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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. The educators, subject matter experts (SMEs), authors, and mentors we choose to derive knowledge from help us self-reflect on our methodologies and beliefs. They support us, remember our birthdays, celebrate our accomplishments, and stir within us a passion to improve the status quo. Many might argue we are an echo chamber, but I don’t really believe this. 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. Why Do We Connect? How To Build Your PLN Using Twitter

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A Simple Comprehensive Guide on The use of Personal Learning Networks in Education Personal Learning Networks, or PLNs, have been around for a long time. Originally they were your family, relatives and friends, or probably other educators and fellow teachers you work with in the same institution, but now and thanks to the development of web technologies and wireless connections, the concept of PLNs has been expanded to engulf people you have never met before in real world. Much of the learning nowadays takes place online and via a network of interconnected relations. PLNs are basically based on the concept of a learning community. Teachers who are passionate about developing their learning experiences recognize the value of sharing their knowledge and expertise with others.

How to Create a PLN What Is A PLN? Through the use of my own Personal Learning Network (PLN) , I came across several great examples that both define what a PLN is, and explain the value of creating one for yourself. According to a wikispace about creating PLNs, Five Tips for New Teachers to Become Connected Educators Editor's Note: Connected Educator Month (CEM) was launched by the Department of Education in August 2012, and this year, it's being held in October. This post from Lisa Dabbs is a great primer for becoming a connected educator, and it's a must-read for CEM. (Updated 10/2013)

How to Create a Robust and Meaningful Personal Learning Network [PLN] This post describes how educators can develop a personal learning network that supports meaningful and relevant learning. The MOOC, Education Technology & Media, etmooc, is used here as a working example of how to develop a PLN. “My Personal Learning Network is the key to keeping me up-to-date with all the changes that are happening in education and how technology can best support and engage today’s students.” Brian Metcalfe: teacher, blogger at lifelonglearners.com A visual image of participants in an open, online course- etmooc, which shows the potential to find and create personal connections as part of one’s PLN. (image credit: Alec Couros)

30 Best Web 2.0 Tools Looking for the best cloud computing software for your school? What about a way to remotely store homework and other assignments? It’s time to figure out which web 2.0 tool is right for you! The following presentation contains dozens of the most popular tools being used in classrooms right now. Hybrid PD supported by online ‘communities of practice’ With the many professional educational technology resources available to the K12 community today, it’s imperative that we transition from episodic and ineffective models to an interactive environment that is digitally-based and connected 24/7. This “learning powered by technology” is the approach outlined in the DOE’s National Education Technology Plan (NETP), which calls for applying the advanced technologies used in our daily personal and professional lives to our entire education system to improve student learning; accelerate and scale the adoption of effective practices; and use data and information for continuous improvement. Online professional development environments are the key to helping teachers everywhere achieve this goal. Online programs provide a forward-looking model for professional learning that blends effective in-person events, courses, and workshops with expanded opportunities, immediacy, and convenience.

How Educators Can Make Time for Professional & Personal Development What better time than the week after Labor Day, the traditional back-to-school kick-off, for educators to embrace opportunities for professional and personal development (PD). Though for some just the thought of beginning a PD course of any kind is overwhelming, even stressful. The most frequently cited barrier to engaging in extracurricular learning activities is time; not having enough of it, not being able to find it, and wishing for more. Teacher Guide - Creating PLNs As social media become more and more predominant as platforms of connection and collaboration, the need for creating and maintaining a PLN ( Personal/Professional Learning Network ) becomes more pressing. As teachers and educators we are expected to be on top of the latest trends that can inform and enhance our classroom teaching as well as our professional growth.We are also expected to know the web tools that our students use and the new ones we can use with them in the future; but this is not always possible and because not all of our time constraints it becomes difficult to keep up the the new releases . It is at times like these that you can call upon your PLN. Creating your PLN is easier than you might even thought. Most of you are already familiar with some social media platforms such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Diigo, LinkedIn, but do you really know how to use them to create a personal learning network ?

The Ultimate Student Guide to xMOOCs and cMOOCs The education media declared 2012 the year of the MOOC, and even mainstream news featured numerous stories about Massive Open Online Courses, some suggesting that this new type of course would revolutionize the model of higher education. Yet the MOOCs featured in the media are quite different from the original concept. One co-founder of the first MOOC, Stephen Downes, came up with the terms ‘xMOOC’ and ‘cMOOC’ to distinguish between classes modeled on his and the form that has become better known since then. The Coursera and edX platforms that have grabbed the spotlight recently are examples of xMOOCs. Have you ever wondered how these courses could be free, or why some charge a fee for certificates or other services?

Mlearning Infokit John Dewey, writing in the early years of the twentieth century, may not have foreseen the proliferation of 21st century ‘mobile devices’ but, in the quotation to the right, he does point out something that remains relevant: that mobile learning involves change, initiative and adaptability. Mobile learning involves change in the sense that the ability to communicate with tutors and peers, as well as access learning resources, changes what is possible in education. It takes initiative for leaders to create a vision to sustain that change and, finally, mobile learning requires adaptability by members of staff to carry out the change. This infoKit is a practical guide to thinking through the issues relating to institutional adoption of mobile learning. It follows a JISC Mobile and Wireless Technologies Review which delves deeper into the theory behind mobile learning and the wider context.

How To Teach Online Yes, still catching up, but getting there slowly but surely. I watched a recording of Jan Herrington’s webinar on designing productive tasks in authentic learning environments. As a reminder, the nine elements of authentic learning:

Lesson plans for teachers Common Core Implementation Kit enables the creation of a Common Core State Standards aligned lesson plan with a few easy clicks. Common Core operates from within Word 2013 and provides daily learning targets for Common Core State Standards, along with instructional notes, student friendly “I Can” statements, vocabulary lists, differentiation ideas, activity ideas, assessment ideas, common student misconceptions, and links to open educational resources aligned to the standards. Save time planning lessons and locating resources for your students The Common Core Implementation Kit is a free tool that makes it easy for teachers to create Language Arts and Math lesson plans aligned to the Common Core State Standards all from within Microsoft Word 2013. Common Core consists of a series of course-specific Microsoft Word templates that access Common Core information through a Microsoft Office Task Pane that is displayed next to the lesson plan document.

Why You Need a PLN, and How to Develop One: Resources Shared at #ASTD2014 At the 2014 ASTD Conference and Expo, I led a discussion titled Why You Need a PLN, and How to Develop One. Here’s a description of the session: People are not learning exclusively from conventional sources like courses and classrooms anymore. In truth, we never did, but there’s a growing awareness of the small percentage of learning that comes from formal means as compared to informal means. More and more, people are realizing they are networked learners, with a large percentage of their learning coming via a dedicated group of chosen and trusted resources. This network of resources is commonly referred to as a personal learning network (or PLN), and it is one of the most powerful learning tools in a networked world.

Designing for mobile learning and communications From the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we fall at sleep at night we are “in near-constant visual contact with bright, pulsating rectangles” (Dr. Richard Menken, 2009). Originally published as part of a spoof article in The Onion, Menken’s quote rings startlingly true today with the rise of ubiquitous computing. The volume and intensity of the information that passes through these glowing rectangles is transforming and increasing at a rapid rate.

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