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23 Resources about Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)

23 Resources about Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)
Part of the Cool Sites series For the past year, I have researched the what, who, when, how, and why of Personal/Professional/Passionate Learning Networks (PLNs). We have seen the benefits of the people we choose to connect, collaborate, and problem solve with through social media. A community raises a child! Below are several resources I have collected about the history of PLNs, how to build a PLN, and the tools needed to build a PLN. We Connect Wiki- This wiki is full of videos, Wallwishers, Wikipedia articles, and more that help educators find the resources to build a PLN. Wikipedia article about PLNs- This article explains the history and theory behind PLNs. Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age by George Siemens- Siemens is noted as one of the forerunners behind the PLN movement. Origins of the Term ‘Personal Learning Network’ by Stephen Downes- Downes is another forerunner of the PLN movement and connectivism. Why Do We Connect? How To Build Your PLN Using Twitter

6 Alternatives To Bullet Lists Sharebar Bullets make lists of important points easy to read. When those near-perfect little circles are vertically aligned, readers can quickly process the text. Yet too many bullet lists in an eLearning course or slide presentation can be repetitious and mind-numbing. Learners and audiences need novelty to maintain and sustain attention. The trick for going beyond bullets is to think visually. Here are six bullet alternatives you can create in any graphics program or in PowerPoint. Alternative 1: Use text boxes A simple alternative to a list is to place each item into a a text box that is arranged in a suitable layout. Alternative 2: Let icons do the talking Using the same text boxes as above, this approach adds icons to the words. These icons were found at Iconfinder. You can take this approach one step further by accentuating the graphic more than the words. These icons are courtesy of BuildInternet!. Alternative 3: Let People Speak Your List Alternative 4: Wrap the list around a picture

Blogging Tips for Teachers What’s Here This page shares ideas for educators to use in creating websites with teaching resources. Learn how to set up and design your blog, create strong content, build a following online, and more! These tips are based on my own personal experience with running a website for teachers since July 2003–almost a decade! Setting Up Your Blog The first step to setting your blog apart: always write about something you know and truly care about. Choose your blogging platform carefully. Pick a great template. Choose a niche or focus for your blog . Be cautious of using your grade level as your niche. Google your blog title and niche before going live with it. Creating Strong Blog Content The phrase I live by is content is king. Many bloggers spend too much time focusing on promoting their blogs and not enough time writing stuff people want to read. Don’t stress over posting on a regular schedule. Stay true to your voice. How to Come Up with Blog Post Ideas

Personal Learning Networks 101 For most of the summer I have been working on a book with Bill Ferriter and Jason Ramsden entitled Essentials for Principals: Social Media. The book will be published by Solution Tree Press. As I was working on the professional development section the other day I delved into the topic of Personal Learning Networks (PLN’s). Now I fully realize that the majority of educators immersed in social media understand the importance of a PLN and how to establish one. Well, this post is not for you, but instead for a teacher or administrator that you work with that needs either a a little push to set one up or further explanation on it’s value. The concept of a PLN has been around for a very long time. Most educators I talk to have no idea where to begin when attempting to create a PLN that meets their teaching and learning needs. Twitter: Microblogging platform that allows educators from all corners of the globe to communicate in 140 characters or less. cialis purchase online

Do We See the Beauty in Every Student? Posted by Shelly Terrell on Wednesday, June 9th 2010 As many of us prepare for the start of a new year, I can’t help but think of the students who will drop-out, work instead of go to college, be placed in a juvenile detention center, go to jail, fail, attend alternative schools, or be on welfare. Somewhere along the way a parent, teacher, politician, and community failed them. In most cases, it was all these stakeholders who failed them. When I see a defeated student walk into my room I wonder at what age someone made them feel like they could not succeed. Seeing the Ugly I would love to believe all educators enter our field full of compassion for every student. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~ Confucius How many students walk into a class and are labeled as trouble or bad? The Reality The problem is that there are too many students who feel more comfortable with failure. Consider the drop-out rate in your country. Challenge:

e-learning What is a PLN, anyway? A good friend (and a great teacher) e-mailed me after my last post. “Great links,” she said. “But what’s a PLN?” A good reminder about why I try to avoid acronyms and jargon in my writing. PLN is an acronym for Personal Learning Network. The structure of my PLN has changed since I first started teaching. The pre-Internet 80s Yes, there was an internet of sorts in the 80s, but I wasn’t on it. My PLN was very small—the teachers in my school, a few colleagues from graduate school, workshop presenters. The e-mail 90s I sent my first e-mail message in 1995. My PLN got a little bigger in the 90s. The social 2000s For information junkies, this decade has been amazing. The biggest change has been in the way I meet and communicate with people in my PLN. First, there is Twitter, which is like a big noisy teacher’s lounge. Most of the resources are in the form of links—to websites, to e-books, to blogs, or to activities. Nings are like subject area resource rooms in a large school. Related

19 Word Cloud Resources, Tips, & Tools Posted by Shelly Terrell on Sunday, February 14th 2010 Part of the Cool Sites series Learning new vocabulary can be quite daunting for most students. We just have to look at the literacy rates to see how much children struggle with vocabulary. Rote learning of vocabulary does not really work. Wordle Wordle is one of the best ways to engage learners if you know how to use it well. Alternatives Tech Tools & Pedagogy– Word Clouds- Marisa Constantinides’ post includes a comparison chart that lists the options for each of the following word cloud tools and shows you visual examples of each. A few more alternatives include: ABC ya! Resources Tips You can make phrases in Wordle by using the ~ to group words. Tagul Tips I use Tagul when I want to have each of the words in a cloud lead to a link with more information or to have them in a specific shape such as a heart, star, rectangle, or regular cloud. Two ways to customize links: Challenge:

Ten Common Mistakes in Building an eLearning Strategy by Marc J. Rosenberg “Get your people together and talk about this. The stakes are high; make adjustments and set a better course. As the ancient Chinese proverb puts it, ‘If you don’t change your direction, you’ll end up exactly where you are headed.’” A basic building block of a successful and sustainable eLearning program is a solid strategy. Most organizations say they have one, but when you look under the hood there is often a lot of weakness. Here are ten top mistakes people often make when building their eLearning strategy. No vision “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” Equating technology with strategy Technology is essential, but if your strategy is to get a LMS, build a mobile learning network, or add a social media tool, your very next question should be, “For what purpose?” Confusing strategy with tactics Looking at development and delivery rather than the bigger business picture Focusing on creating a traditional training offer online Misreading executive support

The Infotention Network | Skills for Solving Information Overload...Life Skills for Digital Citizenship Effective Mobile Learning: 50+ Tips & Resources Ebook Apps for Professional Development Twitter App (free) Twitter is one of the most active and beneficial social networks on the web. All educators would be wise to join the conversation. Google Voice (free) Text and call for free! Skype (free) A beautiful app that allows you to make and receive VOIP calls on your iOS device. HeyTell (free) A fun “walkie-talkie” app for quick voice communication. Consumption Apps FlipBoard (free) A beautiful app that turns your RSS reader (such as Google Reader) into a magazine. Zite (free) Similar to FlipBoard, however instead of just providing a beautiful interface to view content you select, Zite tries to introduce you to new content sources based off of sources you currently read. QR Code Readers Quick-Response codes are the strange black and white boxes that have begun appearing everywhere. RedLaser: free native iPhone app, simple and lightweightQrafter: free, the most robust of all of the QR scanners. Diigo (free) Research Apps: Google Search App (free) WolframAlpha ($2.99) QuickOffice HD ($14.99)

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