Six (or nineteen) degrees of everything

“If you take me out of it, it’s kind of a beautiful concept”

During the reading of the Six Degrees of Separation article this was running through my head.  And I fully agree with Kevin Bacon, it’s a wonderful concept.  To think that we all were, and still are connected is pretty amazing. 
I use this blog, and twitter to connect myself and others, and happily, just recently, I read it makes me smarter
Just today I’ve used twitter to connect to my environmental education PLN #enviroed, I’ve connected Nicki and another art teacher to talk about using art and social media, I’ve also met two new educators from the U.S. and Argentina.  I use it to connect, share ideas, and wonder aloud.  
With my students, I try to get them to use it the same way.  Use the power of connections to find out more about what you’re interested in.  Connect to other bloggers in the school and outside of it who are passionate about the same things.  I have two classes in my school connecting with different schools to talk about How the World Works.  I want them to understand that making these connections with others can be a powerful learning experience. 
“Yet studies have found that the effort of communicating to someone else forces you to pay more attention and learn more.” 
Giving students the power to connect with people, and allowing them to write for an audience (that isn’t their teacher) means they have to pay more attention to what they are doing/writing/thinking.  It can help them clarify their thoughts, and have a more purposeful audience. 
I feel like I keep coming back to the original posts for this course, where the students said the teachers weren’t always the people they wanted feedback from.  When we open up our learning and share our thoughts (links, embedded videos, etc.) we get feedback and expand our learning opportunities. 
One of the things that is scary is the targeted ads, and google searches that are customized, this can narrow down our world.  But as long as we keep clicking, and expanding the web (instead of looking at a condensed web) I think we can continue to push our own thinking styles and skills. We can learn more from our community. 

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