Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My PLN Progress Report

What is a PLN?
A personal learning network (PLN) is the informal system of people and tools that a learner uses to seek help, interact and collaborate. Part of EDM310 is to develop and cultivate a PLN that can be used throughout our careers as educators.

chalk board

  • Cultivating My PLN
  • So far, Twitter has been one of the most valuable assets to my PLN. I have used Twitter to seek out educators and professionals, as well as to keep track of the teachers and principals I have discovered through my C4K and C4T assignments. Twitter is a great learning resource because by following a substantial amount of professionals, there are constantly new ideas and comments to read. Carefully selecting who I 'follow' ensures the discussions and comments will be high quality. In fact, while writing this post I just checked Twitter and happened to find a great link to a Pinterest Board about PLNs!

    I also consider several sites to be important components of my personal learning network. Google and Google Drive, Delicious, Prezi, Edutopia, TED Talks and Pinterest are some of the tools and sites that I now frequently refer to.

  • Organizing My PLN
  • I chose Symbaloo as the method I use to organize my PLN. Symbaloo has become one of my favorite pages! I am a very visual person, so I like that Symbaloo uses a neat and orderly grid of tiles to display all my favorite sites and PLN tools. Using the tabs, you can create several different Symbaloo pages to suite individual tastes and needs. This is great for keeping personal and professional separate, and keeping everything compact and organized.

    Types of Personal Learning Networks

    Developing a solid PLN requires a willingness to reach out and form connections. Simply reading and watching is not enough; growing a personal learning network means engaging, actively commenting and asking questions. I think that patience is also key, because a quality PLN takes months, even years, to develop. Like Dr. Strange reminds us: The tools are constantly changing, so to be a lifelong learner we have to change with them.

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