muse: n. a source of inspiration

What’s your PLN style?

My friend Vanessa calls me the other day and says, “I hear Delicious might go away…Are you worried? I talked to P and she’s really upset.”

I dunno. Bookmarking. Hmmmm. It all seems so, well, last decade, maybe?

I was a big user back in the day – back when it was still or whatever it was (I never quite got that. Maybe other people didn’t either. Maybe that’s why they changed it to But I digress). I bookmarked, categoried, cloud tagged, shared.

But at some point I migrated from Delicious to Diigo. Mostly because Diigo had some other tools that I liked better, like annotating, and I wanted to be able to set up Diigo groups because my colleagues keep saying “Gee, Deb, we love the links you send out every Friday, but, well, we don’t know how to keep them in one place.”

I think that was a nice way to tell me to stop sending out links. But I can’t. It’s a compulsion. So I started Diigo groups.

And then I stopped using Delicious. I guess that’s happened with others, too.

Back to bookmarking, though. I guess I just don’t use it much any more. For one thing, I have a weird brain that tends to remember URLs. And I find it just as easy to do a Google search (what was that site, again? Oh, here, just search for it...).

Mostly, though, it’s about my discovery process, I think. I’m way more interested in trending topics than I am in going back over and over to the same static websites.

All of that, I think, is about discovering my own personal learning network (PLN) style. I like to learn new stuff, I like to discover, and I like to share what I’ve discovered. Maintenance doesn’t seem to float my boat. Twitter…now Twitter… the constant barrage of information getting thrown at me. Websites to visit, articles to read, blog posts to respond to… Now, Twitter gets me excited. It’s all about learning the new stuff.

The other thing I realized is that, when I find a website that really gets me to sit up and take notice, I tend to (a) use it immediately and (b) share it immediately. And, because I do PD fairly regularly, it usually ends up on my PD wiki, so if I have to find it again I’ve got it lots of places.

I’ve been known to search through my own sent emails to find a link because I can’t remember the URL but I remember who I sent it to. That’s okay – I save my sent emails for good reasons.

I guess it all comes down to…what’s your PLN style?


December 30, 2010 Posted by | PLN | , | Leave a comment

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 | , , , | Leave a comment


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