Alec Couros and is posted here using Creative Commons share alike license for noncommercial use. How do I know about Creative Commons Licensing? Because for the past four years I have been expanding my professional network beyond the constraints of those whom I have met and worked with to those in the field of technology in education who I can contact via the social networking of the Internet. I have a Twitter network of selected educators who post links to their own work or those of others that they value. I have an iGoogle page of incoming RSS feeds of articles and blog entries I can view to see if I want to read more. Both of these are available on my phone as well so if I don't have my laptop open I can still use moments when I am waiting for an appointment or a friend to check in. I have podcasts that are set to download to iTunes on my computer when I am online. When I plug my phone into my computer the podcasts transfer to my phone so I can listen to them when I am walking or driving.
This network allows my to be in contact with others who have a role like mine in another state or country. We can try ideas out with each other, put our teachers in contact with each other. While I still value going to conferences like ISTE the immediacy of this network and the professional interactions it creates mean that I can have conference-like interactions with colleagues without traveling or waiting for an annual meeting. I have a much larger network of colleagues and associates available to me through this network than I have ever had in my professional career.