Tag Archives: personal learning environment

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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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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