A group of adult friends hiking a trail together in the woods. It is well lighted and there are both evergreen and deciduous trees lining the path along with flowers, grass and other plants. There may be some curious animals. There are hills ahead with a mountain in the distance. Hyperrealistic, happy, hopeful.
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L.Ecos (re)Inventing Self

TechTrends published “Creating an Intentional Web Presence: Strategies for Every Educational Technology Professional”1 . It concluded with:

To be a successful, lifelong educational technology professional, you need to be digitally literate and model digital fluency in your day-to-day professional activities, including effectively managing your web presence.” (Dunlap & Lowenthal 2016)

I was honored the authors used my story as a ‘callout’ case study example. At the end I stated, “I developed a twist on the model, marrying the principals of PLN with SEO to result in designing my social learning network…where content curation became crucial as that is how I ‘engaged’ with my community…This is important to me as it establishes me as a lifelong learner and as a global citizen.” (Stitson, 2016)

A hampster on a wheel saying "Let me off please"

A learning network ecosystem personalized to your lifelong learning journey takes time to cultivate.

Backing up a few year before the burnout, I had started to develop a plan for a conscious process that I could use to create and engage my new learning ecosystem as evolved from what I knew about PLNs and normal professional networking .

Many of the tips outlined in such articles as Building a Strong Professional Network: Key Strategies for Success” by PMS Consulting or the Forbes 2022 article, “14 Steps To Take To Build A Strong Professional Network” are absolutely amazing for building your professional network, collaborate and cultivate possibilities.

However, no one really talks about what educator have known to be a critical component of a personal/professional learning network – a “basecamp” website or other central spot where you share what you learn, resources etc.

Hence ‘Learning Ecos” came about and *almost* launched. Then the gen AI revolution hit the fan. I jumped on the hamster wheel (or was I a lemming 🤔) and here I am launching with my first newsletter.

The L.Ecos to the P.Ecos of my M.Ecos.

I am a lover of language origin and history. (My favorite book is “Empires of the World: A Language History of the World.”2 Check it out sometime, it’s only 640 pages. 😉)

The sections of each newsletter were derived from some work origins stories….

L.Ecos – I googled Lecos which oddly resulted in two interesting bits both of which are regard with anthropogenic change, i.e. the study of environmental changes causes by people. Most L.Ecos tips are going to be all about this!

First, LECoS stands for a GIS plug for Landscape Ecology Statistics which really just means land cover analysis.

Second, It is the name of people indigenous to Bolivia. As a old anthropologist and lover of the new trends in regenerative agriculture this super thick paper, “Intermediation, Ethnogenesis and Landscape Transformation at the Intersection of the Andes and the Amazon: the Historical Ecology of the Lecos of Apolo, Bolivia.3” was a fascinating skim ( I couldn’t get through it word for word), especially the section, Comparative Historical Ecology of Two Lecos Communities. It is an impressive account about how environment and outside influence can dramatically effect people from the same culture in a completely divergence fashion.

P.Ecos – Pecos is simply a river that runs through N.Mexico and Texas, a town, and a USS oiler ship. The historic meaning is “The place where there is water or, according to Urban Dict. “Peco means great, cool, nice, ect.” That works for me because most of what I will write in P.Ecos posts will be about the awesome people I follow, know, as they provide the water that feeds my soul. (I know 🤮 too sentimental)

M.Ecos fortunately has no meaning which is fitting because it really is just about you at the center creating personalized habits, behaviors, and action items that work for YOU. There is no specific prescription to this but, through sharing resources and anecdotes, I hope to help you put together a program that fits your now and techniques to recognize when and how shifts should shift occur (or not!).

[Begin callout] Web Presence in Action Patty’s Story

I understood the power of organic SEO and the importance of a well-designed website when I began my graduate studies in educational technology. In the small business I worked, I had revamped my employer’s website and presence in online directories. As I built more and more websites, I realized that, regardless of the amount of traffic a website has, ANY web presence would increase one’s google ranking and searchability.

Armed with this knowledge and experience, I created an online professional portfolio to showcase some of the work I was doing in my graduate studies. At this point in my studies, I had two websites (patriciastitson.com and modestmedia.com) that were establishing my digital footprint when I began learning more about social media in my coursework. I setup a Twitter account ‘@imightwrite’, a YouTube and Vimeo account, and, of course, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The coursework gave me an opportunity to take a hard look at my digital presence and relate it back to a personal learning network. As I was not a teacher or educator, the idea of a traditional PLN was hard for me to put into practice. This is why I developed a twist on the model, marrying the principals of PLN with SEO to result in designing my social learning network. This is where content curation became crucial as that is how I ‘engaged’ with my community. By utilizing Scoop.it to post to both my blog and Twitter, I was able to quickly reach out and gain notice from people as far away as Norway. This is important to me as it establishes me as a lifelong learner and as a global citizen. [End callout]

  1. Lowenthal, Patrick R.; Dunlap, Joanna C.; and Stitson, Patricia. (2016). “Creating an Intentional Web Presence: Strategies for Every Educational Technology Professional”. TechTrends, 60(4), 320-329. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-016-0056-1 ↩︎
  2. Ostler, N. (2006). Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World. Paperback edition. Harper Perennial. ↩︎
  3. Retrieved from https://www.environmentandsociety.org/ ↩︎

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