Write just a couple observations for each -- benefits and challenges.  

What has worked for you as you've looked around Classroom 2.0 and blogged a couple times.  What have you taken away from participating in this social network?  

What's been difficult about the experience?  What are the challenges to participating in a PLN through this website or participation format (i.e. blogging)?  

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I found two PLN's that I have looked at during my time as a member of this blog site: Google Apps for Educators and one on photo stories. I am taking a class on Google apps later on in April, so it will be interesting to see if they talk about the same things as what I will see in my class. Maybe I can do some posting on the blog once I learn more on my own?!
Because I knew NOTHING about PLNs to begin with, I am glad that I now have an understanding of what they are so I can use them when I want/need to. My biggest "take away" from this part of the course is that there are different ways we can interact with teachers from around the world about things that we care about.

The biggest challenge for me is to navigate through the site. I feel like it could be laid out more effectively. Since I am on facebook often, I would like this site to have a "Notifications" link that gives me all of the people that have replyed to my postings in one place so I don't have to go looking for them if I erase the email telling me someone posted on my comment. I'm sure once I am on this as much as I have been on other blogs and facebook, I will be much quicker at navigating! As far as challenges in general with PLN blogging: I think we all can agree that time is the biggest factor here! If you are interested in joining a PLN, it's only as effective as the time you are willing to put into it, which means participation is key.
Benefits: Like Christy, I knew nothing of PLNs before this class. This class was a real eye opener for me on everything that I have been oblivious to and have been missing out on. So every time I blogged, explored the classroom 2.0 site/colleagues blogs, or listened to/watched anything posted, I learned something new. I am still amazed and excited that this network of teachers exists online. It is a great way to learn from others in a similar teaching climate as you, or entirely different. It's so easy to connect to people halfway around the world. So I will take away a new way to get and stay connected to others interested in the same professional topics that I am. I feel like I will keep up with it whenever I have some free time and hopefully continue to contribute to and learn from everything on this creative network!

Challenges: Like the others, I think the main difficulty for me has been finding the time within the week to log on, check my blog updates, and see what new blogs people posted to read. There are so many people on this network and so much information that it is a bit overwhelming at times. It's like I wish I had time to read all of posts and connect with all of these people around the world, but I know my time is limited. Like Christy said, you get out of it what you put in. Although I am learning a lot, I know I could contribute much more and get more out of it as well. The set-up of the website is a bit confusing, but I am sure I will get more comfortable with it as time goes on.
There are so many amazing resources on Classroom 2.0. I am so impressed (and jealous) of the support that educators have to do their job. The learning opportunities posted each day on sidebar calendar are inspiring--so many teachers willing to share their ideas and expertise. As always there is more to learn than time to absorb it. One of the benefits of this class so far has been the encouragement to search for other PLNs that pertain to my field (school social work). What I've learned is that educators are WAY ahead of other professions in PLNs.

When I did a Goggle search, most of the links were related to the education field. An article that caught my eye from Education Innovation noted the there are four categories of knowledge workers: Leaders (young professionals who use a vaiety of emerging technology at work and in personal lives), Actives (Over-35 yr olds who have adapted to merging technology to meet changing demands of workplace, Followers (Less technically-inclined who rely on email at exclusion of other technolgies--(probably me!), and Resistors (Older workers who are reluctant to adjust to change). Interesting quote at end of artcle: "The next generation of educators is not going to recognize a functional difference between person-to-person PLCs (communities) and virtual ones. The coming generation considers those who participate throught "virtual" technolgies as present, as being there. They live in two worlds simultaneously. And they will be good at it, because for them, it isn't really two worlds at all. There is just real touch and virtual touch. But it's all touch."

Interesting to wonder if our students think this wayabout communicating through technology. It seems there is a great deal of disparity in level of usage and involvement among professionals right now. How long before the gap narrows, or will it continue to be wide as new technologies are created?

I agree with Christy and Hilary that this site is a challenge to navigate, find our group, and where to post a blog. And of course, the irreplaceable aspect of time is an ongoing challenge. Now we are adding Twitter...
In using Classroom 2.0, I have really been amazed that there is such a large community for educators- offering new views and ideas. It also shows, that there is a place where you can ask a question and get a legit answer. As a young educator, I find it very helpful and something I would like to use more in the future.

A challenge: finding the time to use it properly. Maybe properly is not the write word, but I wish I had more to add to discussions or questions. I don't really know if this is a challenge, but it's really a place where I feel I would benefit more than others (aka I'd be the one asking all the questions).
I can honestly say that I HAVE to make more of an effort to fit something like this into my life. During the week I have rehearsals with my students, rehearsals/performances for two different bands, rehearsals/performances for a two-woman sword fighting, singing, stunt show... not to mention 4 formal preps and 6 independent study students (who need more guidance than they care to admit)... so as you can see spare time isn't always an option... so to say I will build a PLN during my spare time is kind of impossible to say right now. So I guess that could be classified as a CHALLENGE. I have Twitter on my phone, so that is easy to get too, but I find it hard to respond do what people say since the people I am following don't Twitter frequently... so again... a CHALLENGE.

I have learned how to format Blog responses, and post blogs... BENEFIT... but I have difficulty finding the time to keep up my blog and read other member's blogs....CHALLENGE



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