Tag Archives: pinterest

Summer PD You can do in your PJs: Build your PLN!

All across the country school is finishing up for the summer. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not all over for faculty. This is when teachers roll up their sleeves for some summer PD. Hopefully, they also take some time to recharge their batteries. If you are looking for some summer professional development that you can do in your PJs, focus on building your PLN. I highlighted 3 Ways to Kickstart Your PLN last summer. These are some great tips to help you start.

If you are looking for a starting point, check out these great educational blogs and twitter handles to follow! Be sure that you follow me as well, @TeacherJenCarey

Great Blogs for Educators:

General Education Blogs:

Ed Tech Blogs:

People & Organizations to Follow on Twitter

General Education News

Educational Technology

Innovative Educators

Great Technology Tools

This is just a simple list to get you started. After you get a feel for how a PLN works, expand your list to include people and organizations that are relevant to you. After all, it’s your PLN!

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3 Ways to Kickstart Your PLN

This is reblogged from my post on Edudemic, “3 Ways to Kickstart Your PLN This Summer!”

It’s summertime! This is when educators, free from the daily schedule of a classroom, can focus on professional development. More specifically, summer is a great time to network and to build your personal learning network (PLN). If you’re unfamiliar with a PLN, it’s a network of individuals you foster specifically to learn from and cultivate your professional skills. They are especially important in the world of education where classrooms can easily isolate you from your colleagues and peers. Starting a PLN and cultivating it is surprisingly easy and doesn’t take a lot of time.

Free from internet filters on many campuses, take some time this summer to fire up your social media tools (FacebookTwitterNingPinterestLinkedIn). Many people are intimidated with engaging others online. However, the internet and social media allow you to connect and interact with people you would never get to meet in real life. The key to your PLN is that it’s about people. As Justin Reich highlights in his article, “Search People, Not the Internet,” your colleagues (in real life and online) are a more effective resource than the internet at large. They will help to focus and share information relevant to you in your field.

Here are three great tools and techniques you can use to build your online PLN:

Find Folks On Facebook

facebook-screensMost of us have a Facebook account. We use it to keep up with family and friends; posting vacation photos and admiring your cousin’s photos of her new baby. However, Facebook is also a great resource for kickstart your PLN, especially if you are just getting started.

I use Facebook to follow some of my favorite Educational resources like Edudemic, EdTechTeacher, ISTEEdutopia, and Education Week. It helps to keep me up to date on educational news, pedagogy, and professional development opportunities (many of which are offered for free or at promotional discounts via Social Media!). Even when I’m logging on to see what my mother is up to, I can get some great nuggets of information in my news feed. Also, if you’re like me, you have a lot of friends that are educators, so Facebook is a great way to share information with them.

Embrace The Power Of Twitter

twitter-birdTwitter is by far the most prolific of Social Media tools used by educators. If you have attended an educational conference recently, I’m sure you’ve seen and heard about twitter handles andhashtags. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but take a deep breath.
In order to use Twitter as an effective and engaging PLN tool, you need to figure out who to follow. You can start with people that you know in education: this esteemed author, theEdTechTeacher team, and of course Edudemic. Jerry Blumengarten (aka @Cybraryman1) has a great list of recommended PLN Stars. Just be sure to follow other educators and leaders that you know and respect as they will often guide you to others.

Hashtags are another great way to explore ideas most relevant to your interests. Here is a great list of the most popular educational hashtags that can help you to broaden your PLN and provide you with greater access to resources.

Once you are feeling more comfortable with Twitter, try an e-reader like Flipboard. It will load your news feed and allow you to read your PLN on your phone or tablet at your leisure, be it on the couch or poolside.

Start Visually Learning On Pinterest

pinterestPinterest is another excellent tool to find recipe ideas, accessorize an outfit, or discover a great set of lesson plans. In fact, there is also a whole “Education” Category on Pinterest. Simply browsing these posts can give you some great ideas to employ in your classroom. Additionally, there are some amazing educators and institutions that have repositories of lesson plans, blog posts, and more that they share on Pinterest. Check out this Edudemic article, “20 Innovative Educational Technology Boards on Pinterest.” It has some great people and organizations to follow.

Pinterest is simply keeping a scrapbook of ideas and information (that you can also share with others). It allows you to curate ideas, projects, lesson plans, and more. Be sure that you share information that you find as well. See a great tweet? You can pin it for access later! Start and curate your own education board (or a few)!

This is only a short list of the tools available to you to kickstart your PLN, but I encourage you to explore and collaborate with others online. Building and sharing your pedagogical skills in a classroom is key to innovative education and the core of 21st century learning. Besides, with all of these tools available on a computer or smartphone, they could make for some really interesting beach reading.

Update Note: I have put together a short list of blogs and individuals/organizations on Twitter to help people get started!

3 Ways to Kickstart Your PLN this Summer!

This article is reblogged from my post on Edudemic.

It’s summertime! This is when educators, free from the daily schedule of a classroom, can focus on professional development. More specifically, summer is a great time to network and to build your personal learning network (PLN). If you’re unfamiliar with a PLN, it’s a network of individuals you foster specifically to learn from and cultivate your professional skills. They are especially important in the world of education where classrooms can easily isolate you from your colleagues and peers. Starting a PLN and cultivating it is surprisingly easy and doesn’t take a lot of time.

Free from internet filters on many campuses, take some time this summer to fire up your social media tools (FacebookTwitterNingPinterestLinkedIn). Many people are intimidated with engaging others online. However, the internet and social media allow you to connect and interact with people you would never get to meet in real life. The key to your PLN is that it’s about people. As Justin Reich highlights in his article, “Search People, Not the Internet,” your colleagues (in real life and online) are a more effective resource than the internet at large. They will help to focus and share information relevant to you in your field.

Here are three great tools and techniques you can use to build your online PLN:

Find Folks On Facebook

facebook-screensMost of us have a Facebook account. We use it to keep up with family and friends; posting vacation photos and admiring your cousin’s photos of her new baby. However, Facebook is also a great resource for kickstart your PLN, especially if you are just getting started.

I use Facebook to follow some of my favorite Educational resources like Edudemic,EdTechTeacherISTEEdutopia, and Education Week. It helps to keep me up to date on educational news, pedagogy, and professional development opportunities (many of which are offered for free or at promotional discounts via Social Media!). Even when I’m logging on to see what my mother is up to, I can get some great nuggets of information in my news feed. Also, if you’re like me, you have a lot of friends that are educators, so Facebook is a great way to share information with them.

Embrace The Power Of Twitter

twitter-birdTwitter is by far the most prolific of Social Media tools used by educators. If you have attended an educational conference recently, I’m sure you’ve seen and heard about twitter handles and hashtags. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but take a deep breath. Here’s a great (and short) video to help you learn a little more about the nuts and bolts of twitter:

In order to use Twitter as an effective and engaging PLN tool, you need to figure out who to follow. You can start with people that you know in education: this esteemed author, the EdTechTeacher team, and of course Edudemic. Jerry Blumengarten (aka @Cybraryman1) has a great list of recommended PLN Stars. Just be sure to follow other educators and leaders that you know and respect as they will often guide you to others.

Hashtags are another great way to explore ideas most relevant to your interests. Here is a great list of the most popular educational hashtags that can help you to broaden your PLN and provide you with greater access to resources.

Once you are feeling more comfortable with Twitter, try an e-reader like Flipboard. It will load your news feed and allow you to read your PLN on your phone or tablet at your leisure, be it on the couch or poolside.

Start Visually Learning On Pinterest

pinterestPinterest is another excellent tool to find recipe ideas, accessorize an outfit, or discover a great set of lesson plans. In fact, there is also a whole “Education” Category on Pinterest. Simply browsing these posts can give you some great ideas to employ in your classroom. Additionally, there are some amazing educators and institutions that have repositories of lesson plans, blog posts, and more that they share on Pinterest. Check out this Edudemic article, “20 Innovative Educational Technology Boards on Pinterest.” It has some great people and organizations to follow.

Pinterest is simply keeping a scrapbook of ideas and information (that you can also share with others). It allows you to curate ideas, projects, lesson plans, and more. Be sure that you share information that you find as well. See a great tweet? You can pin it for access later! Start and curate your own education board (or a few)!

This is only a short list of the tools available to you to kickstart your PLN, but I encourage you to explore and collaborate with others online. Building and sharing your pedagogical skills in a classroom is key to innovative education and the core of 21st century learning. Besides, with all of these tools available on a computer or smartphone, they could make for some really interesting beach reading.

To learn more about cultivating your PLN, consider joining my EdTechTeacher colleagues for one of the Summer Workshops in Boston.

Jen Carey works with EdTechTeacher, an advertiser on this site.

A Visual Look At Personal Learning Networks

This image is a great visualization of what a personal learning network actually looks like for a networked teacher.

personal learning network visual

How Using Social Media Affects Your Brain (via Edudemic)

It’s no secret that the phenomenon of social media not only dominates the communication pathways of younger generations, it’s also completely revolutionized the way people interact with each other the whole world over. If you’re like hundreds of millions of other people in this world, there’s a good chance you partake in some form of social media regularly.

Whether you’re a Facebook fanatic, a Twitter-lover, or you go pin-crazy on Pinterest, you’re probably…

How Using Social Media Affects Your Brain.

Does Pinterest Belong in the Classroom?

If you do not use Pinterest, surely you have heard of it. It’s the new, online “scrapbooking” application that allows users to pin and share, well, everything… hairstyles, clothing, recipes, household tips, exercises, and more. My students regularly use Pinterest to help them plan their outfits for homecoming or scout out the next season’s wardrobe. I’ve played with it myself for a myriad of things – it is easy to use and readily addictive. The more I use Pinterest, the more I think “this has the potential to be a powerful classroom tool!”

Pinterest for Organization

Untitled

One of the great features of Pinterest is that you can “Pin” anything and everything to your boards. So, if a student has a project in history, for example, and they are using the web for research, they can “Pin” their research to a single board along with pertinent comments. This is a great way to store your research “in the cloud,” in a more dynamic way.

Pinterest for Collaboration

UntitledAnother great feature of Pinterest is that it allows you to invite people to a board for collaboration – you may post to the same board and/or comment on other peoples’ pins. This seems to be a great feature for group projects and sharing work outside of the classroom!

Sharing work is often a struggle for children as well as adults. Pinterest boards, however, are portable (they have iOS and Android Apps and is wholly web accessible) and visually stimulating.

Pinterest for Professional Development

Pinterest has some great professional development potential. Pinterest has its own Education category. A quick visit there can bring up some interesting and surprising topics. A number of prominent ed tech enthusiasts maintain boards dedicated to pedagogy, education, and educational technology. Edudemic published a great list: “The 20 Best Pinterest Boards About Education Technology.”

Potential Pitfalls

Pinterest still has some potential problems. Namely the fact that it is inherently public. There are no privacy settings (other than the “secret boards” they enable during the holiday season). Anything and everything that you (or your students) post is public and attached to your name. If you like the occasional off colored joke, it may not be a good idea to post it on Pinterest. Also, you cannot block people on Pinterest.

All in all, I think that Pinterest can serve as a powerful tool in education and I would love to hear and see what educators and students alike are doing with it!