A new journey in education


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What is a Personal/Professional Learning Network?

I came across the term searching for images of the Lenovo laptops to make a funny poster which I hoped would encourage fellow staff to adopt a laptop [link to the poster on picasa].

I was soon reading blog posts from all over the world, some going back to 2005 or latter on the adoption of 1 on 1 laptops in education and how best to prepare yourself for the future. Here are just a few of the posts;

On reflection PLN’s are not new, it is simply another way to network like we have as educators in the past. The big deference is you can have a network from all over the world.

How should we go about establishing a PLN?

Personal/Professional Network diagram

Personal/Professional Network diagram

Google, you can not go past Google for services for free on the web. Start by signing up for a Google email account. From their you can add Google docs, reader, picasa, YouTube, calendar, iGoogle, Google talk Google site.

For your blog/website there are three easy to use choices;

WordPress, Edublog, Blogger

All are easy to use CMS [content management systems] with excellent help/support areas.

Next you will need an easy way to keep track of all the sites you visit and wan to go back to. There are many social bookmarking sites available. I chose delicious because it is the choice of TALE. There are others such as Reddit, and Digg. The choice is up to you.

Feed readers. What’s a feed reader? A description from wikipedia;

RSS (most commonly translated as “Really Simple Syndication” but sometimes “Rich Site Summary”) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.[2] An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”,[3] or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an “RSS reader”, “feed reader”, or “aggregator“, which can be web-baseddesktop-based, or mobile-device-based.

I chose the Google option cause there is nothing like a 1 stop shop full of free goodies. What you choose is what’s best for you.

Communication. The fastest form of communication on the web is Twitter, as soon as you tweet it is out there. But if you prefer there are the old alternatives such as Skype, Yahoo messenger, Windows live messenger, Aim messenger, Google Talk. You can use Google talk directly from your gmail account, which probably makes more sense once you have a network going.

Extra’s  you might want to consider using flickr for your images and a free hosting site for documents and things. Slideshare is a great place to share PowerPoint presentations also.

Final thoughts

  • First thing to realise is that our students have been networking for a long time. Many of them do it daily in our classes using mobile phones.
  • There is no rush, take your time to set up your network, your way.
  • If you intend to use your network only from your DER laptop ensure all your network is on web. Chances are you won’t be able to add applications [apps] to the laptop.
  • Make your network your own, spread out, network with as many people that will work for you.

I’m sure I have left some things out. I will update the page as they come to me.

Remember to subscribe to the blog feed, give us tweet on twitter, add to your blog roll, etc.



Written by theMolisticView

July 4th, 2009 at 4:40 am

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One Response to 'PLN'

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  1. I’d like to get permission to us your Web 2.0 graphic in an article, it will of course be attributed. I require your permission in writing (email) and how you would like to be cited. Thanks for considering this request.

    Dr. Patricia McGee
    The University of Texas at San Antonio

    P. McGee

    17 Feb 11 at 7:16 pm

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