Step 1 what is a PLN?

In this step I watched the video and read through the workbook that is available for downloading, to help users navigate through the program. A PLN stands for personal learning network and is used to allow a network of people and resources support ongoing learning. A PLN offers many forms of feedback, insights, and documentations, new business opportunities, etc. It is for individuals that are actively looking for shared information from one another. Although PLNs are exclusively for educators, it is extremely important for educators to be connected in ways that this program allows them to do so. It also benefits in educator in many ways by being in charge of your own professional development, you can stay up to date on new teacher things, allows for brainstorming ideas, can globally connect with teachers and etc. Another great aspect to this program is that you are able to personalize it to what tools you want to use, who you connect with and what you wish to learn from the PLN.


Step 2 making connections-

In this step I learned the ways to build a PLN as well as different tools, and tips on how to stay connected with their educators. It’s important for teachers to be aware of all the ways they are able to stay connected as networked teacher should these days. Some of the many ways teachers can stay connected with their PLN include, Twitter, facebook, Instagram, blogs, emails, linkedin, etc. PLNs work both ways, the more you share on your personal site, the more you’ll receive in return. Follow up with people and ask for help. They are all there for people to help each other and educate one another on new opportunities and ideas. I know from this class we have been able to explore how some of these can benefit a teacher and their students, so twitter and Instagram are certainly ways I think would fit in the way I would want to stay connected.


Step 3 Twitter-

Before this class I never used twitter. After using it as an assignment for this class, as well as learning more about it for the PLN, I’ve realized there are many helpful aspects to it. I have been able to follow different educators, and education accounts, they have given me a lot of helpful tips, and ideas when it comes to classroom management, classroom set-up ideas, etc. After exploring through twitter, I have realized that this was a really important way for teachers to stay up to date and stay connected to fellow professionals.


Step 4- Hashtags and twitter chats

Through this step I learned a lot about hashtags. I never looked at hashtags in a way where you can create them and use them for a group of teachers to stay connected, they are also used to find popular tweets, and ideas. Twitter chats are one of the best ways for educators to stay connected as well. They can exchange ideas, and debates, ask for help, find new resources, etc. Joining twitter chats can help you discover a lot of information that can be helpful as a teacher. I watched the videos that taught me what twitter chats were as well as using tweet decks in a twitter chat. I also was able to go and explore some different hashtags on my professional twitter website.


Step 5 Using blogs-

Just like the other resources blogs are also used to share information and tips with other educators, collaborate with a global audience, reflect on their learning and teaching practices, as well as learning the concept of how to blog in general. I learned that using the blogs are an excellent source for sharing information, and the ability to reflect. Through this class and using rampages, I have been able to see the value of blogging. Getting feedback on blogs that you post of your own as well as getting similar ideas to enhance lessons, or while creating them are all very helpful tips for educators. The videos that were provided through this step were very clear and explained the reason behind why you want to blog, and other ways to blog like “feedly, and flipboard”.


Part 6 Using curation tools-

This step went through what content curation is after watching the videos and reading through It made a lot more sense. Content curations add value that help viewers make connections, they are able use to benefit them. Although it sounded like a lot to find, verify, organize, recreate, different information, I learned there are many digital tools for content curation. Knowing how to curate content will help you save time when searching for information, it will also allow you to teach students how to curate content for their own research, and interests, it helps you become digitally literate. After watching the video by John Spencer, it was clear as to why students should be taught how to be content curators as well. I also got to explore the many different tools that a PLN has when it comes to content curators, for example Wakelet, Nuzzel, Diigo, flipboard.


Step 7 Making time to build your PLN-

During this step I learned that while building your own, you should do what works best for you, start small and use the tools that are there for your help. Set a routine, I think this would be something that I could commit to working on during teacher planning time, or during my lunch break when my kids are in lunch themselves, etc. This is a tool that will take time but can benefit us as educators in so many ways.