Earth Day PLN Style

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A few weeks ago, after connecting and interviewing Tina Schneider and Barbara Tallent of LiveBinders (@LiveBinders) for a recent blog post, Tina contacted me with an idea of a podcast to go along with creating a list of resources for “Earth Day”(April 22, 2010).  She no more verbalized the idea and I said “Lets do it!”.   Over the next few days, in thinking about Earth Day, I reflected upon the words of the United States’ great president John F. Kennedy “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” Then I asked myself as an educator, father, and fellow human being, “What can I do to help planet Earth?” since she has provided us a place to grow, nurture, and live among our fellow beings.  So the ladies of LiveBinders and I set out to learn what folks are doing to help improve our daily living in hopes of preserving Earth for our children, their friends, and everyone else yet to have their turn living on this planet we call home.  Our first step was to connect with users of LiveBinders as well as PLN friends on Plurk and Twitter. In observing tweets, I learned of Shelly Blake-Plock (@TeachPaperless) and his blog Teach Paperless along with Steve Katz (@stevekatz) providing ideas via his Teach With Video blog.  Shelly Blake-Plock’s blog posts were extremely passionate in regards to educators using their connections with their students and community to strive for saving planet Earth.  He even started a sign-up drive asking educators across the globe to participate and go paperless on Earth Day, April 22nd.   As of April 21st there were nearly 1,300 folks signed up.  To view the list of participants you can visit “Earth Day”Paperless participants.  What I really find impressive is the map created by Free Technology for Teachers using Google maps to identify general locations of participants signed-up for “Teach Paperless” day.  Here is the link to view this map.  Steve Katz’s approach to “Earth Day”started with getting fellow teachers, students, administration, and community members involved.  Steve shared Going Paperless ideas one day with everyone on Twitter.  After seeing the link, I contacted Steve asking if he would be interested in participating in a podcast interview with Tina, Barbara and myself.  It did not take him very long to respond in agreement to participate.   As a result, I posted on Plurk asking for my PLN friends there to participate in the same podcast interview using with the four of us.   I was pleased to be contacted by a friend and fellow STAR Discovery Educator Elaine Plybon (@eplybon). Elaine is a technology facilitator and science teacher in Dallas, Texas. You can read her blog at Teaching Truths. The school where Elaine works is moving towards a paperless environment with the ongoing development of their 1:1 program and professional development.

With the participants consisting of Steve Katz, Elaine Plybon, Tina Schneider, Barbara Tallent, and myself, we connected via’s conference call function.  What was really nice about using for the call was how it records the call as well as its ability that permits folks unable to participate to send an e-mail or leave a voicemail sharing their thoughts and resources.  The conversation lasted around one hour with Steve and Elaine individually discussing their vision, resources, and the mindsets of educators within the United States compared to those around the globe when it came to a paperless Earth Day.   You can find this “Paperless Earth Day” podcast on my Podomatic page.

In all, this experience has me excited and looking forward to learning more about “Earth Day”and how educators across the globe participated.  I challenge everyone to “Ask not what planet Earth can do for you but what can you do for planet Earth.” Please consider browsing Discovery Education/Waste Management’s Think Green, Earthbridges Website and Earthbridges Collaborative wiki for “Earth Day”events, presentations and resources provided to me on Twitter by Mrs.Durff as well as exploring the binder I have embedded from Tina and Barbara containing a wealth of resources from folks across the globe in supporting “Earth Day”today, tomorrow, and in the future.

5 thoughts on “Earth Day PLN Style

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