Monday, November 21, 2011

Personal Learning Networking for Educators

Who has time anymore? I don't. With Web 2.0 technologies, 21st Century learners need to develop an on-the-go learning network. Information transmission is instantaneous, plentiful, and free. But, locating professionally reliable information that is relevant to your professional interests can become overwhelming. Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) have created a fast and effective way for the acquisition of knowledge and new information. Check out Tim Wilhelmus provides a web binder with more details about PLNs.  In addition, Leslie Fisher also provides decent information on PLNs through a PDF file of hers.  Then, there are Richard Byrne's slideshows on starting a PLN.  There is also a newer post that I wrote after being taken on a journey with my PLN.  I could keep going because there are infinite possibilities with a PLN. 

Don't worry.  PLN's don't have to cost anything. To get started, sign into all of the most popular social networking sites available.  However, be more selective about who you"friend."  Keep it professional. Here is a list of the different sites recommended for starting your own PLN:
  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Linkedin
  4. Google+
  5. Diigo
  6. Blogger (good examples below)
  8. AddThis
  9. Skype
  10. YouTube
As usual, this is not an exhaustive list, but a starting point to at least entertain the idea of connecting to professional information.  If you are looking for certain information, sign up for Google Alerts.  These "alerts" will send you an email help on pertinent information of personal interest.

I really enjoyed what the "iCats" did within their school system.  To promote social learning, Evansville, IN teachers were provided a 30-Day Challenge to learn about Web 2.0 tools.  From this, the winner receives an iPad 2.  Of course, the iPad 2 is only for Evansville teachers, but it is easy to follow along.  It started on October 17, 2011.

Without a well connected PLN, this challenge would have gone unnoticed, and unless I continue to develop my network more professionally relevant websites will slip by unnoticed. So, connect with your own PLN and advance your personal knowledge to the best of your PLN’s ability.  This slideshow will give you a few tips on starting your connections today.

Facebook may be a sore subject for some districts.  Facebook for Educators  organization may be able to provide useful information for you.  Here is a helpful guide for using Facebook.

Teacher's Guide to Using Facebook (Read Fullscreen)

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