Friend vs. Network vs. Follow

I follow people on Twitter because I want to learn something from them and be a part of the conversation. They post links to resources that I’m interested in, they’re participating in conversations with other Twitterers that I Tweet with and it all makes sense to me. Some of the people I follow don’t follow me. I’m okay with that.

Many Twitterers have paired down their networks to make the conversations easier to follow and I can understand that. I pretty much follow the 1:1 strategy with Twitter, but there are many people that follow me that I do not follow as I am not sure why they follow me.

On Diigo, we send “Friend Requests”. Have you had any that have not yet been returned? How would you feel if they weren’t? What’s the protocol going to be with this new PLN? David Warlick Tweeted the other day that he wasn’t sure whether he needed to join another network, but I was glad to see that he joined Diigo as I requested his “friendship” so I could check out his links.

How do you all feel about this? Are all of “your networks” on reciprocal? Do you follow everyone on Twitter that follows you? Will you accept all of your Diigo friend requests? How do you plan to manage all of this?

I’m looking to my PLN for suggestions.


Social Bookmarking Conundrum

A lack of resources has not been of concern in recent months. Between Twitter, Classroom 2.0, my personal learning network and the all the Edubloggers, there is a rich source of information on virtually any topic of interest to an educator looking for information on technology.

The proof was in the pudding this past week when many of us “ed techies” decided to give a try. Within a week’s time, here’s what has accumulated as resources (and I apologize if I left anything out):

Steve Harrigan from Classroom 2.0 hosted a live event using Eluminate. You can find the recording of the interview with Maggie Tsai from and the corresponding chat log at

Diigo also posted a video on Youtube.

Kristin Hokanson posted her thoughts and ideas on her blog at

Liz Davis did a Jing screencast which can be found at

Ryan Bretag posted his ideas as well as some great visual aides at

So, if you still need some help defining the difference between (which has been my preferred social bookmarking site and I will continue to use it) and Diigo (which claims to be more powerful than existing social bookmarking sites), I gently stear you towards the resources listed above.

You’ll find me on both networks. I set my Diigo preferences to bookmark on as well.


Implementing New Curricular Learning with Universally Designed Experiences” (INCLUDE) is the name of the grant that many districts in New Jersey applied for and received from the NJ Department of Education along with federal funding through NCLB Title IID and IDEA-B. The objective of the INCLUDE Grant program is to increase student achievement in middle school mathematics by improving instruction and educational technology.

I’ve had the pleasure in the past couple of months to meet with several of the participating districts to discuss professional development in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as well as educational technology. What’s got me is that we use so many acronyms in education that it’s tough to keep track of what we’re all referring to. Let’s recap what I’ve already written about:


There are many of us that won’t admit to NOT being able to decode an acronym when presented one we are unfamiliar with. We may Tweet it or e-mail someone asking if anyone has any resources to share. This is what seems to be happening with UDL (not UBD) in New Jersey. Universal Design for Learning is here.

I’m very excited!

For additional resources on UDL, please visit my UDL blog at: 

Two other resources you can’t do without:

Karen Janowski’s blog

Time for a new blog

Having been an unofficial “blogger” for many years using Blogger to author subject specific blogs for my job at the Center at Rutgers and then abandoning them because I lost interest or just plain got too busy, this time I decided that I would make a commitment to blog for myself.

Back in 2005 I had used Blogger to house content for a couple of graduate courses I was teaching as well as using it as a tool to teach educators about blogging. You can see my old blogs at Much of the information is outdated and many of the links may be broken. I remember about six months ago contacting Blogger because a couple of my blogs mysteriously dissapeared from my dashboard. They were never recovered.

There are so many things that I am interested in as an ed tech specialist and I post my opinions on Twitter and other social networks and people’s blogs on a regular basis, but here in the year 2008, I decided it was finally time to dedicate some space specifically for what I think works for good teaching and learning. I bring you Thumann Resources.