Now, we are ready to move on to the next component of 21st Century Learning: communication. Although you do not have to contribute to your PLN the more you contribute, the more that people will be willing to contribute to you. It’s always positive to have someone to bounce ideas off of or to discuss the best approach with. I have found that since I am unfamiliar to so many of the new methodologies being used, I need to ask questions, a lot of questions! I am much more likely to get people to answer me if I am willing to provide contributions myself. Here’s how to get some serious skin in the game:
- Twitter- This is by and large the best way to create a diverse PLN and it’s not as hard as you might think! I’ll be writing a post on this topic later on.
- Edmodo- I had heard of Edmodo previously but did not have the opportunity to use it until I was selected to be part of the SMART Board turnkey trainers for my district. The person who facilitated the training used Edmodo as a means for sharing resources with the group. I became hooked! I downloaded the app, joined a bunch of groups, and haven’t looked back. What can you do with Edmodo? According to the website: “Edmodo provides teachers and students a secure place to connect and collaborate, share content and educational applications, and access homework, grades, class discussions and notifications.” Feel free to connect with me by searching for Dawn Clemens.
- Wikispaces- Wikispaces has been around for a while but should not be overlooked as a place to collaborate with others. “A wiki is a space on the Web where you can share work and ideas, pictures and links, videos and media — and anything else you can think of.” You can find and create many wikis on many different topics. They are also great to use for class projects. Just completing a search will offer a wide array of resources (for example Karen Brooks from Ulster BOCES has a wiki with specific resources for technology and the Common Core. Many groups allow anyone to post within a wiki once you receive posting permission.
- Google Sites and Google Drive - Create your own website using Google Sites to collaborate, plan, and share information. Google Drive allows you to share and edit files with others via the internet.
My final post in this series will focus on critical thinking. I'll also be including a bunch of other links to assist you in creating a PLN that works for you!
A variation of this post can be found in my original article “What is a PLN and Why Do You Need One” found here.