My Learning Networks
I have recently joined three new learning communities: Twitter, Edutopia, and edWeb. Each of these provides a different avenue for me to communicate with other professionals. Twitter is a quick and easy way to sift through popular posts from my favorite sources. I can then re-post them on my own account and share information with my colleagues and students who follow me. Edutopia has a variety of resources that are conveniently organized and focus on, but are not limited to, technology use in education. A highlight of this source is how easy it is to initiate my own discussion with other professionals. My final PLN network is edWeb. When I joined this community, it specifically asked for my role in education. I was even able to identify my school district so that I can find other OJR teachers who are members. This PLN is similar to Edutopia, but it allows me to join communities within the site that relate to high school English as well as technology. All three of these networks will be invaluable to me in their own individual ways as I continue to advance my technology integration and teaching style.
What have I learned/consumed?
Twitter is the PLN I chose with which I am most familiar. I have used Twitter for coaching, but have just recently used it for education. I have learned that this is the perfect network for the busy teacher that I am because many of the groups I follow post the most popular or up-to-date information on Twitter. For example, ISTE consistently posts articles for the top 5 resources for different topics. Edutopia posts the most recent article topics as well. This makes this PLN my favorite so far.
On Edutopia, I have learned about several different topics. Specifically, after our teachers spent significant professional development time on suicide prevention, I searched for resources to help me teach my high school students about empathy and recognizing struggling youth. As an English teacher, topics like this are always applicable to the curriculum; this is one of the reasons I chose English. Students in our classrooms are facing difficulties every single day, and it is our jobs to recognize and help them with these. There are many other great resources, but at the moment these videos seem to be the most relevant and useful. This is one of the great things about this community; the topics are seemingly endless and different resources may be appropriate and useful at different times throughout the year.
I have joined and perused 4 communities so far on edWeb. I look forward to tuning in to some of the webinars on becoming a digital citizen, but I have had some trouble so far finding updated posts for the communities I have joined. For example, there is a community for The Freedom Writers Diary, which my students will be reading in the spring. Within that community there are a few posts from 2012, but I cannot find any information that would be helpful in my classroom. I also found a community for technology and literacy. Here, there are many more posts that are helpful for my classroom. I found a great educannon video to help students identify and correct grammar mistakes. This resource also had a great article on using Blogs in classrooms. While these resources were also primarily from 2012, they were helpful. My hope is that with more time to add to and investigate the other communities, I will find a few that are still active in which I can become involved.
What have I contributed?
I have not contributed much on Twitter. In the past, I have posted assignment due dates for students and praise for my players after a game. I have also retweeted posts that I find useful. Beyond that, however, I have not done much to contribute. I would like to get to a point where I can get my students to follow me. This way, I can retweet some of these other resources so they can use them as well. I hope to do this so I can teach them that social networking is not only about updating your status and sharing pictures, but it can also be used to share information and learn.
Unfortunately, because I just recently joined Edutopia I have not contributed yet. To become an active member in the community, I hope to soon begin commenting on the existing posts. Once I become comfortable commenting, I would love to begin writing my own posts regarding what I am doing or seeing in my own classroom. I really like the tag feature in this website. I hope that this helps me find consistent members of Edutopia that post about certain topics relatable to my own classroom and teaching.
Similar to Edutopia, I have not contributed to edWeb yet as I am still trying to find communities that have current contributors. In the future, as I continue to use this resource, I hope to begin communicating with other educators. In the distant future, I would love to create my own communities. I would specifically like to create one for Owen J. Roberts teachers. While it seems that since we are in the same district we should be able to communicate and work together, there is little time allotted for this. I believe a common, digital PLN would allow teachers to search through and comment on topics to improve cross-curricular communication. I would also love to create one that could initiate a digital pen pal system with other schools. Using this network to improve collaboration and communication skills within our students seems achievable.
Annotated PLN List:
Twitter- https://twitter.com/OJRHSTrupe- On Twitter I can follow other education sites and professionals. I am able to find and share information on current news, issues, technologies, and best practices.
Edutopia- http://www.edutopia.org/– This PLN provides videos, articles, and discussions that can be used in the classroom or to help me adjust my own teaching. I am able to search a wide variety of submissions regarding technology in education and create my own discussions.
edWeb- http://home.edweb.net/– On edWeb.net anyone can join communities that directly relate to their roles in education. I was easily able to join communities specific to my own high school English curriculum.