I love sharing about how my Personal Learning Network (PLN) has helped me professionally. It all started when I was comparing Google Sites to Nings as learning communities for work. I had heard people talk about how they “ask on twitter” so I did…I asked all four of my twitter followers who happened to be my brother, sister, and two of my friends…Obviously, no one responded to my tweet and my skepticism of twitter continued.
Fast forward a couple of months and I’m tasked with teaching twitter to teachers as part of an online communication course. I stumbled upon this video by Josh Stumpenhorst, A.K.A @stumpteacher. By watching I learned how to use Twitter AND how to use hashtags! Here’s the thing, I don’t know Josh and Josh doesn’t know me, but his willingness to share openly online changed the way I learn and connect with others online.
Sue Waters also has a part in this story. In 2009, she wrote, A Year Later And Are We Using Different Tools to Connect to Our PLNs? She gave this survey and the results are displayed in the Infographic below. I was able to use Sue’s research to help me create a PLN Workshop for teachers.
Before I go on, I know people are bummed that Google Reader went away, but I am more bummed that iGoogle went away
But let me tell you about MY PLN. I recently created a survey to find out what tools educators are currently using to connect with and learn from other educators…what they use to fuel their PLNs. I shared the survey via twitter, Google+, and email with my network. Within a day, I had over 130 responses!
I must share that while I only required responders to indicate which tools they use to connect in the survey, I also asked, Why is being a connected educator important? and most people took the time to answer! Here is the survey and here are the responses. I just wish I would have 1) asked people include their name or twitter handle so I could give them credit for their responses and 2) asked for location.
If you are reading this and participated in my survey, Thank you! And thank you PLN!
PS – If you’re interested in which learning community we went with, we chose Google Sites!