In German there is a saying when you feel alone in what you do. “Allein auf weiter Flur stehen” is similar to the idiom of “to plough a lonely furrow”.
Most teachers who have embraced 21st century teaching and learning are indeed alone or part of a small minority in their school or district. It sure can feel that one is walking a lonely hallway with no one around or even running away as they see you approach.
I know I am very fortunate to have someone in the same building as I work in, who understands my “crazy” connected blogging twittering social networked world. Someone who will have read some of the same blog posts, understands the excitement of collaborative work, or will already have checked out the newest tips or resources circulating in the twittersphere.
I am grateful to have someone like Andrea Hernandez (@edtechworkshop) work with me. It means a lot to be able to drop by between classes or meetings to chat, brainstorm, plan, collaborate, or run something by each other.
But…we are in the minority (only ones?) in our building, county or state. We are reminded that when talking to each other we are preaching to the choir. Only on the social networks we belong to, such as Twitter, Nings and our blogs, when we connect with others virtually, do we feel as part of something greater and are lulled into a sense of reassurance that there are many others on the same path with similar ideas.
Nevertheless, I sometimes feel that I live in my own “21st Century teaching and learning” bubble, floating in a different dimension or even on a completely different planet.
The above image was created collaboratively with my Twitter network.
Once I had the idea of creating a visualization of that feeling, found several images on Stock.xchng, started playing in PhotoShop, I solicited responses on Twitter. As I am receiving new keywords to be placed inside and outside the bubble, I am adding them to the PhotoShop file and then replacing the image file on Flickr.
There are three ways to contribute to this image by adding keywords describing how the inside and outside of YOUR bubble looks like.