Jan 31, 2010

Tweetin' on Twitter

If you are not on Twitter yet, you are missing out on one of the coolest social networking tools that can enhance your professional development!

The biggest challenge in Twitter is finding the time to build your network. I feel like I have been throwing a huge net out into a wide open space and am just beginning to settle on some great catches!

I popped onto Twitter this morning to see what kinds of things the techie teachers were chatting about and I found that most of them were at an "educon" conference, which is an education conference (about technology, though they advocate it is not about technology). I started to see tweets about the conference and quickly realized that during the conference sessions, people were tweeting their thoughts. Though I was not at the conference, I became an active participant, as I shared my thoughts and opinions about learning and technology, through Twitter. It was really interesting to see what they were learning about at this conference and to be able to participate from my house.

The second best thing about joining the educon chat, was that I made some great networks! Once you start networking with people that have similar interests, then there is alot of potential for shared learning and shared knowledge. It was great day for tweeting!

Jan 16, 2010

What is your PLN?

What is a Personal Learning Network?

This youtube clip of Will Richardson helps educators begin to understand the shift that is happening in education and the need for teachers to begin creating their own Personal Learning Networks (PLN). A Personal Learning Network "involves an individual’s topic oriented goal, a set of practices or techniques aimed at attracting or organizing a variety of relevant content sources, selected for their value, to help the owner accomplish a professional goal or personal interest" (Warlick, 2007). Once we understand how we create a PLN and how they function, we can educate our students in this digital literacy, so they can effectively create their personal learning networks.

To understand how I have created my learning space, I began to define where and how I do most of my learning.

I started with a wisemap to map out my learning networks. As I was going through the process of creating this map, I found that I really needed to pay attention each day, to see where I went when I wanted to talk about ideas and who I went to when trying to understand new things. I am just beginning this process of defining my PLN and so far have two main networks based on what I want to learn.

One of my networks is my masters program at the University of Alberta, and though there is an online learning component including discussion boards, I know that I will be expanding this network pretty fast through twitter and blogs.

My other interest is in 21st Century Learning. I have lots of networks that I use to learn about this exciting time in education. From tech-blogs to edubloggers to twitter, I am constantly learning from Warlick, Jukes, Richardson, and Valenza, and many more people that I have never met, including the edublogger, Byrne, from FreeTech4Teachers. This author tweets as well as blogs, so I very easily learn from this person. His knowledge is very accessible!

To learn more about creating your own PLN you can visit Byrne's document titled "How to Build a Personal Learning Network," where four major social networking tools, inclusing Twitter, are identified and you can go through the steps of building your network.

What is your PLN?