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Start Small for Developing Your PLN

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It was great connecting with newbies on the social networking scene at the Midwest Clinic; hopefully others will jump on the bandwagon and see how it will improve their teaching. It only takes one single step, that is how I started. My first step was delicious, then twitter, then…. the rest is history.
Let'Scommunicate

I started out with a powerpoint presentation, then showed screenshots, and finally there was time for questions.

This year I am collaborating with teachers all over the world, and my first collaboration with my students is the Composer Collaboration Project. Currently,  I am working on an Abraham Lincoln project with a school in Florida (more details on a later date)

Social Networks have single-handedly has improved my teaching and created a PLN or  Personal Learning Network. For those who would like to see my entire presentation at Midwest Band Clinic click here


2008-midwest-coverI just got back from Midwest Band Clinic. When I asked who had a Facebook account to the audience, about 10% raised their hand, when asked who had a twitter – three hands went up and delicious/diigo account got none, there were over 200 people in the audience! I knew I had to move slow and forget about the videos I was going to present.

It was like I was talking another language, so I went slow and tried to pepper the presentation with stories that they could relate to.

Story 1

You should have a Facebook account, even if you NEVER USE it. A couple of years ago, a group of high school students knowing that teachers are NOT connecting created Facebook accounts with their teacher’s name and picture. Then the real fun began, they started with fake meetings and sexual encounters. The administration got wind of the Facebook accounts and thought they were REAL. They were going to fire all the teachers. After some intervention, the teachers were able to convince the administration that the accounts were fake. BUT, it took Facebook over six months to completely delete all the postings.

Story 2

Have separate email accounts, don’t use your school account for personal matters. Enough said….

Story 3

Googling your name is now your resume. The more connected you are the better. One of my administrators wanted the IT department to call google and get something removed, my suggestion is to put so much up there, that the bad stuff is buried on pages 5 or 6.

Finally, the seven steps of getting connected

  1. Nickname, a name you will use for all your social networking.
  2. Gmail
  3. Have a short resume of three sentences and a picture ready to go
  4. Fill out ALL Profiles when you start – I only follow people that are “like” me – teacher, musician, techie, etc.
  5. Delicious and/or Diigo account
  6. Twitter and/or Plurk account
  7. Get a webpage or start a blog – either pbwiki, edublogs, or with a .mac account you have iweb.

Now you are developing your PLN, your own Personal Learning Network!

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