Personal Learning Networks

prep teachersThis professional group of teachers sharing resources, experience, lessons and ideas can be found on Facebook and is my ‘go to’ for all ICT solutions for this course. There is a group for each year level and for other areas like play pedagogy, coding, and age appropriate pedagogies amongst others (‘suggestions’ for similar PLN groups will pop up in Facebook, recognizable by the distinctive banner logo). This group has been the most dynamic PLN encountered so far, and whilst I joined in readiness for my prac with a prep class, have found information that transcends all years. Some of the other groups are ‘quiet’ (although interesting stuff can always be found in the ‘files’ section). This group, however, is constantly active and more than happy to help uni students. I have been overwhelmed at the amount of ICT that I have learned about and my diigo can barely keep up – and remember these recommendations are not sales pitches but tried and tested by experienced teachers on the job. There is not the time nor space to list the variety of ICT tools (amongst a lot of other teachings) that I have acquired but suffice to say that prior to this course my ICT skills were word processing for uni assignments, excel for budgeting my bills and Facebook for keeping in touch with my friends and family. Now, I have a wealth of knowledge and a resource toolkit bulging with apps about data management for the classroom (and uni and home), assessment and interactive feedback, portfolios, behaviour management, communication with parents, educational games, managing videos … and the list goes on and on and on. ICT concepts I could not have imagined on my own and even with the learnings from this course. I would recommend joining this group to boost your ICT knowledge regardless of whether you are primary, EC, secondary or TAFE. Not just for teacher tools and data management but transformational technologies for learning as well as teaching. And instant answers! Answers to anything – tax tips, tips on sanity and well-being, and always time for a laugh.

Here are just some of the magical toys … er tools …. I’ve ‘discovered’ but not yet mentioned …. educlipper, Symbaloo, Plickers, Edmodo, Showbie, ClassDojo, Seesaw, GoNoodle, Blabberize, Sqworl, Sketchup.

PLN rulesThe golden rule of these groups is that only FREE stuff is promoted (except for sales on educational equipment!) and advice about copyright – even sharing online, something we so easily forget. As one teacher found out the hard way – requesting a copy of something left at school, it could not be shared legally plus the creator of the copyrighted material is a member of the group. A timely reminder in this age of global easy-access-information.

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4 thoughts on “Personal Learning Networks

    • I love it! Have discovered most of my ICT through this network plus the advantage of having tried-and-tested advice to go with it which google cannot help you with. Certainly saves time searching for ICT online and having to download new programs and ‘play’ with them to find out what they can or cannot do when you can simply ask the experts.

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  1. Hi Gnarly, it is a great fb site. However as preservice teachers, we have to be careful about asking for advice about any uni assignment thoughts. I asked a simple question about whether or not something I had thought about for a digital artefact was feasible or not for prep students. The question prompted a fury of answers however admin intervened and asked preservice teachers to refer to their uni studydesks. I thought it was a reasonable question to just test my idea, but apparently not. Interesting.

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