Sometimes, I see myself as one of the luckiest people in the world, with the valuable connections that I now have. My personal learning network has been of the utmost importance to me in the successful uptake of my e-journeys. A recent post, ” What are your 5 top tools for managing your network”, from Sue Waters, has caused me to reflect back on the early days of my journey, some 20 months ago. Sue has again posed some questions that will be answered in this post.
- Can you remember when you first started to use online tools and build your network? It has been approximately 22 months ago that I discovered that our Dept of Education and Early Childhood Development, was offering ‘rich picture case studies grants’. One of the criteria in the grant application was the use of web2.0 tools. I wanted to develop podcasts for the volunteer led Penshurst Volcano Discovery centre, but what was web2.0? Fortunately, just before the completion date, I attended an ICTEV conference in Melbourne and enrolled for every possible session that vaguely mentioned the word web2.0. The most interesting session was “My top 10 web2.0 tools” , presented by two dynamic teachers from Melbourne and this gave me some wonderful practical tools that I could use – blogging, wikis, online calenders and web monkey surveys. My grant application was approved and the journey began with its a log and direction blogged about on this site.
- “Which people do you think have influeced you the most to want to build your network.” The people who have most influenced me on this journey are Jess Mcculloch – young dynamic Chinese LOTE teacher, whom I had the fortune to teach with for two years. Jess was an adept user of web2.0 and introduced me to many tools and helped me to use them. We worked together on laying the e-planks in a web2.0 school, as part of professional teacher leave in 2008. The major influence early on was Heather Blakey who administrated and ‘kick started’ global student/global teacher. She introduced me to her wonderful blogging community (who were not educationalists) and these fantastic people showed my students and me the power of comments and conversations through comments. I wish I still had time to blog with them. Heather encouraged us, mentored us and best of all worked collaboratively with me. Another important person, in developing my PLN was Sue Waters, who gave me a list of people to follow on twitter – a now essential component in my PLN. Along the way there have been so many others but another one who stands out is Lorraine Leo from Boston, who has introduced us to virtual classroom work and to so many of her valuable connections, and with whom I love to team teach. Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis have introduced me to the flatclassroom which has led to another wonderful set of connections. I love working with Kevin and Bonnie with their “day in a sentence” and “Photo Friday”. There have been so many influences in encouraging and evolving the development of my network that my list is so long that I just wish to thank all my wonderful connections.
My 5 top tools for managing my network from Sue’s survey are:-
Are you able to fill in Sue’s survey?