So do PLN’s do? Aside from keeping people connected, they allow for the sharing of ideas and the answering of questions. Many people have created their own diagram of their own PLN’s like this one below. This one made me laugh because in comparison to other’s, this one is very bluntly put; blogs and communities let the average blogger be connected the experts, or “smart people.”
For Shelly Terrell, PLN does not stand for Personal Learning Network, it stands for Passionate Learning Network. In an article from “Digital Media and Learning: The Power of Participation”, author Howard Rheingold talks about his experiences with getting involved with social media. It is something relatable to anyone who is just getting their hands on this technology. When Rheingold went to a conference where Terrell spoke, he became aware of even more possibilities and options for his classroom.
“Something as simple as settling on a time for regular Twitter chats and a hashtag to tie the tweets into a discussion thread grew into an open, voluntary, shifting, growing community that uses the same media they are teaching their students. These folks don’t just talk about using social media to share knowledge — they are among the first to evaluate and maybe adopt new media that show educational potential. When Shelly asked me what I wanted to talk to #edchatters about, I realized I that I would prefer to talk with them. I could make use of (and contribute to) the power of her PLN on behalf of my own pursuits” (2010).
Shelly is passionate about PLN’s. She defines them as “the people you chose to connect with and learn from” (2010). There are many ways to get information. We have the web, face-to-face conversations, podcast, YouTube, Tweets, etc… The best learning happens together.
So how do we as educators deal with skeptics to using technology in the classroom? Terrell talks about convincing a principle to use Skype for the purposes of teaching English. How did that work? “Terrell and I talked about how she showed her skeptical principal in Germany how her 4 year old students learned English together with a class in Turkey, sharing stories and drawings via videoskype. Shelly has a list of resources for educators who want to use Skype and videoskype to go global with their classrooms. She maintains a wiki of social media resources for educators, and has published ascreencast about how to build your PLN using Twitter”(2010). Is a demonstration all it takes to convince administration?
So what does your PLN look like? This is the Moose PLN 🙂