Showing posts with label Professional Learning Network. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Professional Learning Network. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2019

Fishbowl - A New Professional Network for Teachers

This week Fishbowl joined Free Technology for Teachers as a new advertiser on the site.

Fishbowl is a professional networking service for professionals in many fields including education. Based on that description you might think it's just another LinkedIn or Twitter, but you'd be wrong. Fishbowl features dedicated communities for discussions about the issues that matter most to them. Fishbowl makes you verify your identity, but lets you post questions and responses anonymously. That enables you to ask sensitive questions or respond to sensitive questions without jeopardizing your privacy.

Here's a good example of discussions that can happen in Fishbowl. In the Fishbowl teachers community there is currently a discussion about taking "mental health days." That's a question that you might not want to discuss on Twitter or LinkedIn because everyone can see your real name and where you teach. On Fishbowl you can post in that discussion and have your screen name appear as simply "teacher in Maine."

Fishbowl is designed to be used on your phone or tablet. Fishbowl is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android. After you install the app you will have to verify your identity by using either a professional email address (not Gmail, Yahoo, etc) or your LinkedIn profile. Once you've verified your identity it's time to add a bit of information about where you work. That doesn't mean naming the school district it simply means adding the type of school, the state/province it's in, and what you do there. Once you've done that you can start joining discussion groups and participate in conversations. When you post you can choose to use your name or simply use "Works at School in State X" or "Subject X High School Teacher."

I like that Fishbowl provides a place to ask questions and engage in discussions that you might not otherwise feel comfortable discussing on places like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. I think this could be a great for new teachers who have a lot of questions and not a great support system around them. But just like any other network, you still want to be responsible with the information that you share and be mindful of how written words aren't always read the way you intended for them to sound. The other thing that I like about Fishbowl is that as of right now, posting on the network doesn't have the "popularity contest" aspect that can pop-up in things like #edchat on Twitter.

You can find the Fishbowl apps right here and start joining discussions today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Twitter Bingo - A Fun Way to Introduce Twitter to Teachers

I spent yesterday working with teachers in Canton, Connecticut. A Twitter Bingo board was one of the first things that I noticed when I walked into the room in which I gave my opening talk. I immediately snapped a picture of it and Tweeted it. Throughout the day that picture was liked and reTweeted dozens of times.


The Twitter bingo chart that I photographed was developed in part by Ruth Kidwell. Ruth later replied to a Tweet from a teacher who wanted to use the chart for introducing Twitter to his colleagues. Ruth's reply included a link to the Google Drawing in which the Twitter Bingo game was created.


It is one thing to talk to your colleagues about using Twitter for professional development, but it's another to get them to actually use it. Twitter Bingo provides people with a fun way to learn about how Twitter works.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Two Good and Easy Ways To Expand Your PLN

The question that I am asked more often than any other in regards to building a personal/ professional learning network is, "how do I find people to connect with?" There are two methods that I recommend depending upon if you are using Twitter or Google+. By the way, I find myself spending more and more time on Google+ these days and I encourage you to try it if you haven't, here's why.

If you are using Twitter to build your PLN, search using a hashtag related to education. Cybary Man has a massive list of hashtags used by educators. Search one of those hashtags and see who is using it. Then follow some of the people that are using the hashtag(s) related to your interest(s).

If you are using Google+ to build your PLN, a quick and easy way to find other educators is to go to the Communities section and search for an open community that is centered around a topic that you're interested in. You can simply join the community or you can start to put the individual members into your Google+ circles.

Going Beyond Google With the Help of Friends

Whenever I have the opportunity to speak about personal/ professional learning networks (PLNs) one of points that I stress to the skeptical members of the audience is the idea of going beyond Google. By that I mean using social networks to discover ideas and information that you might not find if you were simply Googling for information. In essence this comes down to the idea that "together we are smarter." When you ask for help or feedback from your PLN you are potentially using the brains of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of other educators. In response to your request you may find people are willing to share things they've created or things they've discovered that you couldn't have found by Googling.

Applications for Education
Students can use this concept of "going beyond Google with the help of friends." In fact, I'd argue that they should be using whenever they're working on group projects. Use a service like Diigo or eduClipper to have students create a groups in which they share materials they've found and or created.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How One School Community is Using Google+

Yesterday, I shared five things that I like using Google+ to build a PLN. One of the five things that I mentioned was creating communities for your local colleagues. This afternoon, Abbe Waldron shared with me a post that she had written how her school district is using Google+. If you're wondering how Google+ can be used in your school community, take a look at how Abbe's district is using Circles, Communities, Photos, and Hangouts in Google+. Read Abbe's post on her blog Wamogo Tech Times.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Learnist is Like Pinterest for Learning

Learnist is a new site (still in beta) that aims to be like Pinterest but for sharing learning resources. On Learnist you can create pinboards of materials organized around a topic. You can create multiple boards within your account and make your boards collaborative. You can pin images, videos, and text to your boards by using the Leanist bookmarklet, by manually entering the URL of a resource, or by uploading materials to your boards. Take a look at the video below for a brief introduction to Learnist.



Applications for Education
Learnist is still in a closed beta period so you will have to apply for an invitation (I got mine in a few days). Once you're in you can start following members of your professional learning community and collaborating on the collation of resources that are beneficial to you and your students.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Now Live - Archive Your Ning Network's Content Now

Ning's April announcement that they were discontinuing their free services left many people wondering what would happen to their networks' content if they didn't upgrade to a paid plan. On Monday, Ning announced that they were developing a tool that would allow network creators to download all of the content of their networks. That tool is now live. To use the Ning network archiver you will have to install it on your computer, you can download it here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

What I Read First or RSS Recommendations

Updated November 2010
Over the last few weeks I've been "tagged" by at least five people in "Who I'm Reading?" blog posts. Those folks who I know for sure tagged me are Kevin Jarrett, Kelly Hines, James Michie, Vanessa Cassie, and Michael Zimmer. In order to "pay it forward" so to speak, I though it was time that I share a list of the blogs written by educators that I go to first when I open my RSS reader. I am currently subscribed to 237 252 RSS feeds (down from roughly 300 earlier this year) in addition to the nearly more than 7000 people I follow on Twitter. So I obviously can't list everyone that contributes to my learning, but these people definitely stand out.

In no particular order here are the ten blogs written by educators that I go to first in my RSS reader:

iLearn Technology - Kelly Tenkely
Larry Ferlazzo
Welcome to NCS-Tech - Kevin Jarrett
David Warlick
Dangerously Irrelevant - Dr. Scott McLeod
AKA Riptide Furse - Fred Delventhal
Langwitches - Sylvia Tolisano
Moving at the Speed of Creativity - Wes Fryer
Teachers as Technology Trailblazers - Kristen Swanson
Teach Paperless - Shelly Blake-Plock

What do you read first? Who should I be reading that I'm not reading now?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Why Do We Connect?

Shelly Terrell, who recently guest posted on this blog, produced a video this week about the purposes and benefits of developing a personal learning network (PLN). About thirty members of Shelly's PLN appear in the video. If you're looking for a way to show your colleagues why you've developed an online PLN, this video does a nice job of illustrating why we form PLNs. After watching the video you might also want to see Shelly's wiki and slide presentation about connecting with social media.


If you're just beginning to take steps toward creating an online PLN, you may want to work your way through this presentation that I created last summer with the help of my PLN.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Follow EduCon 2.2 In Elluminate

EduCon is an education conference being held for the third year in a row, this weekend, at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. I have never been to EduCon, but it seems that everyone who has been to it raves about it. Some of the leading personalities in education technology will be leading conversations all weekend at EduCon 2.2. If you're interested in virtually attending any of these sessions you can do so through Elluminate. To participate simply visit the schedule of conversations, pick one, and at the scheduled time click on the conversation title to enter the Elluminate room set up for that conversation. You can read more about virtually attending here.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Two Guides for Constructing a PLN

One of the most popular posts of the week was the updated version of my blog post Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter. I've heard from a number of people thanking me for the tips included in that guide. But if you're on Twitter and you want to expand your PLN (personal learning network) beyond Twitter, consider trying the tools and tips in my guide How to Build a PLN.

Both of these guides were originally published as Google Docs presentations, but I've also put them on DocStoc for those that would prefer a vertical-scroll presentation. Anyone is welcome to download, reuse, and remix these guides responsibly.

Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter

Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter -

How to Build a Personal Learning Network

How to Build a Personal Learning Network -

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Conversation With Ken Shelton - DEN Star, ADE, GCT

Ken Shelton has been a part of my PLN for more than a year. We met at NECC 2009 and had some great conversations about PLNs, teaching, and the role of technology in education. Ken is a DEN Star educator, an Apple Distinguished Educator, and a Google Certified Teacher. In this video Ken explains how teachers can go about becoming a DEN Star, an ADE, or a GCT. What I think we can all learn from Ken is that if you're interested in furthering your professional learning, there are many great opportunities out there that you can advantage of.

I had some trouble recording both of our faces on the screen and there was an occasional lag between Ken's voice and face. The important part is what he says, not the visual quality.

If you're viewing this in RSS you may need to click through to view the video.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How to Build a PLN

I occasionally get questions or emails from people seeking advice about building a PLN (personal learning network) and recently I was asked if I could create a presentation on the topic. Embedded below is the first draft of a slide presentation about building a PLN. I welcome any and all suggestions for improvement.



Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter
My 21 Must-read RSS Feeds
10 Teachers to Follow on Twitter

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New from Jim Gates - Gates Ideas

Jim Gates, winner of the 2007 Edublogger award for best resource sharing blog, has launched a new venture called Gates Ideas. I've been a subscriber to Jim's blog, TipLine, for over a year and continuously find it to be a good source of thoughtful ideas for technology integration. The purpose of Gates Ideas is to keep people informed of Jim's upcoming workshops and to share resources about teaching with technology. The resources section has a collection of model blogs and wikis. If you've enjoyed TipLine over the years make sure you give Gates Ideas a look.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Social Studies Central Gets a Face Lift
Cable in the Classroom's Must-Read Blogs
10 Teachers to Follow on Twitter

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Teachers Connecting - Find A Project Partner

There are numerous informal ways for teachers to connect. Three of the more common places to connect are Classroom 2.0, Twitter, and Facebook. The connections made through those forums can be used to create a global, collaborative, classroom project. However, if you're new to those networks or you're just beginning to form a PLN it's not always easy to find a collaboration partner. Fortunately, Teachers Connecting can help you find a partner for a collaborative project.

Teachers Connecting is a professional network where you can find other teachers who would like to connect their classrooms with your's. On Teachers Connecting you can post a project proposal or search for projects proposed by other teachers.

Applications for Education
Teachers Connecting could have your next global collaborative project just waiting for you and your students. If it doesn't, propose one and find a partner for your next project.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
National Council for the Social Studies Ning
Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter
Three Facebook Groups Connecting Teachers

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

5 Interesting and Educational Twitter Finds

Here are five interesting and educational things that I learned about today through my Twitter network. As always if you have something you would like to share or you would just like to get your name out there to build your Twitter network, please leave a comment.

1. Students Unplugged from @bengrey
2. How Educators Harness the Power of Social Networks from @malinkaiva
3. How to Balance Online Classes With Working Full Time from @edu_tweets
4. Amazon Web Services for Educations from @jackiegerstein
5. Acceptable Use Policies Becoming a Relic from @nalibrandi

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Just for Fun - Twitter in Real Life

I'm a big proponent of using Twitter as a tool for developing a personal learning network and I've written dozens of posts about various uses of Twitter for learning professional learning purposes. Sometimes it's healthy to be able to poke a little fun at ourselves and have a laugh about the things that we do. Twitter in Real Life is a fun look at Twitter. Thanks to Mashable for sharing the video.


Here are some related blog posts that may be of interest to you:
Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter
WebMynd - Google Search + Social Search

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