I would like to think I am decent with understanding technology. I mean, I use a SMART Board and document camera in my classroom. I use facebook, email, Discovery Education, and various other educational resources for teaching. However, I had never heard of Personal/Professional Learning Networks before this class. So I know I have a ton to learn about these networks and I am very excited, since after reading and viewing all the information about them I know how educational and effective they can be! I see these PLNs as a way to stay connected to others around the world that have similar interests or questions as me. It is so amazing to think about what capabilities technology allows us these days. I mean, I got to watch a video of a lady teaching in Germany! I think it will still take quite awhile for me to get comfortable with PLNs, but I am ready to try. I already have learned so much from others and can't wait to get into conversations and ask questions that are relevant to other teachers. It's like having extended colleagues all over the world!

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Tags: Socialmedia101

Comment by Tamra Lanning on March 5, 2010 at 9:17am
Let me just say that building my PLN has been the best thing (by far) that I have done for Professional Development since becoming a teacher. I just can't say enough about the resources and experiences these fantastic educators have provided for me. I have to admit that it was a little slow going at first, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I rely heavily on these brilliant people daily. It is also refreshing to have conversations with like minded individuals (since I can't always find that in my building!) Good luck with establishing yours. You'll be so glad you did!
Comment by Brandi on March 5, 2010 at 10:29am
The graduate course I am taking is centered around the idea of establishing your own PLN. The initial process was overwhelming, but things have to get messy before they get better. The professional development opportunites have been my favorite part. Conversing with teachers all over the world and being introduced to new ideas has fostered a lot of self growth. I expect to continue to develop my PLN long after my course is completed.
Comment by Lee Kolbert on March 6, 2010 at 9:37am
Stick with it. It is because of my PLN that I have made great connections that directly benefit my students (see what just occurred yesterday in my class. It all started because someone sought me out from hearing about me via someone else via my blog.) Because of my PLN I've received offers to consult, new job offers, and bring commenters to my students' blogs. There's so much more too. Don't give up and let me know if I can help. Good luck!
Comment by Drew McAllister on March 7, 2010 at 8:29pm
Quite the concept to consider, isn't it? :) I'm glad you're diving in with such enthusiasm. Your comment, "I think it will still take quite a while to get comfortable" interests me. What do you think it will take before you "settle in"?
Comment by Roxanne Warner on March 8, 2010 at 7:38pm
Well, in this case, I feel like I will be quick to learn but slow to advance. I am sure I will get all the basics down of how to respond, post, start conversations, etc., but I know I am a person who is busy and always on the go. So I don't know how much time I will be able to dedicate each day to following others and getting the valuable information that is out here on these PLNs. I have already seen so many people's comments and posts with ideas and videos. It's so amazing and I wish I had time to read and watch each and every one to get the most out of it, but I know I will not realistically have time to do so. So I guess that's what I mean when I said it will take me awhile to get comfortable with all of this. What do you do to get the most out of your time on your PLN?
Comment by Drew McAllister on March 31, 2010 at 11:34am
I don't presume to be an expert, but at the moment I'm noticing that I'm starting to evaluate how and when I participate. During this class, the connections I work on most are the ones I'm building here. After the class is complete, I'll check in with Classroom 2.0 as a community by dropping by every couple of weeks to see if there are conversations to which I can contribute. To get the most out of it, though ... I think that will take some effort to select the people I want to connect with, rather than the place. In the book, Shirky addresses this aspect of the network - that we naturally move towards depth with a smaller number of people, relying on the networks of those people (the "friends of friends") to "activate" a greater PLN. In Twitter terms - the power of the RT.

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