Monday, February 28, 2011

PLN Project #10

4 Faces of Personal Learning Network (w Tools)Image by catspyjamasnz via FlickrProgress Report on My Personal Learning Network:

Before EDM310, my PLN consisted of various websites about writing and books in general, with the odd dash of shopping sites and such. Oh, and you can't forget Facebook; it was my one personal connectivity site other than Young Writers Society. Most of my educational contacts were with my teachers and my advisors and we definitely never talked via Facebook. The only communication I had with them outside of class time and office visits was through email. And even those were few and far between. These days my PLN has expanded so rapidly that--as I stated in one of my earlier posts about PLNs--I have a hard time keeping track of everything.

I also had the slight problem of not knowing exactly what PLN stood for. I know, I know, I should have tried to find out, but I made the rather dumb assumption that I would learn it when I was meant to learn it. I never said I wasn't a procrastinator. However, I know now and I can say that knowing does make defining my own personal learning network a bit easier. (Save your sarcastic comments for the end, please. Thank you!)

I've started to expand my usage of Twitter to include not only education based followees, but also people (like J.K. Rowling and Taylor Swift) who interest me. Twitter is one of the first sites I check when I wake up.

My greatest addiction in my PLN is checking my Google Reader. I have all of the blogs and websites I'm following added to the aggregate, and it really helps cut down on the page-hopping I had to do earlier.

On a side-note, I'm pretty sure I have the largest list of Bookmarks ever. Before I figured out how to use the Reader, I bookmarked all of those sites and I would have to click on each one and travel to it to get updated on what was going on. It was a headache. These days it's all in one spot and I couldn't be happier.

Also, I just recently started using Symbaloo and I have to say that I adore it. Not only is it super cute with those colored squares (and acceptably orderly according to my OCD), it is a great way to separate my educational sources and network from my personal sources and network. I have separate Webmixes for each, and now I can easily navigate between my two worlds.

I am free from world collisions!

One of my favorite aspects of EDM310 are these blog posts. I love them. I love blogging so much that I started my own blog not related to this class! Maybe I just like writing about myself and my thoughts, but blogging has taken up a significant portion of my life since the beginning of the year. No complaints here. The beauty of blogs, like the one we have for EDM310, is that they allow us to expand our reach and connect with other people on a deeper level. Well, for the most part anyway. And they are constant additions to our PLNs. Cha-ching!

Anyway, I suppose one could say that my PLN is strong and growing each day. Take today for instance: I just followed two more blogs and four more teachers on Twitter. At the rate it's expanding, I don't see any slack in growth in my future. That's probably the best thing about PLNs. They never stop making you mature. Whether you like it or not. (But I like it.)
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