Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Using Technology to Expand Your PLN

This is the final post in the my series on Personal Learning Networks. So far I have explained what a PLN is and how you can navigate and expand it. In this post I'm going to give some examples on how you can use technology to expand  your PLN world.

Educators have to learn to be diverse in their training. They have to be able to learn in all settings. Their training used to revolve around workshop or college classes. Those are still ways to learn, but to keep up with changing trends across the globe, educators have be tech savvy.

Listed below are just a few ways to start expanding  your PLN by using technology.

Twitter is a great way to chat with teachers in various content areas. Not sure how to tweet?   Check out this article on Edutopia on how educators can use tweets to build their PLN.  http://www.edutopia.org/blog/twitter-expanding-pln

Edutopia also has great community groups that you can join to build up your PLN. They have groups on a wide range of topics. Elementary school teacher can get into the elementary school group. Education leaders can get into the Education Leaders group. Anything from special education, to classroom management, and technology are covered.

Check out this link for these groups: http://www.edutopia.org/groups

Educators don't have to use Edutopia or another popular site Ted Talks  http://www.ted.com/talks to build their PLN. It can be as easy as connecting with other educators via Skype.

If you want to go to a direct website you can click on "The Educator's PLN-The personal learning network for educators." It's that simple to build your own Professional Learning Network. Here is the link for this site.http://edupln.ning.com/

Using technology in my PLN allows me to learn when and how I want to. If I am stuck waiting in the doctor's office for twenty or thirty minutes? I can read an education article from one of my hash tag tweets. Nothing good on TV? I turn to Edutopia, Ted Talks, or You Tube and watch a video on 21st Century Learning in Singapore.  

Either way I'm in charge of when and how I learn. I no longer have to wait for it to be fed to me  on an in-service day or in a college class. I also don't have an out-of-pocket expense like I would for college classes because everything I listed above is free! 

Having your own PLN will change the way you learn and will also force state agencies and school districts to change the way they accept educator's learning for recertification. Using your PLN can help you keep up with change in your profession. Using technology will help you stay on top of the current trends. Good luck on your PLN journey!

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