Building Your
Personal Learning Network (PLN)

There is nothing that will give you as much bang for your time-dollar as creating a Personal Learning Network. Here are some links to resources that suggest ways to get started and/or further develop your own PLN. Remember, a PLN is a two-way street - you need to contribute to the conversation too, even if at first it's mostly asking questions!

1. Set up your RSS reader so you can read blogs, such as Google Reader.
2. Comment on the blogs to start participating in the conversation.
3. (or 1) Set up a twitter account. Follow at least 50 people. Find teachers and ed tech folks to follow (or follow Oprah - you pick). Here is a site to find teachers to follow : twitter4teachers on PBWorks. Click by category, check out their twitter home page, and follow those you find interesting. It's not as formal as "friending", you don't have to know someone AT ALL to follow them. If you want to, get a wiki account and add your name to the wiki so others might find you! You can also surf the followers of someone you know. I started with three people I knew who were on twitter, and by looking at their tweeps, and clicking through a few, I was able to find lots to follow. Go for it!!!
4. Just like setting up a reader for your RSS, I recommend setting up a way to easily see the tweets of those you follow. I use a widget in my iGoogle page, but Tweetdeck or Nambu are also great tools to download and install. Or check out 100 tools for the twittering teacher.
5. If you don't have a social bookmarking tool, go get one. Use Delicious or Diigo - or another of your choice, but these are my two favorites. Then add some folks or join a group so you have access to their bookmarks too. I strongly recommend checking out EdTechWeekly's delicious account, and the Seedlings Delicious account for their Geeks of the Week. Great links!

Sharetabs PLN sites : 8 different sites with advice on building or growing your PLN

Alec Couros, Professor of educational technology & media at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina, gives a 70 minute presentation on making the most of Social Networks and tools in Education. He is energetic, fun, irreverent, and fast paced - it's worth the time to watch this.