Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Wisdom of My PLN

I am dipping into 'The Wisdom of Crowds' by James Surowiecki and grappling with statistics and averages and the fact that a crowd can have more collective wisdom than one person. James is a keynote speaker at NECC 2008 in San Antonio in a few weeks so I am getting a head start on his ideas.

I am coupling or aligning this theory with my emerging Personal Learning Network (PLN) and specifically with my Twitter followers (all 638 of you!) and embracing the comfort of having a ready supply of man-made (as in straight from the horses mouth) answers and responses, or 'wisdom' to my occasional questions.

This morning I was thinking about a recent request from a colleague to consider who we can contact to speak for our Model United Nations student conference and gathering next November. There is a list of topics and strands and amongst these was the term 'digital divide'. Well, I thought, have ideas about this....but maybe my PLN has more wisdom and experience and diversity to give me even better ideas?

The result from a 4-hour stretch on Twitter, as shown above, is quite interesting. First name to come up Stephen Heppell, who I just blogged about in the post before this one as he was on the Learning to Change video and is a great representative for new school models. Then came Tom with a link to Web 2 for Dev conference with lots if interesting, unknown to me speakers.
kjarrett recommended Bonnie Bracey from the Digital Divide Network.
Interestingly Andrew Churches recommends Gary Stager if we want to get into heavier discussion about the digital divide. The georgiac mentions Marco Torres, then technolibrary with the person who spoke on digital equitly at NECC 2007....who is that?
Then to top it off Andy Carvin, founder of the Digital Divide Network, and who I have had a number of online interactions with and follow on Twitter is mentioned by thomasdaccord.

So, thank you my wise crowd, I could not have come up with that exact and worthy combination of names.

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Carolyn Foote said...

Here are the speakers from NECC's Digital equity conference--

EDS ISTE's Digital Equity Summit 2007

Mila Fuller, ISTE with Trina Davis and Sharnell Jackson

Andrew Churches said...

Hi Julie,
I like Gary, I have been at amny conferences where he is presenting and I always try to attend his sessions.
I may not agree with his arguments or positions, but I always enjoy being challenged by him. I am yet to attend a session where my personal beliefs, processes or thoughts have not been challenged. The process of hearing a comment or statement that challenges you, that makes you suck in that deep breath and reflect, is of value.
Gary is also very entertaining
Any number of presenters can tell you what you want to hear, but how many will push your boundaries and challenge your beliefs.

Andrew Churches

Julie Lindsay said...

Thanks Carolyn for updating this post with info re digital divide speaker from NECC 07! I really appreciate it.

Andrew, yes, I am on a similar wavelength when it comes to Gary. I admire him for the hard work he has put in to bridge digital divide issues in K-12 and respect him for his diverse opinions. I do understand he can be upsetting to others at times. Have you read the book 'Never Mind the Laptops'? I am dipping into it again now. It has a chapter (amongst other entries) on Gary and the contribution he made to MLC in Melbourne. Great reading for the history of laptop programs.

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