans badge. I was on the elevator with another woman and we started chatting (face-to-face). She asked me where Iím from and I told her Oakland, CA. She responded with "I have a good friend in Oakland - maybe you know her: Barbara Bray." Well - I came back with "Iím Barbara!" Then she exclaimed "Iím Janice from Missouri". We hugged - weíve been corrresponding for years - just never met face-to-face before. It was like we knew each other forever and finally met. Now Janice works with me and now lives in Texas. Being part of an online community keeps us connected - almost every day now.

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