PLN Challenge: Building Steps

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teacherchallenge-1mhy8u5What type of PLN do I have?

My PLN are a) educators who apply technology with their students in ways that jumpstart kids into their futures and b) educators learning to do this.

How do I learn from and share with my PLN?
How do I add new tools?

I read and respond to tweets and blogs and research from tweets and blogs so I can also move in that direction. I also attend challenges and webinars to learn and use new tools and resources. I use Diigo to capture, highlight, and annotate important tools and strategies that I could adapt in my classroom.

I’ve mentioned my favorite learning places and webinars here:

3 Easy Ways to Transform Edu

and how I organize this here:

How Do I Organize my learning?

I’ve decided to also participate in Mondays, 7:00 PM Eastern, #engchat on Twitter.

Four more sources I can share:
a) PBS (standards-related resources–new)
b) (blogs, resources)

c) ASCD Edge Community

d) NCTE  Connected Community

When do I learn and share PLN activities?
CR20 Webinars: Except July, every Saturday at 9:00 AM Pacific

How do I keep going?
Once a day during the week, I check in for 10-20 minutes, learning and sharing– bookmarking, retweeting, blogging, commenting. One or two days a week, I spend an hour learning new tools — and trying them with my students during the school year.

My kids are grown, so my husband and I enjoy our computer research and work together.

It still can be overwhelming, and so it is important to remember, “One does what what can.” So set a goal to try one new tool or strategy each semester. If you do more — great, but at least you’ll have one good area to share about on your blog each semester so someone else can learn from your experience. That’s what the goal I will set this year, and ask my peers to join me.

Thank you

For me, I thank all those from whom I have learned: thanks for sharing — you educators (many I have thanked in my posts) have inspired me — so I keep trying. My PLN became an extension of my family — relatives far away connected through technology. I look forward to each connection.

Are you feeling that way too?

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  13 comments for “PLN Challenge: Building Steps

  1. July 6, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Thanks for all of the great resources! I have been taking some local weekly webinars from my district but I didn’t realize that there were so many other resources for that out there on the web. I look forward to checking them out.

    • July 6, 2011 at 8:29 am

      Hello Tina, You are welcome. I also would highly recommend Teachers Teaching Teachers Wednesdays 6:00 PM Pacific. I learned much about collaboration with others and apply tech tools in the classroom here — very friendly people so willing to help, including Paul Allison and Susan Ettenheim. Looking forward to your posts sharing your learning. Sheri

  2. July 2, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Hi Sheri,

    Thanks for your response! Those were the steps I needed. When I’m back in AZ towards the end of July, I will revisit this. As for now, I’m only online via G3 from my iPh0ne.

    PS I sat right in front of Peggy George on my flight from PA to AZ from ISTE, and it was such a joy to finally meet her in person!

    Kind regards,

    • July 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm

      Hi Tracy — What a joy to meet Peggy. She must have been such a dynamic principal and leader for her school, cuz she’s a dynamic leader now. And — thank goodness for those iPhones — what game-changing technology! Look at how different the world works now! Be safe on your trip home. Sheri

      • July 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm

        Thanks, Sheri!

        It was such a joy to meet her. I was on the plane talking to the gentleman sitting beside me because he too was at ISTE. Then he started talking with the lady behind me, and as soon as he said, “Peggy,” I recognized her voice from webinars… so I introduced myself … She is so genuine and amazing.

        Happy 4th!


  3. July 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Hi Sheri and thanks for another great post! I look forward to exploring your links more. I appreciate and thank YOU for sharing your experience so far as it has been very helpful!

    • July 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Sarah, Thanks for your kind words here. I noticed you are thinking about blogging with your students. Here’s a link to my About Blogging Diigo list which includes many ideas about implementing student blogging:

      I’m having a hard time myself keeping up with blog reading. I need to add my new PLN from this challenge to the Blog Roll in my sidebar so I can read the journeys, such as this post. Your words will help new bloggers take their steps — because they will see it is do-able! Thanks again.

  4. June 30, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Hi Sheri,
    Great post! How do you use ASCD Edge? What tips would you suggest for someone who has never joined a space like that before?
    Kind regards,

    • July 1, 2011 at 11:40 am

      Hi Tracy, ASCD Edge is similar to a Ning but within the ASCD community. Edge is free, but you will find links to many ASCD bloggers, webinars, booktalks, and resources within the community. I am also a member of ASCD, so I joined with that username. As always, I set up the profile page so people know my interests and information. I joined groups of interest. I also imported my blogs as RSS feeds so others have access to that. I can also read others blogs and subscribe to them. I like the work of ASCD, so this was a natural choice for me. If you like to keep up on the latest work and people at ASCD, then this community is a place to join. Like everything else, managing these extra communities needs to become part of a routine. So I also checked settings in important areas (groups) so I receive updates on the groups to which I belong so I can monitor through email updates any activity or conversation to which I may want to participate. That helps with management. I found some of my PLN there: Tom Whitby and Peggy George, for instance. It’s helped me a few times with information for classroom use (reading, iPads, social media).

  5. June 29, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Looks like some great resources. I will be sure to visit again and follow up with reading some of your links.

    I still don’t understand how hashtags work. It seems as if I am missing part of the conversation when I am reading tweets.

    • June 29, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      Hi Karen, here is a quick overview of hashtags from Twitter: Hashtag Help . I use #ebshare in my Challenge tweets because that is an Edublogs hashtag. I can then do a search in Twitter for “#ebshare” and find all the tweets using that hashtag. This is how I find information and share ideas about similar topics. Hope that helps. Sheri

  6. June 29, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Great resources! I am planning to participate in a chat session on Twitter, also. I’m following #edchat and #edtech hashtags on my feeds. #Edchat meets on Mondays at 7pm Central time, but I haven’t seen if #edtech meets. Are there any other hashtags you follow?


    • June 29, 2011 at 7:57 am

      Theresa, I’ve asked a couple tweoples if there is a list, wiki, google doc of hashtags and their meetups, but have not heard back. Maybe someone is building one. These are the hashtags I’ve started to follow:
      #ebshare (edublogs)
      #ntchat (new teacher)

      Discovered today:

      Hashtags allow us to find relevant tweets and tweeters for our own learning and sharing.

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