Pay It Forward & The Power of a PLN

All educators need to belong to a Personal Learning Network (or PLN). I am so much richer because I am able to connect, either in person or online, with like-minded colleagues who so willingly share and/or provide constructive feedback.

The power of the PLN was reinforced again last week. Although I am retired, I still enjoy attending regular meetings of the Manitoba Association of Educational Technology Leaders (MAETL). I was attending a meeting last Thursday when I took advantage of the collective knowledge of this professional group.

Knowing that I was in the process of writing a blog post about the upcoming “Pay It Forward Day” on April 26th, I needed to find a video that demonstrated the power of the pay it forward process. Six months ago, someone had sent me a link to a YouTube video suggesting that I might enjoy its message. I recall that it started with a young boy who falls off a skateboard onto the sidewalk. A construction worker takes the time to see if the young lad is injured before continuing on his way. The boy appreciates the caring gesture and pays it forward by helping carry groceries across the street for an elderly woman. This woman passes alongside someone who is looking for change to put into a parking meter and she provides the coins, and this “good deed” process continues throughout the video. Each recipient of these small acts of kindness pays it forward in turn. Unfortunately at the time, I did not bookmark the video or save this YouTube URL for later use.

As I started writing the former blog post, I remembered that I had seen a YouTube video that would be a great resource to stimulate class discussion on the pay it forward process. However, no matter what search terms I used to try to retrieve this video, I was unsuccessful.

However, at the end of our formal MAETL meeting, we have a “Short Snappers” agenda item, where anyone can share quick tips or web site resources that might benefit others in the group.

During “Short Snappers”, I used a process call “crowd sourcing” when I described the video that I was hoping to find to members in my professional learning network.

Some of my colleagues had seen the video and thought that it might have been part of a commercial.

However, within three minutes Joan Badger, a Curriculum Coordinator with St. James-Assiniboia School Division, had searched YouTube and had located the following powerful “pay it forward” video. I urge readers to follow this link to see how they might incorporate this powerful YouTube video into their “Pay It Forward” activities:


Watch this….
You will definitely share this……mp4




Take care & keep smiling 🙂

Credits: Thanks to Justin Tarte for granting me permission to use the above Professional Learning Network image from his June 27, 2011 blog post entitled “The value of a PLN …

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