What will be your legacy?” – that was the essential question Superintendent Dennis Larkin asked candidates for a lead technology position at our school. So being the reflective thinker that I am, I quietly processed this question and I think I’ve found my answer. My goal is to empower my staff by helping them develop and refine their personal learning networks (PLN). All applications and systems mentioned are free.

I originally had twelve steps listed, but following a discussion with Kim Cofino, I have shortened it to seven that can certainly be achieved. For the full twelve step article, please visit my school professional blog.

7 steps to empower yourself and develop your PLN:

  1. Create an iGoogle account – using your professional (work/school) email address
  2. While in iGoogle, create a Gmail account
  3. Before leaving iGoogle, create an iGoogle reader account which means you’ll bring information to you with RSS feeds. If in China, NetVibes is more stable and a better RSS aggregator to use.
  4. Subscribe to blogs by Educators with your RSS feed aggregator program – here are five worth following immediately: TwoCents (by David Warlick), Weblogg-ed (by Will Richardson), 21stCenturyLearning (by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach) IdeasandThoughts (by Dean Shareski) and AlwaysLearning (by Kim Cofino)
  5. Make reading blogs a habit (ie early in the morning, after the kids are asleep, during your lunch break, on your weekends, whenever)
  6. Start your own blog at your school or EduBlogs.
  7. Delve into a social networking site like Diigo or del.icio.us to connect with others who have similar interests and even set it up so when they update an area of study, you bookmarks are updated as well

Comments on getting inter-connected from Mark Wagner:

Educational Technology and Life » Personal Learning Networks

If you have a great lesson, a great project, or a great rubric, post it for others. Your unique experience in the specific context in which you work is valuable – and on a global scale it’s potential valuable to a great many others.

Educational Technology and Life » Personal Learning Networks

As a contributing member of a community of colleagues and friends, you and your questions are likely to be well received when you make requests. The best way to learn something new is to ask others who might know more about it. I often find my network of fellow learners to be the quickest way to receive an answer I need.

2 Responses to “7 Easy Steps to build your Personal Learning Network”

  1. This was a great way to get started on a personal learning network. Your steps were clear, and I could accomplish most within an hour. Thanks for the blog – you’re on my Reader.

  2. Great simple steps! I am so flattered to be included amongst some of my own idols in your “must read” blogs :)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.