Thing 16 (Week 7): 43 Things - Your Online Support Group

photo by TheMacGirl
photo by TheMacGirl
43 Things is a "social networking" site where users list and tag their goals (either publicly or privately), report on their progress, ask for and receive advice, and connect to and "cheer" others having the same goals. That's it. The original Learning 2.0 course model was developed by Helene Blowers for the staff members in her public library system after she read a column entitled 43 Things I (or You) Might Want to Do This Year (PDF), by librarian Stephen Abrams. In the article, Abrams describes the 43 Things site and suggests several "Web 2.0"-themed exploratory goals.

DISCLAIMER: Not all content at this site is student-safe.

I present this "Thing" not to suggest that everyone needs to get out there and publicize their goals, or because I think you should get all your second graders doing that, but just as a fun, interesting example of a simple, potentially powerful way in which Web 2.0 tools can connect people and ideas. Because the site uses tags, you can easily browse others' goals, or create a special "shared" tag to identify shared goals with people you know (for example, if a group of friends or colleagues all set shared reading, learning or fitness goals). And, of course, you can follow the progress of a particular goal-setter or goal using RSS.

Discovery Exercise

Explore 43 Things (You are not required to join).
  • Begin by taking the tour (~5 minutes). It's perfectly "safe" to create the practice list presented in the tour, you don't have to save it!
  • Next, try searching for goals that interest you, checking out the zeitgeist, clicking on tags, and following links to see what you can find.

If you are so inclined, join 43 Things and list (and tag) some goals. Have fun!

Write a blog post sharing your thoughts about 43 Things. Did you find anything interesting while exploring the site? Do you think goal setting in this sort of public/connected forum would be beneficial or motivating? Can you imagine using this type of resource for your own personal or professional goal setting? Is there a potential benefit to a site like this for students? If you joined the site, share a little bit about that as well. Please include "Thing 16" in your post title.