Category Archives: Edtech 543

Edtech 543: My PLE Design and Comparative Analysis

My PLE Superhero (1)

This was a really fun opportunity to organize and focus on my Personal Learning Environment!

What did you learn about yourself looking at your PLE?

Looking at my PLE, the first piece that I notice is that it has grown.  Thinking back even over the summer there are more tools and connection sites on this graphic than before.  I believe that participation in this class has been a part of that growth as well as trying to branch out more through Twitter and Google+.  The biggest connection that I am excited about is the information that comes from Graphite by Common Sense media.  I have only scratched the surface of the information and resources offered through this site.

Within my image, I put a quote by Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”  Obviously she was not speaking about technology or PLE’s, but I wanted to bring this quote in particularly because a good PLE is constantly working together.  The tools that I use to discover new information are directly connected with those that I use to act on my learning or communicate learning to others.  There is a cycle within the PLE that allows for a constant growth as new tech and apps come in and old ones leave.

Comparative Analysis

I found that in comparing my image to my classmates there were many similarities between PLEs, but I did however learn about some different tools and ideas as well!

Danielle Leone’s diagram had some excellent tools and connections within her PLE.  As far as communication, we share similar networks (twitter, facebook).  Danielle’s explore base of her diagram had different networks such as pintrest and youtube, which I did not have under my “discovering” category, but need to add it in the future!

Tim Stark’s diagram was very similar to my own.  We both have similar networks for communication and discovering.  He included reddit which is a network that I am not that familiar with.  His Productivity category was similar to my acting category, however we each had some different tools outside of Google Drive.

Cassie Faught’s diagram split both personal and professional learning environments.  I had not thought about splitting in that way.  Cassie had twitter within her personal PLE which is great!  I try very hard to keep twitter a strictly professional network.  We do however have a similar connection within Edweb.net.  This was an excellent network to join and I have really enjoyed the connections that have come from this website.

Courtney Kaul’s diagram had a professional development focus which was excellent.  Many of the networks within her Pro-D category I had within my Discovering category.  This is really a case of semantics. Both of us are discovering new information that benefits us professionally.

Jill Miller’s PLE diagram is incredible!  Like some of the others, Google, twitter, facebook were the beginning of similarities between us.  However Jill had many more apps and connections such as Pocket, Library databases, dropbox, and Moodle. I didn’t think to add some of these into my PLE.

Kelsey Ramirez’s diagram offers a simple explanation of the networks she uses.  The one that she added that I am kicking myself about is Voice-thread!  This is such a valuable tool for collaboration and presentation.  Outside of this difference we have very similar personal learning environments.

Closing

This assignment has provided a really clear view into the way that each of us thinks in regards to our personal and professional connections.  The PLE is in some ways a living organism, continually growing and changing depending on the information, ideas and strategies that are out there.  Though my image says “superhero” I am very sure that some of my classmates PLE’s are much stronger than mine.  That being said, I look forward to continue to grow mine in amazing ways!

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Edtech 543: Welcome to Social Networking in the Classroom!

What are you initial reactions about joining these social networks for use in this course?

Thankfully through my experience in this program I have come into contact with all of the tools we are initially signing up for.  Because my family and I live internationally (Hong Kong) we use Facebook as a way to share pictures of our family adventures with the grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins in the USA.  I have also used it as a way to stay connected with friends from high school and other interactions in life.   Twitter on the other hand is my Pro-D center.  I use Twitter to learn about new resources, trends and events that are happening in the edtech world. WordPress I have used for my Learning Log (Obviously) and Diigo is relatively new to me.  I use a similar app called Annotary to collect and gather different annotations from the web.  Looking forward to getting more experience with Diigo!

What is your experience in using social media for your own professional development?

As I said above, Twitter has been my Pro-D center for the past year.  I got hooked onto it when I went to the 21st Century Learning Conference in Hong Kong.  From there I was able to build connections with people and get overwhelmed by the amount of resources available on Twitter.  As a volunteer pro-d tech coach I use Twitter when looking at new tools or strategies that I might present in the classroom.

What is your experience in using social media as an instructional strategy in your learning environment?

Currently I am teaching 8th grade.  I have experimented using social media in my classroom.  I used twitter to facilitate a discussion.  I posed questions with unique hashtags and then had the students answer on class Twitter profiles. I found the 8th grade class is a little to young.

That being said, I also am an online instructor in a teacher certification program and we use Twitter heavily, getting these future educators connected and used to the process of using Twitter.  In fact, for one of our modules we have a 24 hour “twitter blitz” where all of the different cohorts in that module converge on a single hashtag and the instructors facilitate conversations and discussions from all around the world.

What are your expectations for this course?

My expectations for this course are pretty simple.  I love technology and I love building connections between different tech and the classroom.  I would love to walk away with a few ideas on how to integrate some social networking into my classroom (and my colleagues).  I know it is going to be a great year, this is not my first class with Dr.  Gerstein, and I am looking forward to another awesome experience like the last ones!

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