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Tag: friends


Personalizing ISTE 2012 with My Friends

Barbara Bray avatarI’m on my way to ISTE in San Diego soon. I’m going to be talking about personalizing learning. I’m pulling together my presentations, events, and meetings. I’m pretty excited about seeing many of my friends from around the world. Now here’s my dilemma — I want to spend time with friends but I am planning to network. Some of my friends have contracted me to provide services. I guess I’m what you call a “networker” and “digital friend.” But the boundaries are getting fuzzier and fuzzier because of social media. This is my avatar on the right. Red hair — always smiling. I kind of look like my avatar. The real me may appear a little shorter  :)

I started looking at my Personal Learning Network (PLN) and get it that I’m all over social media. I do love it. I love the connections, learning from friends I’m following and who are in my circles, on Scoopit and Pinterest, connections on LinkedIn, those who share on my FB timeline or in my Twitter feeds. I guess one of the decisions I had to make when creating circles in Google+ is what circles to put people in. I didn’t feel right putting some people in acquaintances because I felt like they were kind of “friends.”

So now I have to think about what is a friend? Who do I call my friends? Actually, most of the same people are popping up as friends or connections across social media. Many of these friends I don’t know but look forward to meet at ISTE. I hope you introduce yourself and say “I’m your friend on …..” That is if you want a hug.

I’m a hugger and networker. See me walking down the exhibit hall and I’m talking to everyone. Meet you the first time, I’ll shake your hand, look you in the eyes, and have a great conversation. Next time, I’ll probably hug you. Can’t help it. That’s me!

So if you hug me back, then we can call each other friends? Nooooo! It’s more than that. Friends and business acquaintances are different. Can you be both? Yes!


I only started thinking about this when my social media connections got pretty big and I was scooping this and tweeting that and spending too much time on social media. Social media started taking over. I love connecting to all my friends. Now I’m getting ready for ISTE and will see so many of you — my wonderful friends. But I’m going to ISTE to share my research, my work, and learn from you.

Missing Piece

This time I’m very excited about the prospect of working with others who are researching Personalized Learning and how it can transform education. I’m looking to talk to you, learn from you, and maybe work with you. I have been collaborating with Kathleen McClaskey and set up our own site Personalize Learning. We both believe that learning starts with the learner.  We are getting connected to new “Friends” because of our work around Personalized Learning.

ISTE 2012 ConferenceI hope to see you at ISTE at our sessions. We’re hosting a Birds of a Feather session on Monday  that is mainly interactive by you the participants. You bring the questions, talk about them in small groups, and then share back. We’ll collect the information and share them with you on our website. We are also doing a presentation about Personalized Learning Toolkits  on Tuesday at 3:45 and anticipate lots of feedback and sharing. Kathleen and I have worked very hard on this presentation and hope you find it beneficial. Join us!

So I hope to see lots of my friends in San Diego. I am hooked on social media. Probably will be hugging a few of you. I just have to say thank you to so many of my friends who have been there for me for so many years. I feel very fortunate. It will be fun to see you and meet in person some of my virtual friends for the first time.

Some ways to connect:

Check out my Scoop-its:


Contact me via if you want to set up a time to meet at the conference.


Unplugged and What Happened?

I went away last weekend with some women friends and there was no Internet or cell reception. I handled it but didn’t think I could. I actually enjoyed not being connected and played games. I played scrabble face-to-face and not on Facebook. I learned a new game called Quiddler. Then sprinkled in Upwords. We played as soon as we got up and all the way until the wee hours of the night. A marathon of games. While I was gone, I received over a thousand email messages, was added to 35 Google+ circles, was mentioned and linked in several blog posts, missed 3265 tweets, and not sure what else.

So this morning I just saw this Inforgraphic by Kelly Hodgkins on “what happens in 60 seconds on The Internet.”


— Shut down your Internet for sixty seconds and here’s a sampling of what you will miss:

  • 1500+ blog posts
  • 98,000 new tweets
  • 12,000 new ads on Craigslist
  • 20,000 new posts on Tumblr
  • 600 new videos (25+ hours worth) on YouTube

I bet most of this is spam. I received a lot of spam. I think we are so connected that we almost go through the shakes if we realize we are not connected. A few weeks ago, I answered a poll about which technology can you not live without — Internet, cell phone, TV, Laptop. I chose cell phone. Then when I didn’t have cell reception, I didn’t know what to do. I was thinking “who is writing me? what if I miss something? Did I get a text?”

Barbara Riding the Tricycle


After a few hours of playing games, going for a walk, eating a nice dinner, I just enjoyed myself. While we were out at dinner, two of us pulled our phones out to see if we had any bars. We did and quickly checked our email. Does this sound like an addiction? I do have to say I was more relaxed than I had been in a long time. We slept in the next day all the way until 9am. Maybe I need to rethink my life and get a balance so I unplug more. I’m a digital pioneer who’s been plugged in for a long time. I wonder how the digital natives will do without texting. How long would they be able to go? I did use my phone to take pictures.

Thank you Marilyn for taking me away to Aptos and letting me just be. I even rode her tricycle.


Things that are important to me

I thought about the things that are important to me after reading “15-minute writing exercise closes the gender gap in university-level physics.” The article shares “Perhaps you care about creativity, family relationships, your career, or having a sense of humour. Pick two or three of these values and write a few sentences about why they are important to you. You have fifteen minutes. It could change your life.” So here goes…


My family means the world to me. My children and granddaughter were here over Thanksgiving and the house was warmer (not only because the heat was up higher than I usually put it) but the feeling in the house was warm and special. My sisters and their families were here also. The love we have for each other is something you cannot really hold or touch. It just is there. Always. Being with people that know you and have history with you means so much. You can bring up something that happened years ago and see their smiles because they experienced it also. I do have some challenges now but it doesn’t matter when you have love and people that love you no matter what. Some love is always there even though you have to let it go. My granddaughter, Cali, has a sparkle in her eye when she sees me, her Baba. She giggles and shows me pure love. Wow! How lucky am I!


There are some people who are there for you in good times. But it’s the people that are with you during the tough times that you know are really your friends. Like I said earlier I have a few challenges right now that I am processing and working through. Everyone has something to deal with especially during these tough economic times. I hope my friends don’t think I take them for granted. I want them to know how much I appreciate them. I don’t want to list them here but you know who you are. Even though I may have loads of Twitter and Facebook friends, there are some real special people in my life who believe in me and want to see me successful.  I would do anything for them too. To have a business now in difficult times means that you have to be tough — tougher than I’m used to. I like to do things for others or I wouldn’t have created My eCoach. I tend to bend over backwards for people instead of doing what I need to do for myself. Watch out world! I’m growing and changing to be something different and stronger. But don’t worry — I’ll still be there for my good friends.


I once told my children “I love learning” and they laughed at it. My granddaughter said that to me this weekend and I just smiled. Every day is a new day. Each day I hope to learn something new. I am so curious about the world and what I can find out about it. Cali is almost three so the world is her playground. Watching how she is curious and creative brings out the child in me. I love technology but I want to learn so much more about the world as a scientist, researcher, and artist.

I am joining different groups now to stretch my mind, my world. I’m spending each day reading and researching ideas and topics that I’ve always wanted to learn about. I’m teaching a course on “Learning in Real Time” for UCSC this Spring and putting on webinars that stretch my mind. Just did a webinar with Roxanne Clement on Joy in Learning Matters for the Global Education Conference (see all the archived recordings here). I tried to go to as Make Mine a Million Competitionmany webinars as I could during that conference and going back to check the archives there and other virtual conferences. So cool! I’m running a book study for Sig ILT on Web 2.0: How to for educators just because I want to.

I am a Micro Awardee from the Make Me a Million $ Competition for Count Me In for women business owners. I am learning about being more successful at what I do and how to do that. I plan to share what I learn with you. It’s all about attitude. I get it. When you get that feeling that you can do anything you want to do, it’s so rewarding.


So back to the article about gender gap… I didn’t believe enough in me especially being a woman who grew up in the 60s and 70s. The last few months have opened my eyes that if I don’t believe in me, then why would anyone else? I do now. I do get it.  I’m learning.