Last week a friend, who is also an educator, and I were discussing the fact that it had been a little over a year since we discovered the world of twitter. We had heard about it, but didn’t really understand what all the hype was about. We decided to give it a try and before we knew it we were sucked into the vortex. I began to have to force myself to close out twitter so I could actually get some work done. Discovering TweetDeck took my addiction to a whole new level.

I’ve spent a few days reflecting on that conversation and how my learning has changed since that first day on twitter. When I was in high school & college my learning was linear. The goal was, learn all I could so that I could get a good job, make a decent salary and move out of my parents’ house. It was all about me. I learned from one teacher, in one classroom at a time.

Though I can’t measure it and I don’t have the data to support it, I would have to say I have learned more in the past year than in my entire adult life. While that’s a great thing, even more important is that now my learning is exponential. What I learn from the people in my PLN not only affects me, but also my students, my colleagues and even other people in my PLN. Think about it… You find a good article or a useful resource and think, “I’ll tweet this.” Someone sees it and retweets it. The process continues until, here in this small town in central North Carolina, a math teacher reads your tweet, clicks on the link and learns something. She shares what she’s learned with her students and colleagues and all of a sudden your seemingly insignificant tweet has affected multiple other people.

Imagine the difference in our world if we begin to teach our children how to share what they know with others and how to learn from others. When they think I am the holder of all knowledge and the only one they can learn from, that’s linear. When I open up the world to them learning becomes exponential. Here’s to exponential learning!