Your Personal Learning Network (PLN) is important to you both personally and professionally. It is the collection of connections that you have to find answers, learn new things, contribute your own ideas and collaborate to create new and exciting opportunities. It can contain a wide variety of social media. These social networks provide tremendous opportunities for teachers to enhance their professional development by networking with each other beyond the boundaries of a school, town or even country.
This Personal Learning Network assignment will involve you in building your PLN and examining its growth over the semester. The intention of this experience is for you to reflect on how you can connect with resources and other professionals. Hopefully this will carry-over into working collaboratively with professionals in your other courses and ultimately in your professional life.
Early in the semester, your instructor will challenge you to create a map of your Personal Learning Network. This may not be complete or complex because it is your initial opportunity to consider these networks. Your map should show what media you use to share information, ask questions, bookmark useful links, how you connect to experts in the field, etc. You will work on this assignment all semester long.
You may take a look at the PLNs created by students in previous semesters (use them as an inspiration not a strict guideline)
This is a very important moment in your professional life.
You need to decide if your current social media accounts are the ones you want to share with your future employers, parents, or even students. If the answer is "Eee... not really", you should start building your new professional digital footprint. Time to separate your private and professional life, teachers!
During the semester, you will be challenged to expand your Personal Learning Network. Following are just a few ideas and examples to get you started:
You might even find a professor who stimulates your thinking.
Again, PLN is the collection of connections that you created to find answers, learn new things, contribute your own ideas and collaborate. However you expand your PLN this semester, document the situation. You can use the following prompts to reflect and organize your documentation:
How did you find/create/use this resource?
What prompted you to find/create/use this resource?
What did you learn from this resource?
How will you benefit from this resource in your future teaching? (Perhaps you benefit from it right now as a student)
Take a screen capture of the event or connection
Post map and reflections
Towards the end of the semester, you will be asked to consider your PLN again. You will expand your initial PLN map to include all of the new resources that you found/created. You will then use your documentation to write a narrative talking about the growth of your PLN and how you will use it in your professional life.
Narrative with links and visual examples will be created in a form of a blog post. You will learn about blogging later during the semester, make sure that you are collecting and documenting all the interactions until then (perhaps you can create a google document to keep track of all the activities).
The link to your blog post will be submitted via your ePortfolio (details in the assignment submission drop box)
If you already have a Twitter or Pinterest and other social media account that may include explicit content or materials inappropriate for school, consider creating a separate professional account. All activities should positively represent you as a preservice teacher.
10% of points possible will be deducted If you submit the wrong URL or your account is not public and your instructor cannot access your profile.