I have been thinking a lot lately about the people who have influenced me in my learning and those who play a part in my learning now. A lot of my learning takes place from a natural drive to find out new things.
It has been through the advent of web 2.0 that I have been able to have access to the people in my field on a regular basis and my own growth has been exponential as a result. I regularly read blogs (though I have learned to limit the number), listen to some podcasts, Twitter, Second life and through online communities have come to know people as friends and collaborators whom I have never met face to face. I have many people I can call on to answer my questions, reflect back my thinking and to expose me to their explorations and ideas. Now I can walk the floors virtually and carry on conversations or just listen in on them to nudge my thoughts and point me to articles, new applications and exemplary student work. Apart from that, I now have networks of friends and relatives who I had lost contact with!
At the Converge conference last week, Sue Waters talked about us having a Personal Learning Network (PLN). A PLN is all about using web tools such as blogs, wiki, Twitter, Facebook to create connects with others which extend our learning, increases our reflection while enabling us to learn together as part of a global community. PLNs increase our opportunities to ask questions and receive help compared to our normal daily face-to-face interactions.
I know that teachers have limited time, but I also know that we want our students to be lifelong learners. I feel we have to model this and continue to learn ourselves.
So here are my questions
- Who have been your mentors?
- Who is part of your personal learning network (face to face or virtual)
- How can you use the people in this group to expand your knowledge, share your ideas or create community?
Choose one new thing to learn this week.
Where are you going to go to learn it (real world or virtual?)
Who can help you?
- Start slowly and find mentor(s) to help you.
- Use the same username across tools
- Share as much as you take
- Ask as much as you answer
- Try new TOOLS before you decide they’re not worth the time
- Comment on other people’s blogs
- Life long learning is the key!
Here is a link to Sue Waters blog
Those of you who did the 23 Things program are off to a good start!