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You know the old saying, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” I’ve been thinking about that a lot this past week, but in a slightly different context.

I recently attended the NAGC Annual Convention and Exhibition in Indianapolis, and my head is stilling spinning with all the information and knowledge I gained.

If you follow me on Twitter you would’ve seen the steady flow of tweets I sent out over the five days (you can read them here). If you work with me, you might have gotten an email with a link to something I learned that might connect to your classroom, and if you’ve talked to me at all, you’ve probably heard some quote or tidbit of research I picked up.

I had conversations with strangers who shared a common interest in gifted education. I met some of my Twitter PLN face-to-face for the first time and visited with those I  met last year at TAGT in Dallas. I spent time with a favorite college professor that I hadn’t seen in 17 years but who influences my teaching every day.

Then there was the time spent with a colleague. It’s rare for us to be able to meet and collaborate during the school year, so we took advantage of the time. You would be amazed at the ideas that we bounced around each night. And the car ride home? We mapped out a plan that has us both excited and a little nervous about what we want to take on.

So, my question is this, if you learn something new and you don’t share it, did you really learn it? What good is new knowledge if we don’t talk about it, question it, play with it?

You can’t have a PLN of one. Learning is noisy and messy, and sometimes a little painful. It’s a journey that shouldn’t be taken alone.