Saturday, 2 February 2008

My PLN has taken me on an amazing PLJ Pt 2 - PD & personal connections.

Ok so back to PLNs and PLJs. Thanks to following blogs through google reader and blogmeister, plus the regular tweets from twitter, I have found out about all sorts of PD opportunities and useful 2.0 software. In the last 10 days I have had a wonderful time exploring, creating, thinking and playing - never mind the other gidgets and gadgets I've already discovered thanks to my PLN. My PLN let me know about Educon20 that was held in Philadelphia last weekend. This meant I was able to view online presentations of the various workshops, either in real time or later when it suited me, thanks to the magic of UstreamTV - something I knew nothing about 2 weeks ago. Also thanks to UstreamTV and my PLN I have been able to participate in the Unconferences each Wednesday from the International School of Bangkok - here, teacher Kim Cofino sent out an invitation via Twitter. The great thing about UstreamTV, when you view it in real time, is that you can log into the chatroom attached to the show (you just need to sign up as a member first) and you can actually add your comments, thoughts and opinions to those that are participating on the screen in front of you as well as other people in the chat room. A fantastic way to participate in professional development with like minded others.
Another great way to participate in PD and discussion with others is via Women of the Web 2.0. Every Tuesday at about 8pm our time they have a live radio type discussion, which is also available later as a podcast, and again there is the option of signing into the chatroom and participating in the discussion. Very cool.
Thanks to my PLN I was able to set up a wiki to share all my links and follow up info for my conference presentation instead of having to add to demise of a few more trees using the more traditional paper handouts.
Twitter is fantastic too. After uploading all my presentation info to my wiki - including my slideshow (another great web 2.0 tool I found out about from my PLN is Slideshare)I asked if a few of my Twitter contacts could read through my presentation and give me some feedback. This they did and I was able to make some changes and tweak a few parts thanks to their suggestions. They also helped to boost my confidence before I presented as I was very nervous. So a big thank you to Rachel, Allanah and Amanda.
Blogging I have done for a while now, having started my family and friends blog earlier last year where I share my daily chitchat, scrapbooking etc. I added this blog after ULearn last year as a place to share my educational thoughts, learning and conversations without boring my family and non teaching friends to tears. What I love about blogs is the fact that you can comment on other people's blogs having read about their thoughts and ideas and engage in a dialogue about various topics, etc. It also provides people with an opportunity to share their opinions with you via your own blog.
I guess one of the nicest things about Web 2.0 is that it's all about making connections and maintaining them too. I find that with teaching you are so busy, add parenthood to that and general family life, as well as the many other demands on your time and it can be quite hard to stay connected with others, you just do your own thing day by day. Even though I know my mum thinks it's a bit weird that I happily talk to people I've never met, let alone seen in real life, I think I have established some wonderful online friendships and acquaintances. It has also allowed me to stay in touch with friends who now live in other parts of the globe.

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