Category Archives: PLE

7 Habits of Networked Academics

7 Habits of Networked AcademicsToday Colin Warren and I were very pleased to be invited by the colleagues who run the Graduate Certificate of Higher Education at Deakin, to come and share our thoughts on the evolving concept of networked academics. As it was a late afternoon session, after a day of student presentations, we wanted to keep it simple and just share some practical tips. Keep it applied. We focused on the habits we’ve seen exhibited by networked academics that can be adopted by newcomers and included some quick activities. SO this is by no means comprehensive. We also emphasized that networking habits are a matter of choice, everyone should decide what’s right for them and where to start. No one should feel pressured to do everything.

We prepared a digital handout for reference, and in case we would run out of time, which we of course did. Some of you may find this useful, so we’re sharing it here.

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One way to grow a networked teacher, is to grow a networked learner #pln

In my new role as Lecturer in Blended Learning, a part of my role is staff development. Staff development has always been a part of my roles, both in how do you do staff development in a networked world?

It was one of the big questions at the national AITD conference on training and development where I was invited to be a keynote. Much of the discussion in the keynotes and sessions where how traditional trainers/developers could adapt their traditional approaches capitalise on working and training in a networked world and in networked organisations.

Some issues overheard:

  • Traditional training is unpopular. Staff don’t want to give up time/other activities.
  • Traditional training lacks the ability to customize, not personal, not just-in-time
  • Not every trainer is an expert in every aspect of the company’s operations
  • How do you measure networked staff development?
  • How do you measure your contribution to organisation, if you can’t tick off training sessions, coaching interventions, resources created…
  • Senior management need convincing on the power of networked organisations
  • There will never be enough IT trainers to help everyone

And even though I wouldn’t call most higher education institutions networked organisations just yet, there are nascent networks inside them. These will become more important as the impact of the networked, information abundant world on this sector grows (as it has with the music, publishing and newspaper industries). Networked organisations are more flexible and adaptable. And so we as academic developers can look through the lense of the T&D professionals and see that we struggle with the same issues.

A networked professional has a Personal Learning Network

I’ve long thought that it is impossible to truly assess the potential of networked technologies for learning, when you only learn about them in a 2 hour workshop.

I’ve done many a Twitter, LMS (Moodle, Blackboard, etc), Facebook workshop and the traction is… Continue reading

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Why you should go to the PLE Conference – a flashback to 2010 #pleconf

PLE Conference #pleconfI’m really looking forward to the PLE Conference 11-13 July 2012. The conference continues to innovate in many ways. Organisationally we’ve expanded the conference to two locations, Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia and Universidade de Aveiro in Portugal, spreading the opportunity for sharing scholarship around the PLN and PLE topics and effectively making this a blended conference. How neat! (Of course, one of the venue organisers for Melbourne is yours truly  so I’m a little bias…;-))

The two locations have a joint Call for Papers out with the closing date for abstracts on 16 March 2012, and the deadline for final papers on 13 May 2012. I’m hoping to encourage you all to write an abstract, submit it and join us!

So why should you go to the PLE Conference?

I was very lucky to attend the first PLE Conference in Barcelona and some firsts are simply things which cannot be guaranteed for subsequent events. This first iteration was a veritable who’s who of networked learning with Alec Couros, Steve Wheeler, Graham Atwell, Ilona Buchem and many others in the field attending. Besides the excitement of this, it being the first conference, it also meant that much of the PLE work presented, was completely new to the other attendees. So it was like finding a treasure trove of PLE/PLN research. Also Ricardo Torres Kompen was just the best venue organiser/host, his attention to detail and calmness without peer.

So what are elements of the PLE Conference that continue to make it THE event for any networked scholar/educator to attend? Continue reading

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What My PLN Means To Me: now at #converge10

Gidday! I’d love your help in explaining the use of a Personal Learning Network (PLN) for an educator – whether you’re a teacher, librarian, manager or educational technologist.

What is this project about?

This project started in 2009 when we combined our annual e-learning conference eFest with the recently established teaching & learning conference. One of the themes was the changing role of the teacher in the 21st century and us education technologists were eager to show that e-learning is all about teaching & learning, just with technology & access to the web. Of course this can be daunting, overwhelming, scary, uncomfortable, risky…. So we wanted to let educators new to these exciting possibilities, know that they’re not alone. That others have gone before them and are willing to help. Besides introducing the audience to various existing communities of practice out there (like Classroom2.0), I also introduced the Personal Learning Network concept to them.

This project was inspired by Alan Levine’s Amazing Stories of Openness for #OpenEd09, but my project is on a much smaller scale.

So here at #converge10, I’m asking you to answer the question: “What does my PLN mean to me?” and share your thoughts in a short video/animation/slidecast, about 2-3 minutes. If you work in education, I’d love to hear from you – teachers, librarians, educational technologists and managers. Feel free to answer as you will. However if you get stuck, here are some suggestions to include (use these as guidelines only – remember this has got to be personal!!!):

  • Who you are, where you are & what you do
  • How your PLN has affected your own learning?
  • How your PLN has affected your practice?
  • Something really neat you learned through your PLN recently
  • Which tools you use in your PLN?
  • How you use technology in your teaching or educational practice
  • How you’re adapting your teaching or practice for the 21st century?
  • Your most ‘fruitful’ connection made through your PLN
  • Any words of encouragement for educators new to this 21st century, ‘techie’ way of teaching & learning

After you’ve posted your video/animation/slidecast somewhere on the web, please also embed it on the What My PLN Means – wiki here. And send me (@catspyjamasnz) a tweet to let me know – include the hashtag #mypln. That way I can thank you.

Your task

1. Think about your PLN/PLE and what it means to you. Work together with a partner if it helps. You can then record each other :-)

2. Record your video/screencast. You can do this alone, but probably handier in a pair. Use Flip videos which you can borrow from me, or any iPhones, Flip Videos, digital camera’s etc you’ve got on you.

3. Upload your video to YouTube. Use a title like this: What My PLN Means To Me – @twittername or real name – #converge10.

4. Add the link on What My PLN Means To Me wiki

5. Send me a tweet @catspyjamasnz with a link so that I can thank you, moltas gracies con petons (thanks v much with kisses ;-) )

Why participate in this project?

  • For you individually, it’s good practice to reflect on your PLN/PLE
  • For our PLE/PLN community, these videos can act as resources, evidence showing this new personal learning in action
  • For teachers new to technology, these videos can act as encouragement
  • A cross-section of these videos, will be mixed together to create an overview resource
  • The videos will be harvested for themes & ideas to prompt further research into the PLN/PLE concept

Thanks for your help, Converge 10 people! Good on ya, mates!

Here’s my video about what my PLN means to me.

Project: What My PLN Means To Me – now at #PLE_BCN!

Hola! I’d love your help in explaining the use of a Personal Learning Network (PLN) for an educator – whether you’re a teacher, librarian, manager or educational technologist.

What is this project about?

This project started last year when we combined our annual e-learning conference eFest with the recently established teaching & learning conference. One of the themes was the changing role of the teacher in the 21st century and us education technologists were eager to show that e-learning is all about teaching & learning, just with technology & access to the web. Of course this can be daunting, overwhelming, scary, uncomfortable, risky…. So we wanted to let educators new to these exciting possibilities, know that they’re not alone. That others have gone before them and are willing to help. Besides introducing the audience to various existing communities of practice out there (like Classroom2.0), I also introduced the Personal Learning Network concept to them.

This project was inspired by Alan Levine’s Amazing Stories of Openness for #OpenEd09, but my project is on a much smaller scale.

I’m asking you to answer the question: “What does my PLN mean to me?” and share your thoughts in a short video/animation/slidecast, about 2-3 minutes. If you work in education, I’d love to hear from you – teachers, librarians, educational technologists and managers. Feel free to answer as you will. However if you get stuck, here are some suggestions to include (use these as guidelines only – remember this has got to be personal!!!):

  • Who you are, where you are & what you do
  • How your PLN has affected your own learning?
  • How your PLN has affected your practice?
  • Something really neat you learned through your PLN recently
  • Which tools you use in your PLN?
  • How you use technology in your teaching or educational practice
  • How you’re adapting your teaching or practice for the 21st century?
  • Your most ‘fruitful’ connection made through your PLN
  • Any words of encouragement for educators new to this 21st century, ‘techie’ way of teaching & learning

After you’ve posted your video/animation/slidecast somewhere on the web, please also embed it on the What My PLN Means – wiki here. And send me (@catspyjamasnz) a tweet to let me know – include the hashtag #mypln. That way I can thank you.

Your task

1. Think about your PLN/PLE and what it means to you. Work together in group of 3-5 to have brief discussion about this.

2. Record your video/screencast. You can do this alone, but probably handier in a group. Use Flip videos available (3), the iMacs provided by Citilab, your own recording devices (iPhones, Flips, digital camera’s) or…. go to the professional Citilab recording studio where Jordi will be operating the professional equipment!

Citilab Video Studio

3. Upload your video to YouTube. Use a title like this: What My PLN Means To Me – @twittername or real name – #PLE_BCN.

4. Link on What My PLN Means To Me wiki

5. Send me a tweet @catspyjamasnz with a link so that I can thank you, moltas gracies con petons (thanks v much with kisses ;-) )

Why participate in this project?

  • For you individually, it’s good practice to reflect on your PLN/PLE
  • For our PLE/PLN community, these videos can act as resources, evidence showing this new personal learning in action
  • For teachers new to technology, these videos can act as encouragement
  • A cross-section of these videos, will be mixed together to create an overview resource
  • The videos will be harvested for themes & ideas to prompt further research into the PLN/PLE concept

Thanks for your help, PLN_BCN people! Moltas gracies!

Here’s my video about what my PLN means to me.

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Project: What My PLN Means To Me

Next week Thursday I’m giving a presentation at a teaching & learning conference. The theme of my talk is “You are not alone”. And I’d love your help in explaining the use of a Personal Learning Network (PLN) for an educator – whether you’re a teacher, librarian, manager or educational technologist.

This is the first year we’re combining our annual e-learning conference eFest with the recently established teaching & learning conference. One of the themes is the changing role of the teacher in the 21st century and us ed techies are eager to show that e-learning is all about teaching & learning, just with technology & access to the web. Of course this can be daunting, overwhelming, scary, uncomfortable, risky…. So we want to let educators new to these exciting possibilities, know that they’re not alone. That others have gone before them and are willing to help. Besides introducing the audience to various existing communities of practice out there (like Classroom2.0), I also want to introduce the Personal Learning Network concept to them.

Now I was going to introduce the PLN concept with the classic tweet-out (“Please say hi to my audience…”) and I’ll probably still do this. However, I’d like them to hear a little more from you than 140 characters. So inspired by Alan Levine’s Amazing Stories of Openness, but on a much smaller scale, this is an advanced tweet-out from me.

I’m asking you to answer the question: “What does my PLN mean to me?” and share your thoughts in a short video/animation/slidecast, about 2-3 minutes. If you work in education, I’d love to hear from you – teachers, librarians, educational technologists and managers. Feel free to answer as you will. However if you get stuck, here are some suggestions to include:

  • Who you are, where you are & what you do
  • How your PLN has affected your own learning?
  • How your PLN has affected your practice?
  • Something really neat you learned through your PLN recently
  • Which tools you use in your PLN?
  • How you use technology in your teaching or educational practice
  • How you’re adapting your teaching or practice for the 21st century?
  • Your most ‘fruitful’ connection made through your PLN
  • Any words of encouragement for educators new to this 21st century, ‘techie’ way of teaching & learning

After you’ve posted your video/animation/slidecast somewhere on the web, please also embed it on the What My PLN Means – wiki here. And send me (@catspyjamasnz) a tweet to let me know – include the hashtag #mypln. That way I can thank you. Hopefully this project will go beyond my presentation, and provide us all with some additional evidence of the usefulness of a PLN for an educator.

Thanks for your help, PLN!

Update: only fair that I go first. Here’s my video about what my PLN means to me.

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The PLE as a subset of the PLN

At the end of last year, Alec Couros led an interesting Twitter conversation about the definition of a PLN. Or a PLE. Are they interchangeable?

I was pulled into the conversation via @bookjewel, as she re-plurked Alec’s questions on Plurk. Somehow her question crystallized my thinking, and rather than responding in 140 characters, I quickly fired up PowerPoint and used its SmartArt (I’m a big fan) to create a visualization of the relationship I see between the PLE and the PLN. Alec then kindly included my graphic in his blog post. And as of this posting, it had been viewed 742 times, which makes it my most shared artefact on the web by quite a stretch. As I’ve never blogged it (it’s only ever existed on Flickr) I thought I would post it here, to re-start my own thinking about PLNs where it left off, in December 2008.

PLE as subset of PLN

I’ve split up the technological connections (in the PLE) from the inter-personal connections (in the PLN). I think of the PLE, the environment, as the ‘hardware’ of the PLN. The PLE can exist as interrelated links, feeds and profiles on a myriad of sites, but it is nothing without the encompassing PLN of the person, their personal connections with others and their interchange of ideas to make meaning of it.

Those were my initial thoughts back then. I’m hoping to do more work on PLNs soon, by running a pilot project implementing PLNs as a staff development tool for teachers.

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