How to start your pln


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A presentation to my school, presenting blogging as an introduction to developing a personal learning network. Version 2 updated with a few little bits and a thankyou to my PLN.

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How to start your pln

  1. 1. A Challenge to the Staff and Students of Shoalhaven High School to start Blogging
  2. 2. What is a Personal Learning Network?  A PLN is formed as soon as any sustained discussion occurs about a specific topic.  The network consists of the people conducting the discussion and the artefacts produced or referred as a consequence of the discussion  PLN’s are currently relevant because of the rise of collaborative technologies accessible from both computers and mobile phones  This has allowed discussions to move away from a physical location where the artefacts are often centrally located and onto the internet where the discussion crosses geographic and cultural divides and artefacts are stored ‘in the cloud’
  3. 3. Why should we use PLN’s  The consequences for those learners who start to use a web-based PLN are:  A ‘real’ audience for their work. It is not being produced just to satisfy course requirements but is based on the perceived needs and adapting understandings of the members of the network  A deeper understanding and connection with a wider community  Collaborative learning has a greater impact on an individual’s knowledge than the presence of a ‘greater intelligence’ (i.e. teacher or brighter student)
  4. 4. 1. Start a blog 2. Look for people to follow 3. Strengthen your connections
  5. 5. •Many of us already take notes about things we have learned or want to do or have heard about and wish to follow up. •A Web-log or blog takes this away from being merely a note on a piece of paper, buried in our diaries or on our desks and transforms it into a shared resource. •We are inviting others (when we want to) to comment on these things, to check and challenge our understandings and to increase the general level of understanding, collaboration and communication; not just within our own ‘closed shop’, but within the wider community of our profession. •A blog is the first step in removing the blinkers imposed on us by the faculty door, the school gate and government bureaucracy.
  6. 6. Start a Blog  Why?  Get your brilliant ideas, questions and resources out there to share  Record your learning journey, your understanding and your achievements  Improves overall literacy and communication skills  Improves sense of wider community and belonging in an overbusy, disconnected world
  7. 7. Start a Blog  Plus many other reasons...
  8. 8. Start a Blog?  How?  Various Blog engines on the web  BlogED (behind DET firewall, accessed from “my learning tools” tab in DET Portal  (uses Google ID)  (internationally renowned education based blogging platform)  Wordpress, Tumblr, Posterous,
  9. 9. Start a Blog  Choose a name for your blog that encourages interest (I found this difficult!!)
  10. 10. Start a Blog  What do you write about?  A question you would like to answer or have answered  An opinion you would like to discuss  A soapbox issue you want to pontificate about (that’s okay)  Your learning, understandings and achievements  You don’t have to publish every posting  you can leave confidential stuff, or incoherent ramblings as drafts.  No-one else can see these but you
  11. 11. Start a Blog  Organise your postings  Use tags, categories and topics (whichever variations are available to the particular blog engine):  E.g. “PD, History, WWII, Europe, Australiantroops”, or “Staffmeeting, ToDo, PBL, TeachersFederation”  You will be able to search for and go directly to the older entries which are relevant to your current work (including your drafts)  Your readers will be able to search for and go directly to the posts which are applicable to their interests  N.b – you can edit your posts and tags at any point in the future, so don’t worry that you have to get everything right straight away.
  12. 12. •Now to start building your network. •You want to find other people who have similar interests and learning aims to you •Having found them, you then want to encourage them to start reading your blog •This is were the sense of collaboration and community comes to the fore •Strong networks are a result of reciprocation
  13. 13. Look for people to follow  Why would you do this?  You are looking for other bloggers who have similar learning goals in mind  Ideally you want to be able to:  further your understanding of a topic (look for an expert)  work collaboratively to deepen your understanding (look for peers)  nurture new bloggers in your field (keep an eye on comments to your blog and encourage participation)
  14. 14. Look for people to follow  How do you find them?  Use a generic search engine (use blog as one of your search terms)  Use a blog specific search engine (Google Blog Search, Technorati)  Ask or search on Yammer for people within the DET who write their own blogs in your particular field
  15. 15. Look for people to follow  What are you looking for?  Your first post was about something (hopefully). Use this as the basis for your search.  Find 5 people whose blogs you wish to continue reading. You will usually be able to subscribe to their posts via email or a dedicated blog reader (more on these another time)  Any more than 5 usually becomes a bit difficult to keep up with and you aren’t able to form strong connections with all of the network members
  16. 16. Look for people to follow  How do I make a connection with these people?  By all means say “Hi, nice blog!” but this doesn’t encourage a connection  Offer constructive feedback  Ask a clarifying question  Provide a weblink to a relevant resource  Start an argument (positively of course) by offering an opposing point of view
  17. 17. Look for people to follow  How do you encourage them to correspond back?  As you leave a comment, you are typically asked to provide an email address. Use one you check regularly.  Try to leave a link to your blog  Quote the address of your blog  Or you can link to a specific blog posting of yours that is relevant to their post  Subscribe to the comments on that particular post so that you know when they respond to your comment
  18. 18. Look after the members of your network These are essentially professional relationships that will work for you as much as you work for them.
  19. 19. Strengthen your connections  Keep an eye on both your email and the comments on your blog  Try to respond promptly and positively to any correspondence  Start referring to the people you follow (their blogs and resources) when corresponding. You are essentially giving someone a pat on the back by encouraging a wider audience.
  20. 20. Encourage your network to grow Investigate micro-blogging tools (Yammer, Twitter, Facebook) Join an online community (classroom 2.0, a ning network, an online course) that provides areas for discussion, posting of artefacts, etc. Produce other forms of artefacts (pictures, videos, mind maps, presentations, songs, podcasts, etc...) Manage your online identity by consistently using the same username so that people can find your other artefacts easily (I'm iwoods2807) Take the load of your inbox by using an aggregator to monitor traffic on the blogs you follow (e.g. Google Reader or Netvibes)
  21. 21. These people have helped me in my understanding of PLN’s and contributed many ideas toward this presentation Susan Julia Chris Vahid Jim Sara Linn Kate Scott
  22. 22. 1. Sign up for your own blog 2. Write a quick post about your interests and what you would like to learn about 3. Visit the SHS Blogging about Blogging site 4. Leave a comment with the address of your blog 5. Over the holidays: 1. Do some reading 2. Do some writing 3. Leave some comments 4. Help others grow their networks.