muse: n. a source of inspiration

Personal Learning Networks

I’ve been doing a lot of research on Personal Learning Networks (PLN). Above is a great video clip of the fabulous Will Richardson talking a little about PLNs and their use in education.

Like everything else, PLNs are not a completely new concept. I was part of some successful PLNs in college, only we called them study groups. In particular, I remember the study group I had with one other student in my statistics class. Truly, I would not have passed that class without my study partner.

The difference is that, with the advent of the Internet and Web 2.0 tools, PLNs allow you to connect with people without regard to geographic limitations, you can easily share resources, and collaboration is make much easier using Web 2.0 tools. Through the web, you also have access to experts with whom you would have had no contact at all in the “old days.”

Every year at my school, each teacher signs up for one or more faculty committees meant to encourage looking at big picture issues (rather than just who’s going to be in charge of this year’s Purim carnival, for instance). This year we’re calling them learning cohorts, but they’re still committees, people. It occurred to me that it may be a good idea to do some training on creating your own PLN.

I would start out with viewing this video, and then looking at some other other resources from Lucy Gray in Chicago:

Lucy Gray’s Blog
Lucy’s slide presentation on PLNs

Then, a discussion of what Web 2.0 tools our teachers need to be able to use (Skype, iGoogle, Google Docs, Ning, Delicious to start with).

How are you using PLNs? What about your students?

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October 19, 2009 - Posted by | Technology | , , ,

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