I have spent the last couple of days relaxing in a cabin in Estes Park, CO before heading into Denver to attend EduBloggerCon and ISTE10. Thanks to Beth Still (who organized this whole thing), I am enjoying the company of Paul R. Woods and his wife, Diane, Scott Floyd, Mike Gras, and Randy Rogers who all hail from Texas. Also Steven Anderson (NC), Mary Beth Hertz (PA), Cory Plough (NV), Brenda Smith (NE), Michelle Baldwin (NE), Jason Schrange (NY), Richard Bryne (ME) and of course Beth are all here with me. It has been an incredible experience. The activities have included fishing (not my thing), hiking, sightseeing, eating, drinking and impromptu TweetUps with this incredible group. Steve Johnson stopped by for our Mexican feast last night and Kyle Pace joined us via Skype. This is the power of a PLN and Twitter at its finest.
Personal learning networks (PLN) and Twitter are hard to explain to some educators who have never had this type of experience. My 2009 New Year's resolution was to build my PLN and understand how to use Twitter for professional development. I started on the Ning network and then joined Twitter in February of that year. My goal was to get to know some educators online and then hopefully meet some of them face to face when I attended NECC in Washington D.C. Beth was one of the first people to reach out to me because she had taken a similar journey after attending NECC in San Antonio in 2008. Sue Waters (from Australia) encouraged each step of my process and I used her resource to help build my PLN. Incredibly I did get to spend time with both of them in Washington plus dozens of others I'd met online.
My PLN has continued to expand over this current year and now I'm here in Colorado enjoying quality time with some of them. I am eagerly awaiting the start of ISTE10 where I will get to meet even more "online friends" face to face. Many of my PLN who can not be in Denver are looking to me to keep them updated on all the great events of the conference which I will do through Twitter updates. I have set a goal for myself while at ISTE10 to help make other "newbies" feel welcome and to get them started on the road to developing their PLN.