connections by Shureen Goodman

We connect in so many ways.  It seems like “connect” is a buzz word sometimes: connecting texts we read to experiences, connecting math concepts to real life, making connections with others.

Social media is one way people connect and it seems like so many websites and online businesses want to take advantage of the potential for global connectivity.  Why not?  I know I do.  The Inspired Classroom is on Twitter, FaceBook, You Tube, Grooveshark, and Sound Cloud to name a few online resources that utilize SM (social media).

I’m also on many of these networks personally.  I like to casually keep up with old friends, those kept away by long distances and family members I don’t often get to see.  I also personally (and professionally) connect with others on Twitter and LinkedIn to share ideas and converse about important topics.  I’ve created quite a PLN (personal learning network) online to support my efforts in what I do.  Recently, I created a PLaiC wiki for an arts integration PLC (professional learning community) where teachers can connect and converse about arts integration.  (You can join us too!)

Connecting with each other online is fun and making these connections in general is essential for human existence.  BUT let’s face it, we still need face to face connections too!

So here’s my story:

My family gathered at my uncle’s house this past week end to see my cousin Greg who was visiting from California.  We had most of our family there and it was so nice to be together.  At one part in the evening, my cousin and I were sitting with our Great-Aunt Dolly on the love seat and she, in her elderly wisdom was telling us “young folk” to never give up on our dreams.  She told stories of when she and our grandmother were young and about when she worked at the telephone company as an overseer.  She’s always great at telling stories and passing down our family history and Armenian heritage.

At one point in the conversation, I looked over to the other side of the room.  There on the matching couch to our love seat were two other young members of the family, sitting next to each other laughing nearly uncontrollably staring into their iPhones, thumbs at the ready on the screen, their joyful faces lit up by the glare.

The juxtaposition of the two scenes in the room amazed me into stillness for a moment. I had one of those outer-body experiences focusing back and forth from one couch to the other.

Who was more connected?  I wonder.  I have my own opinions, but I would LOVE to hear yours first!

So, please – chime in on this one.  What are your thoughts about being and staying connected with others and how does this play into the lives of our children and those that we teach?


Painting from