Tuesday, December 17, 2013

PLN - Got one?

One of the buzz words/acronyms that has been flying around for some time is PLN.  The abbreviation stands for personal learning network. However, I like to think of it as a professional learning network because I use my PLN to help me do a better job as a tech integrationist.

Here's what a PLN can do for you.

  1. It will help you build a community among like minded educators.
  2. It will shower you with unique ideas, links, articles and videos.
  3. It will prevent you from having to Google everything because now you will have a reliable network from which you can pluck resources.  

So what does a professional learning network look like?  Well for me it started off slowly with Twitter.  I began by subscribing to a bunch of educators who were recommended to me by a friend and then eventually by Twitter itself.  (Twitter generates suggestions based on who you currently follow.)  You can follow me @JillBergeron2 and see who I'm following.  Wanna know more about Twitter?  Check out this amazing guide put out by Edudemic.

From Twitter, I moved on to Diigo, a social bookmarking site. When you sign up for Diigo, be sure to sign up for a teacher account through Diigo in Education.   This has been such an asset to me in my job and here's why.  Diigo will send you bookmarks either every day or every week (your choice) that are specifically related to education.  You can sort through other teach bookmarks by use the tags.  Again, just like Twitter, this is a site where you can follow other educators whom you respect.

RSS Symbol
My third foray into building my PLN has come through MyYahoo RSS reader.  What a reader will do is pull the most recent posts (typically just the headlines) from a set of blogs to which you subscribe.  It collects all of these headlines in one place for you to browse at your convenience.  What you need to look for is the icon to the right.  Click on it and it will ask you which reader you want to use.  I like Yahoo because it's always an option on any site, but there are plenty of others to choose from.  Then find some blogs that appeal to you.  Edutopia and Edudemic are good places to start.

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