Monday, October 31, 2011
Journal 7: My Personal Learning Network
A Personal Learning Network, also referred to as a PLN, is a way for learners to derive knowledge from people associated with a particular topic they plan on learning about through networking devices. Personal Learning Networks help students, teachers, and other learners grow in knowledge by sharing their current knowledge and resources with each other. In creating my PLN, I interacted with others related to education through sites like Twitter, Diigo, and a PLN site called, "The Educator's PLN." These resources will help me as a future teacher by creating an educational bridge between more experienced educators and myself, hopefully opening up the door to many useful resources that will help me to be a successful educator.
Twitter, an online social networking site, uses posts consisting of 140 characters or less to share resources, messages, and to connect with others. I have been using twitter as an educational tool to build connections with other educators and students interested in similar topics and to gain knowledge and resources from who I'm "following." I have also been using twitter to post interesting articles and links I think may be useful to my fellow classmates as well as other teachers out there. I chose to follow Carolgau, NMHS_Principal, Javafest, Farzindunning, and ChereeMcKean. All of these twitter users are educators interested in the advancement of technology in our education system. Most of them are also middle school teachers which is the grade level I am interested in. One of them is a Principal and I chose him because I wanted to see education from an administrators perspective. Twitter is not only a way to connect but it is a way to get active and participate by joining in on educational chats. My first chat occurred on October 27th at 8:30pm with #6thchat. This group is for 6th grade teachers who are looking for new ideas in the classroom, and to discuss various topics that reflect issues surrounding the 6th grade level. During my experience in the chat, these 6th grade teachers discussed many topics from books and helpful resources in regards to lesson plans for criteria in 6th grade to events happening at their schools to requests for qualified classroom and student teachers for grade 6. I found this chat to be a fantastic resource for 6th grade teachers! It was amazing how everyone seemed to know each other, even though it was just through a social networking site. They even welcomed new teachers via tweet into their chat.
Diigo is a social bookmarking website which allows people to bookmark and tag their favorite pages on websites. I am currently using Diigo to follow other Diigo users and view their tagged sites in hopes of building educational knowledge from their resources. I am following Angela Maiers because she has been a teacher for many years and specifically works in literacy for children. I thought she would be helpful with ELL students which I know I will have in my future classroom. I am following Christina Freitas because she did her undergrad in Psychology (just like me) and has her multiple subjects credential from USD. She is currently working on her master's in education and I thought she would have a lot of current information regarding education. I am following Nikki Robertson because she is passionate about new technologies and applying them to the classroom which will be useful once I become a teacher. I am following Tim Lauer because he is a Principal and like I had previously stated, it is nice to see what our administrators are putting out there into the social networking world and what resources they have to offer. Lastly, I am following Tom Whitby because he founded #edchat as well as The Educator's PLN so he is an amazing source of knowledge regarding education. On my Diigo site I tagged Building a PLN, The Educator's PLN, The Innovative Educator, PLN: Your Personal Learning Network made easy, and Personal Learning Networks are Virtual Lockers for Schoolkids. I bookmarked these sites with the PLN tag because they all shared ways in which to encompass your PLN into your educational plans for the classroom. They gave tips on starting your PLN, building it, and then helping it to grow.
I joined the Educator's PLN, a digital discussion forum aimed at supporting PLN's for educators. After doing so, I posted a badge for the website onto my blog. I did this so that my fellow students may click on my link and expand their PLN through my networking. On the Educator's PLN website, I read a blog post entitled, "iPod touch/ iPad Integration with School Administration Software" by Dov Emerson. This post discussed the idea of integrating the iPad with school management software and "Power School" in order to have easy access to student records, write reports, and input notes and observations quickly. Emerson talked about possibly creating an app for this. He had many people respond who liked the idea and gave feedback on how to go about doing this. I liked how Emerson integrated technology into a part of education that no one a couple years back would have ever thought possible. It's nice to see administration trying to find innovative ideas in technology relating to education.