What is a PLN?
It’s my understanding that a PLN is an informal learning network that involves connecting with others who share similar interests. The way in which this happens is through social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, and RSS feeds.
Here’s a video that I found called Networked Student by Wendy Drexler. It explains how students can benefit from this type of networked learning:
My PLN Experience
As a teacher on a quest to continue learning about the growing, changing, and evolving topic of educational technology, I’ve made it a priority to stay connected to people and companies in this field on LinkedIn. I love how it allows me to showcase and link to projects that I’ve done. It also allows me to connect my blog page to my profile. Whenever I post on this PacadaVision WordPress page, I have it automatically set up to become a part of my activity in LinkedIn. Anyone in my network can link to my blog and, in turn, I can link to blogs of any of my connections. LinkedIn frequently sends emails of updates, so it’s easy to view changes and updates of people in my network. It’s amazing how I’ve learned all about new Web 2.0 tools and ed tech companies just by looking into information connected to my LinkedIn Network.
Introducing Social Media to the Classroom using KidBlog
Popularity of social media tells me that it is my responsibility as a teacher to get my students prepared to be a responsible participant by showing them a correct way to use it. KidBlog is my Website of choice in introducing social media to my students.
Last year was when I discovered this teacher moderated blog site. If you want ideas on how to get started using KidBlog, check out my EducatorStudio lesson plan.
I’m hoping to start KidBlog with this year’s class within the next couple of weeks. Last year I had students blogging about voice activated cars, saving the environment, dreams, the future, and many more interesting and though provoking topics. I’m curious to see what kind of topics this year’s class will come up with. If I can get my students excited and interested about popular topics, I can get my students to improve their writing while also giving them useful 21st century learning skills that will help them grow their own PLN in a positive way.