Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tool # 2: Investigating Personal Learning Networks for Educators

1.) I selected the second choice for question number one:
  • Visit three blogs and expand your PLN by signing up for a Diigo account or a Google Reader account.
  • Follow the bookmarks/websites of 2 other Diigo members or websites.
My curiosity got the better of me, so I ended up signing up for both. I couldn't log into my Diigo account, so I am currently using Google reader to explore education sites. Below are two blogs that I have subscribed to on Google Reader:
2.) At first, my thoughts about building and participating in an online community were a bit mixed. I love the idea of having public forums for educators to exchange ideas about pedagogy and how they have incorporated technology into the classroom, but I guess my one concern was being comfortable enough to share my ideas and thoughts publicly. However, the more educational blogs I read, the more comfortable I am with the idea of having a blog of my own. I realize that I just need to do the research in order to make sure the sites that I follow are reputable and professional. 

I  worked up the courage to comment on a blog by Thomas Whitby's article, "What's the big deal about blogging?"  The article is about how he was once a "reluctant blogger," but now sees the benefits of blogging for students and educators. I felt even more comfortable about blogging after I read this article. A definite must read for any educator who is dragging his/her feet over becoming a blogger. :) 

3.) After I have explored the PLN's that I have joined, I am planning on visiting educator Vicki Davis' Cool Cat Teacher Blog. In her "About Me" section, she states that she started her blog site as a means "to inspire, encourage, and inform teachers, parents, and professionals." Wonderful...I'm thinking...but how reputable is she as an educator? When I continued to read further down, It became clear to me that she truly is the real deal. She has an extensive educational background and has received numerous awards, but more importantly, I really got the sense that her students thought she was the "real deal" as well!

This site has an abundance of valuable information and insight from an experienced educator who has spoken to educators worldwide. I liked this particular site for the variety of topics that were offered in education. The couple of articles I plan on reading (I've already saved them to my bookmarks) are "Ten Ways to be a Terrible Educator" and "QR Code Classroom Implementation Guide." With regard to the former, the title caught my eye and of course I would, as an educator, want to know that I am committing any of those ten heinous teaching taboos. As far as the latter, I want to learn more about how to incorporate QR codes into the classroom. Well time to sleep...I'm going to try for five hours tonight. :/ 

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