Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tools and Activities to Build your PLN

Tools and activities that I use to build my Professional Learning Network (PLN) and Personal Learning Environment (PLE) are Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, and collaboration. 

Twitter allows me to follow leaders in online learning, blended learning, education reform, teaching English Language Arts, top colleges and professors, innovative thinkers, and colleagues.  My Twitter account allows me instant access to people from all over the world interested in sharing ideas and collaborating about topics that interest me.  I have instant access to lessons, blogs, and articles.  My Twitter account is allowing me to establish a PLN.

Here is a great resource for building your #PLN using Twitter
Follow me @CourtneyHanes

Facebook allows me to follow colleges and universities, top online learning institutions, and other businesses moving education forward. Facebook allows me to share ideas, "liked" articles and businesses with friends, colleagues, family, students, former and current, and their families.  Facebook is a great way to share my love of learning, teaching, and innovative ways of looking at education.  One of my next areas to explore in regard to my PLN is Google+.  If anyone has information they find worthy about Google+ for PLN, I would love to hear about it. 

I started my blog this summer because I want my students to explore this avenue of communication and writing, and figured I better try it out first.  I am really enjoying sharing my ideas in this way, and have learned so much by reading the blog posts of others.  Blogs are an excellent way to expand your PLN because ideas shared this way are relevant, and easy to read, follow, and share.  I am always looking for ideas that inspire a blog post, and reading the blogs of others, and articles shared on both Twitter and Facebook are often an excellent resource.

In our ever changing, ever evolving world of technology and online communication, we must not forget the power of good ol' fashion face to face collaboration.  For me, discussing issues, topics, and projects with colleagues is imperative to developing and maintaining my PLN and PLE.  There are so many positive outcomes associated with meeting and sharing, discussing, and altering ideas and plans.  Part of being a strong educator is understanding the power in purposeful face to face and online collaboration, both locally and globally.