Last week I participated in my first ever OZ/NZ Educators net meeting. I was a bit timid at first - honestly, it seems strange, but I think I am more video/audio shy online than I am in person - but towards the end I said hello and started to get more comfortable. This week I actually found myself looking forward to the meeting, just being able to listen and share what other people are doing is awesome.
It was a relatively small meeting tonight only between 6 and 8 members logged in, but still it was well worth taking the time out from Australian Idol to log in. Especially given that within the first 15 minutes I'd connected with someone working on a project a colleague wants to do. Straight away there's a support person I can offer and the possibility of a global connection for them both.
Since getting involved in building a Professional Network online through Ning, Twitter, Skype, etc I've learnt a lot of things - new tools, new ideas, solutions to problems, new systems, and the list goes on. But the most powerful thing I've learnt - the smallest connection can open up whole new worlds of opportunity.
Every person I meet online, every tool I find, there seems to be at least ten more attached to it. It's totally mind blowing...and totally awesome as a teacher!