Getting Your Feet Wet: Moving Your PLN from the “Faculty Room” to the World Susan Davis Chinquapin PLN Challenge 2011-12
What are our opportunities when we CONNECT with our PLNs? We can learn from the BEST teachers... We can share and add value to our professional and personal communities... We model connected learning for our students, colleagues, and school leaders... We create positive change in the world...
PLNs: Some Basic Concepts Learning is individualized. The question of substance? Managing your learning in digital time and space. Sampling, hanging out, diving in.
"What matters most now is our imaginations. The opportunity before us, individually and collectively, is enormous; what we do with it will be determined largely by how well we are able to imagine and reward public creativity, participation, and sharing." Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus
Step 1: Access the digital conversation... (A) Blogging: Read and comment on others' blogs Choose a blog from the recommended list and comment. Discover a new blog to follow; read the most recent post and comment.
Step 1: Access the digital conversation… (B) Tweeting: Start following people. Check out the list of suggested tweeters and pick some to follow. Search for people to follow by seeing what comes up under using the following hashtags: #isedchat, #edchat, #plpnetwork
Step 1: Access the digital conversation… Blogging hints and tips Read a variety of blogs to gain a better understanding of the "form." Add value by posing a question, providing an additional resource, extending the conversation. Comment frequently so that others can get to know you. Be "yourself"; don't be shy about linking to your own blog. Twitter hints and tips Let the twitter feed flow over you – don’t feel that you have to investigate or follow up on every tweet. Build your “follow list”: check out who your most valued tweeters are following…and follow them. Follow bloggers or other writers you regularly learn from.
Step 2: Create content… (A)Blogging: Post to your own blog Write shorter, generally making a single point. Reflect on something you've read, done, thought about, observed recently, teach. Share openly; be transparent; show your process. Make frequent and appropriate use of links. Add images, embed video (your own or Creative Commons). Include tags (sometimes called labels). http://mramulya.blogspot.com/
Step 2: Create content… (B) Tweeting and Re-tweeting Compose a tweet about something you have read or observed lately. Read a few tweets from the people in step 1B. Share and add value to a tweet that resonated with you. (Retweeting may not allow you to edit the tweet.)
Step 2: Create content… Blogging hints and tips Find a focus for your blog (or several related and recurring themes). Consider having a co-blogger or inviting guest bloggers. Post regularly. Allow your ideas to develop over time. Get people to read your blog post by tweeting it out. Tweeting hints and tips Use bit.ly to shrink your url(s).bit.ly Use hashtags to filter information and help you connect to others who have shared interests. Tweet regularly. Follow up on retweets of your tweets to make connections. Be "yourself"; don't be shy about asking questions and sharing ideas.
Step 3: Maximize, manage, and mine your network... (A) Blogging: Add widgets: tag cloud, clustrmap, blog roll, Twitter feed Use RSS aggregators: iGoogle, Google Reader, Netvibes Mine blogs to grow your network: follow bloggers on Twitter; check out commenters' and re-tweeters blogs; search out and comment on international blogs for global reach
Step 3: Maximize, manage, and mine your network… (B) Twitter: Join an asynchronous/synchronous chat. #isedchat, for example, is both a way to search and a way to meet up with educators online in real time. Wednesday's chats include: #web20chat (6pm EST): devoted to web 2.0 tools #ntchat (8pm EST/5 pm PST): dedicated to helping new teachers become acclimated to the teaching profession #ctchat (7 pm EST): Critical Thinking chat
Step 4: Grow your network's potential... Add value by regularly creating content with substance in your posts. Readers will want to follow you if you are adding value to the community. Participate actively during "peak" times (conferences, real-time chats, etc.). Practice "good citizenship" in your community. Share and give, as well as take. (Lurking = unrequited knowledge.) Ask permission as a courtesy Notify others about sharing out their work.
Other options for growing your PLN Facebook: It doesn't just have to be a social space. Second Life: Lots of wonderful opportunities to grow your PLNs Google Reader: Not just an RSS Aggregator: Conversations are happening. Social Bookmarking Sites: Such as Diigo and Delicious. Flickr: Photosharing. Youtube Channels: Follow and join the conversations Goodreads: Book lovers unite