Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Harnessing The Power of My PLN : Part I


This summer, I made the decision to submit a proposal to present at my state's educational technology conference, which is something I have never done before. In truth, I never felt as though I had anything to offer. However, after attending GAETC last year and sitting through a less than accurate session about wikis and blogs, I felt almost obligated to present. I have learned a great deal about many different Web 2.0 tools, so the question wasn't "Will I?" but "What will I present on?".

I have become a fan of wikis in the past year, Wikispaces in particular, so much so that our district purchased a Private Label license for Wikispaces. Even though I am huge proponent of the technology, there are others out there, such as Vicki Davis, who I feel are much more versed on using wikis than I am. Also, I am not in the classroom and I feel the ones who can best speak on the classroom uses of wikis are those who use it with their students. So, perhaps after another year of using wikis in my district with my teachers, I might take up that topic an co-present with a panel.

Then there is social bookmarking. I have used Del.icio.us (now simply Delicious) for years until Diigo came onto the scene. Could I speak on Diigo for an entire hour? Sure. Do I want to bore them to death? No.

Then I thought about Twitter and Plurk, the latter of which I discovered this summer during the NECC conference as Twitter took a complete nosedive due to the high volume of traffic. Both are microblogging platforms, however each platform is a bit different. Could I talk about both of these for an hour? Yes. Did I really want to? Again...no.

However, what all of these had in common for me, plus a few other Web 2.0 sites, was that I use all of them as a part of my PLN (Personal or Professional Learning Network). When I created my it, I had NO idea what I was doing or how to foster its development, much less how to get started. It all kind of happened at random and had there been a "guide", I might have been able to gain so much more from my PLN earlier than I did.

So, that settled it for me. I was going to do a presentation on Professional Learning Networks and how powerful of a resource they could be. With that resolved, I turned to my own PLN for assistance, which is what I'll talk about in Part II of Harnessing The Power of My PLN.

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2 comments:

wsigele said...

I feel like you crawled inside my head. This is exactly how I have been feeling. ~Wendy

Caroline OBannon said...

Wendy,
I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that has felt this way.

Thanks!
Caroline