Why Do We Connect? Video Project

Starting next Sunday, I will begin presenting about Personal Learning Networks (PLNs). My presentation will take place at the TESOL Greece conference and two weeks later I will give a similar presentation at the ISTEK conference in Istanbul, Turkey.  I am deeply passionate about my topic. I believe that if every educator was part of a PLN, then educational reform would occur. You may think me naive but I have seen social media accomplish miracles. I can count many times when a review on a website or tweet helped a friend or me receive a refund or better service from a company. With the Iran elections, I witnessed Twitter become a message system to let people know where to find a safe house. Social media brought the atrocities to the world’s attention. With the Haiti earthquake and other natural disasters, I witnessed social media help raise money, recruit volunteers, and find missing people. Why can’t social media revolutionize education?

With this in mind, I am taking my presentation very seriously. I just don’t want to give a good presentation. I have a goal in mind. I want the audience to get involved with a PLN and stick with it. I realize I have a tough task to accomplish. When we present about PLNs we are not simply providing information. Instead, we have to inspire the audience to register for these tools, learn to use them, and stick with them. These are three difficult tasks to ask a person to do. The best way I can think of to influence this amount of action is to inspire my audience. Therefore, I am asking for your help.

The Video Project

While watching the livestream of the TEDxNYED, I came across Michael Wesch‘s Youtube channel and was inspired by the video, The Message. Videos often inspire people to action.


I want to do a similar project, where I get members of our PLN to contribute reasons why we are connected. I need educators, parents, students, and any other stakeholders to record a video of less than 30 seconds. In this video, simply write your reason on your hand or on a piece of paper. Please, limit this to a sentence at the most. Below is the video I have started with a few members of our PLN! Thank you so much it is looking better than I could have ever imagined! If you choose to participate, this will be shown at all my conferences. Your name will be included in the wiki I have created for this project. The video will also be included on my Vimeo and Youtube channels and available under a Creative Commons License to be downloaded and used.This is a bare bones example just to show you the direction of the project.

Why Do We Connect? from Shelly Terrell on Vimeo.


So we do not all do the same message, I have created this Google Doc for you to fill out. Please, keep the following items in mind:

  • Remember, keep it as short as possible. It should be a sentence at the most.
  • I was just warned by my wonderful friend Marisa  No Open Palms please because this is considered disrespectful in Greece.
  • Only written words, please.
  • If possible, would you mind your child participating as well? I would like to include a diverse group. You don’t have to show your child’s face.
  • The first video will be shown next Sunday in Greece and the next in Turkey so there is a bit of a time crunch.
  • When you write your message remember it will be recorded reading left to right. This was a challenge for me.
  • Try to do this inside a room away from daylight.
  • You can use Photo Booth to easily record if you have a Mac. If you have a PC then you can use Jing or Camstudio.
  • If you want, I can record you through Skype.
  • If the file is to big to email to me at ShellyTerrell at gmail dot com, then you can use the Transfer Big Files site.

Thank you so much for your help!


Send me your short video clip and participate in the Why Do We Connect project.

You may want to subscribe for FREE!

Music in video by DJ BLUE / CC BY-NC-SA 2.5

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations


  1. What an amazing challenge! I’d like to participate in it. I’ve started thinking about a sentence that summarises the benefits of having a PLN.

  2. Shell this is so cool! What an amazing opportunity to create a “Tsunami” of collaboration for Ed Tech and PLN’s. I will definitely contribute along with my son,Aaron. Will work on our sentence messages and get back to you soon!

  3. I’m in. I’ll think about what to write right away. I can’t wait to see the final project.

  4. Very interesting idea, just think if this takes off it could be the next big thing in education.

    I’m thinking Noble Peace Prize or w/ my acting a Razzy 😉

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