PLNs Gathering Steam?

So it has been over a year (close to two years) since I have created my PLN and I continue to be amazed by the power it gives me. I’m not talking authority power, I’m talking knowledge power. Through tools like Google Reader, Twitter (+Hootsuite), Diigo, and Ning I am able to connect and gather knowledge 24/7 from global educators. When I first started using Twitter my colleagues would look at me strangely if I said anything like ‘I learned that from my twitter PLN’, or referenced them in anyway. Sometimes, I have to admit I would just say ‘I learned it from my PLN’ and not go too far in depth because I didn’t want to have to justify why I use twitter one more time.  That changed about 6 months ago.  Now I mention people I know and happily share where and how I got the information.  As educators, isn’t it our jobs to be life long learners?  The only way I see to be that efficiently, and do it well, is through the online tools I have mentioned. Now I work with teachers and administrators to help them build their global PLNs.

Why is it important for us to connect to a global PLN? Check out this VoiceThread and hear why others connect.

Check out my video below: PLN Research 2010: why have one?

Are you just getting started with twitter and developing your PLN? Check out these resources:

Ten Steps for Educators new to twitter and Why Educators should be using twitter (by @justintarte)

Build Your PLN- great tools to look into and forums to join (by @wfryer)

Ten ways to grow as an educator (by @whatedsaid)

Five ways to build your 1.0 and 2.0 Personal Learning Network (by @innovativeedu)

My PLN Development page can be found at: Technology Thoughts Wiki
My diigo PLN tag bookmarks can be found at:

Related posts:

Full PLN Research
PLN Resources

Top collaboration tools for administrators

STOP Collaborate and Listenphoto © 2009 Erica Reid | more info (via: Wylio)
…or really for any educational leader who has a need to share, collaborate, or simply set-up a meeting time. Here’s my top collaboration tools:

Purpose: Share resources to a group of people so they can collaborate on a project, or simply find the best resources for their latest educational need.

Tools: livebinder and diigo

livebinderLivebinder allows you to organize resources within tabs easily and at no cost. You can also share the binder by embedding it into your blog or website, or simply sharing the url. Here’s great ‘tips and tricks’ for using livebinder.

diigodiigo– I’ve said a lot about diigo in this blog- and needless to say I love it for its ability to bookmark sites to a group, using tags to organize them. I also love the way you can highlight a portion of the website or add sticky notes so that readers can focus in on specific pieces of information. For district, building, department, or special focus groups there is no better other way to organize and share websites.

Purpose: Create agendas, collaborate on one document or simply keep your notes on projects organized:

Tools: google docs and evernote

Google docs is an easy and great way to collaborate on a document. I’ve used it to create an agenda, survey questions, district document, as well as to brainstorm and share information.

evernoteEvernote is great for many things. I am using it now for organizing my notes as I work through research or trouble-shooting issues. For more information go to my post ‘evernote…organizes your notes and more’. As a collaboration tool it is great for brainstorming ideas, creating agendas, or bringing together everyone’s ideas and information into one place.

Purpose: Set-up a meeting, or create and share a sign-up for meeting snacks

doodleTool: doodle Simple, fast, and efficient, what more do you want? I included it in my post ‘Organization: the key to productivity’.

What are your top collaboration tools? Add them here, we would love to hear about them.