PLNs What Are They?
Developing your Personal Learning Network (PLN) is a task that allows educators to organize tools and call on other professionals that can help them with enhancement of ideas, development of skills, and provide guidance throughout their career. As I design my first PLN, I have to think about the people I know and the tools I possess. I have to say my circle is small and my tools are limited. The only way I know how to make my network bigger is to master Twitter. The first thing I did when I joined Twitter was follow my group from class, Dr. Strange, and all the EDM 310 lab assistants. Next, I downloaded Tweetdeck, which has allowed me to follow #EDM 310 and #EDM301. If anyone mentions these hashtags while on Twitter, I will be able to see what they posted. This is very useful when it comes to sharing information and articles that may be pertinent to class or my teaching subject. On Twitter, I can search for a topic that interests me. I can also search for others that have the same interests as me. Once I follow them, I can follow who they follow, leave comments or ask questions, thus a PLN has been formed. Lastly, posting C4Ts will introduce me to more teachers. Teachers that can help mold and shape my teaching techniques. I hope to one day have my twitter feeds full with tips and advice that will help me become the teacher I have dreamed of becoming.
Dr. Strange introduced two ways to keep track of my PLN, Symbaloo and Netvibes. Symbaloo is a grid of tiles with all one's personal important interests on one screen. There is even a google search box so I would not need to open a new tab to search the internet. Netvibes is a personalized dashboard. It uses an universal widget technology so I can connect with friends and colleagues. I personally liked Symbaloo to help me build my PLN. By having all the tools I needed to create and build my PLN, I can spend more time looking for other educators and ideas. Another tool that some may not think about using is Pinterest. Pinterest has so many great ideas, from doing projects in class to decorating a classroom. I can choose from some of the ideas pinned and I can even pin my ideas for others to see. This is a great way to connect to other teachers that have creative minds which will help grow my PLN and enhance my teaching skills.
Vicki Davis states in her post, Personal Learning Networks are Virtual Lockers for School Kids that "constructing a PLN is the essential skill that moves students into the driver's seat of their own learning." I am in the driver's seat ready to start my engine. I am so excited to begin developing my PLN. I love meeting new people and gaining more knowledge. Just the thought that I will be connecting with someone across the globe is invigorating. Although my circle is small now, it will grow rapidly before I know it. As Dr. Strange says, I am a lifelong learner. I plan to be just that!
Below is a Youtube video that Dr. Strange shared through his PLN. It is a tutorial on PLN: