How Do I Get a PLN? What is a PLN? Will Richardson was the first person to clearly explain to me about six or seven years ago what a PLN was. Back then, PLN stood for Professional, or Personal Learning Network. A better label today, one that might quiet the nitpickers, is Personalized Learning Network -- the shift in nuance maintains that participants are both personal and professional learners. A PLN is a tool that uses social media and technology to collect, communicate, collaborate and create with connected colleagues anywhere at any time. Each individual educator becomes a potential source of information. PLNs Develop Thought Leaders Many early adopters of the PLN have gone on to become thought leaders in education, not surprising given that PLNs seem to promote a great deal of reflection and collaboration. Barriers to Mass Adoption There are three deterrents to educators using PLNs as a tool for learning and professional development (PD): We must remember that lifelong learning requires effort.
Personal learning network A personal learning network is an informal learning network that consists of the people a learner interacts with and derives knowledge from in a personal learning environment. In a PLN, a person makes a connection with another person with the specific intent that some type of learning will occur because of that connection. The following is an excerpt from Dryden's and Vos' book on learning networks: "For the first time in history, we know now how to store virtually all humanity's most important information and make it available, almost instantly, in almost any form, to almost anyone on earth. We also know how to do that in great new ways so that people can interact with it , and learn from it." Personal learning networks share a close association with the concept of personal learning environments. Aspects PLNs are becoming an important part of professional development in several fields with some businesses creating their own e-learning content and PLEs for their employees.
10 Tips By Dr. Mark Wagner I often begin my workshop on personal learning networks (PLN) for educators by asking these questions: Who is in your learning network? Who do you learn from on a regular basis? Who do you turn to for your own professional development? I usually ask these questions at conferences, which are frequently only annual events – and rare treats for many educators. Learning to Network and Networking to Learn 1. 2. 3. 4. Networking Tools and Anecdotes The four tips above are the core activities of building a personal learning network, and they can be applied using various tools to connect with others online. 5. 6. 7. 8. Final Thoughts These final two tips will help keep your initial frustrations in perspective, and help you avoid the temptation to focus on unimportant metrics as you grow your network. 9. 10. Note: For more on this topic, you might also want to explore Jeff Utecht’s book Reach: Building Communities and Networks for Professional Development.
My Classroom Observation | Open Websites During the course of the semester, I had the opportunity to observe a seasoned instructor at ESL services here at UT. The course that I observed was an Intermediate Reading and Discussion class. I felt very fortunate to have been able to observe this class. The instructor created an environment that was conducive to learning in which all the students appeared to feel at ease due to her warm, friendly personality and also because she was approachable and appeared to possess a genuine interest in hearing her students' opinions. The instructor made good use of authentic materials. I believe this instructor to be highly effective and someone to whom I can use as a model. Click here to view my Classroom Observaion in its entirety
16 Ways Educators Can Use Pinterest [INFOGRAPHIC] Teachers are known for their organizational skills, so chances are they'll love Pinterest's intuitive and logical design. The social network's user experience has helped it earn a top spot among today's most popular social networks. Therefore, we predict that teachers will give it a gold star, too. Our friends at OnlineUniversities.com have put together the following infographic, which details how teachers can use Pinterest to organize lesson plans, distribute curricula, collaborate with other faculty, and even encourage student participation. SEE ALSO: 9 Ways to Engage Your Employees on Pinterest Remember, however, that Pinterest's terms of service dictate that users under the age of 13 are prohibited. Image courtesy of Flickr, cybrarian77
Infographic: #PLearning Framework (Part 2 of the Series) - Getting Smart by Guest Author - learning, personalized learning, plearning, students By: Justin DeLeon #PLearning Framework (Part 2 of the Series) first appeared on Education Elements on April 2, 2014. When you think of “personalized,” you probably think “unique,” “special,” and “just for me.” For the most part, we personalize as much of our lives as possible. Applying the idea of personalization to our phones or what we eat is fairly straight-forward. Take a deep breath. Drivers: Needs and Goals What are the specific academic needs, interests and learning styles of each student? Learning Experience: Path, Pace and Pedagogy + Choice How do students’ needs and learning goals influence the design of students’ assessments and assignments? Operational Model What school and/or classroom model will support the students in advancing down their paths? Results How will you measure whether or not students’ needs are being met? Each building block is critical, but it is hard to address them all at once.
Utilizing Twitter chats for professional development SmartBlogs Each week, educators from around the world take part in various conversations on Twitter known as “chats.” These conversations have become an excellent way for educators to connect on relevant topics, share resources and best practices, all while challenging each other’s thinking. The premise of a Twitter chat is simple. Each lasts for 60 minutes, moderators pose questions on a predetermined topic, and participants use a consistent hashtag (#) to communicate. Here’s an example from a recent #ptchat: Questions are posed in a sequential “Q1, Q2” (Question 1, 2, etc.) format over the 60-minute time period. A variety of tools such as Tweetdeck, HootSuite, Tweetchat, etc., can be utilized to aggregate the chat into a single stream to ease the conversation process. Recently, I pulled together six educators from around the country who are leaders in this area. Blumengarten (@cybraryman1) has cataloged a list of Twitter chats, which can be found here. Some recommended chats include:
Intro to communities of practice The term “community of practice” is of relatively recent coinage, even though the phenomenon it refers to is age-old. The concept has turned out to provide a useful perspective on knowing and learning. A growing number of people and organizations in various sectors are now focusing on communities of practice as a key to improving their performance.This brief and general introduction examines what communities of practice are and why researchers and practitioners in so many different contexts find them useful as an approach to knowing and learning. What are communities of practice? Note that this definition allows for, but does not assume, intentionality: learning can be the reason the community comes together or an incidental outcome of member’s interactions. Not everything called a community is a community of practice. The domain: A community of practice is not merely a club of friends or a network of connections between people. What do communities of practice look like? Organizations.