Monday, June 22, 2009

What a Week This Will Be

This is how my week is shaping up. It makes me excited to think about meeting members of my networks face to face. First I'll be meeting other STARs at Discovery Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. Then I'm on to D.C. to attend my third NECC. I know from all the tweets I see that I am not the only person who is scrambling to get many things accomplished this week.

Monday - PBWorks Summer Camp offically starts. Need to complete my homework that was sent to my email inbox.

Tuesday - I will attend PBWorks Summer Camp webinar and work on homework.

Wednesday - I need to start getting things ready for the trip north. Also need to submit materials electonically for August presentation.

Thursady - Packed for my trip. Finished my PBWorks Summer Camp homework.

Friday - Must be at the airport by 5:00 a.m. for my flight to BWI (Baltimore/Washington International)

Saturday - I will be attending DEN pre-NECC Extravaganza in Silver Springs, MD. It is the fourth birthday of STARS.(I can’t wait to meet the other STARS.) Then I will travel to D.C. for EduBloggerCon and NECC 2009. (I can't wait to meet people in my PLN face to face!)

Yes, it will be a crazy week, but I'm loving it!

6/22/09 Today I Learned

1. @haleon shared this from Angela Cummingham's post.
Class Discussion Guidelines

2. I was reminded of this collage creating site by a Diigo group that I belong to.
Here is the collage I created.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

PLN - Not Just My Initials Anymore

Letter P L letter N

What does PLN mean? I used to just think of these letters as my initials (Paula L. Naugle), but now they have taken on a whole new meaning. I started a classroom blog for the '08-09 school year and learned a lot about the blogging process. It was great to "grow" that blog. My students and the parents of my students enjoyed visiting it. Then in January I learned about PLN's (personal learning networks) and put a few posts on my classroom blog that didn't really belong there. I toyed with the idea of starting another blog - my PLN blog - but was just too caught up in school activities to do so. Well now I'm on summer vacation and realize more each day that I need a professional blog - so viola'.

How does one get a PLN? I followed the advice on Sue Water's wiki. She took me through the steps that helped me successfully get started. I started out slowly and worked on it a little each week. I already had a blog, so I began to add comments to others' blogs. I set up Google Reader and subscribed to blogs by educators. I joined Classroom 2.0 and several other Nings. I started a Ning for the fourth grade teachers in my school district. I set up a Delicious account and started social bookmarking. Finally, I joined Twitter.

How does your PLN grow? Mine started out on a local level with the 25 members that joined the Ning I started. I had some conversations and exchanged ideas with them. I kept checking out my Twitter account but just didn't get it. I had selected a lot of top educators to follow and could see their "tweets" but wasn't part of the conversation yet. Then I started attending the free Classroom 2.0 Live webinars every Saturday. In the chat room someone would ask the attendees to put our Twitter names in the chat stream so I listed mine. When I opened my email I would have several requests for "follows" on Twitter. Each week my list of followers increased. I finally took the leap of faith and began posting "tweets" usually including a link to a site I had found that I thought other educators might want to check out.

What does my PLN do for me? They share links, answer questions, give advice, make suggestions, make me laugh, make me think, make me question, make me grow. I am extremely thankful to the members of my PLN for all they have done for me. Start growing your PLN today.