While the Edublog Awards honor excellence in educational blogging, social media, and social networking, this annual opportunity to vote is also a fantastic medium for discovering new voices to add to your personal learning network. Check out the nominees in these categories to expand your thinking and nodes of wisdom to your personal learning network:
The announcement that Google Social Search is now available to everyone in beta was an exciting development I stumbled upon yesterday while looking for web-based resources on courtly love to support the database and print materials in a research pathfinder I’m developing for two of my English teachers.
This new search feature represents what I think is the evolution of the web as mainstream websites and social media/social networking become more integrated in search results. On a personal level, the integration of my social network associated with my Google Profile into a Google search gives me yet another seamless and powerful way of tapping into the collective knowledge of my personal learning network. Now that the social media tools associated with the Google Profile of my colleagues are part of my Google search results, I can access information and materials (original or that from others) they are sharing and posting through the cloud. Take a look at this sample search and results when I search for ipad.
What are the implications for the students I teach in the library? The integration of Google tools has been a major push with ninth and tenth grade students this academic year. I think this new search feature of Google will reinforce the idea of collaborative learning and knowledge construction as students can now “network” through their Google Profiles. This new search feature also presents the opportunity to underscore the importance of establishing a positive digital footprint and to expand our existing conversations about social scholarship. As my Media 21 project gears up for an unofficial phase two on February 23, I am looking forward to integrating this new search feature into our “toolbox” of information seeking strategies; I am also eager to show students the possibilities for sharing information sources through Google Profiles and Google Social Search.
In a few weeks, I will be working with a group of librarians, and we’ll be engaging in a little inquiry about personal learning networks. I would be honored if you would consider making a brief contribution to this community VoiceThread about what your personal learning network does for you! Who better to help tell this story than you? A few statements in two minutes or less will be more than enough for you to help make a collective statement for librarians who are new to the concept of personal learning networks. You may contribute to the VoiceThread by clicking on this link. Thank you for considering this request and for your help!
I am honored to feature a special guest post by David Kapuler, Media & Technology Specialist for the Greendale School District in Wisconsin. David has been working with technology and education for over 10 years in a school setting. He hopes to incorporate 21st century & multi-media technologies into students’ learning experiences while preparing them for future learning. He is currently looking to get his Mac OS/Repair Certification as well as a Masters in Technology Integration. In addition, he has a strong background in web design as well as network/server support.On a personal note, he is the proud father of three boys and has been married for 5 years. I encourage you to check out his wonderful blog!
First off, I’d like to thank Buffy for the opportunity to post on such an impressive forum. The Unquiet Librarian is anything but that in the online community, and she is a force to be taken seriously. That being said, I’d like to explain what a Personal Learning Network is and why it is so important.
A Personal Learning Network or PLN is a dedicated learning environment unique to each individual. What does that mean? It means that this is a place where people create their own environment which helps them to grow/learn. This can be done in many different ways through collaborating, blogging, social networking, etc. What makes PLN’s so great is that they are different for everybody but their goals are usually the same. That goal is to learn and share knowledge and to find a passion and follow it to the best of your ability.
So, when looking at these networks I like to refer to Sue Waters who compiled an excellent list to create a Personal Learning Network. The funny thing is, after I read the list I did the exact same thing when I created my own PLN and I didn’t even know it. It’s this commonality that makes Personal Learning Networks so special.
5 tools to creating a PLN (Sue Waters)
- Setup your own Twitter account
- Start your own blog
- Subscribe to blogs
- Start using a social bookmarking tool
- Join a Ning Community
If it wasn’t for my PLN I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today professionally. It has helped me grow so much as an educator and really find my true passion.
Finally, I’d like to share this excellent video on why Personal Learning Networks are such a valuable tool for educators alike.