I am new to all this. I am going back into the classroom after 10 years working with the parents in home school. I will be teaching 11-12 year olds and I really need to catch up with everything that is now available. Where do I start? How do I create a pln. HELP!!!!!!!!
Welcome back to the classroom! You have started in the right place. This social network is full of thousands of smart and generous educators. Spend some time checking out members and their profiles along with their contributions to the forums. I learn a great deal from reading blogs from other educators. You can find some great blogs to read from this list.
I'd suggest you find your way to Twitter as well. You'll find that most educational bloggers connect with each other (and the rest of us) on Twitter. If you need a "twitter tutorial", you'll find a good one here.
Thank you so much. I've just spent nearly 2 hours following links, saving sites in favourites and my brain is addled!!! It's all overwhelming but fascinating. Thanks again for your help. The list of blogs link above doesn't seem to be working but the Twitter one was great.
First thing you probably need to do is be clear about what you mean by PLN.
For many of us, PLN is Personal Learning Network and it evolved from Personal Learning Environment, to Personal Learning Community, and now Personal Learning Network. Myself, I'm still not sure those three things are synonymous but they all have a set of characteristics in common - the most notable being the "personal" part. My PLN is an omnibus construct of people, connections, physical items, and even ideas and processes that I use to manage my own learning. Given that we all learn all the time every day, the operative idea there is "manage" because some learning is - of necessity - transient. Road conditions, weather interventions, etc.
There is another definition of PLN out there and I've been tripped up by it a couple of times in discussions. That alternate definition is "Professional Learning Network." The key characteristic on this is that it may or may not be under the individual's control. It is not an omnibus construct. Rather, the ProLN is made up of specific resources geared to a discrete set of resources that have be designated as "professional" in content.
Some key elements are hat the ProLN is apparently formal, under the control of an external authority which provides the credibility necessary to make it "professional," and requires conformance to a set of norms and mores in regard to acceptable levels and kinds of communication.
This is a new definition for me. I only ran into it in the last month or so. I've validated the definition among some of my peers who use the PLN as "professional" and they seemed confused by my confusion. It could be that I just can't imagine segregating learning to that degree. The way they are using the term, this professional learning network might be a node on my larger personal one, but I"m not sure I see it as a replacement for it.
So, long winded response. Sorry about that.
You already HAVE a personal learning network. By coming to CR20 you added a new node, Nadine has suggested some more notes. Twitter is a great resource for learning about what's going on. I'd suggest you add a metacognitive analysis step and either start a blog somewhere (you could do it here) where you periodically sit down and write down what you've learned this week/this month. By having to organize it in your mind, you'll get a lot better sense of the shape of what you've learned. If you do it in public, then you can get validation from your community on whether or not your learning has roots in reality as well.
Cheers and good luck on the next step of your path.
I have worked with homeschooling parents in the past as well. My PLN has been a huge help to me with teaching these past few months. I have several ideas for you and would love to help. If you'd like to chat sometime, let me know if you are on gmail and we can chat there. Otherwise, I'll post a few ideas here when I have more time tomorrow.
You will do great in the classroom. We'll get you set up on the PLN thing. Congratulations. :)