.. And now for something completely different: It’s time to start a PLN!

What is this about? After polling hundreds of FGA teachers from across the province, the area where FGA teachers indicated they needed the most help was networking with other teachers. As so, we’ve started a huge push towards helping teachers find proven ways to network with one another by helping them create their own Personal Learning Network, or PLN for short. Starting a PLN is a relatively easy way of ensuring that you obtain relevant professional development throughout the year, sort of what you’re doing right now on our ICT blog! But first, a word from our umm.. sponsor:

Here’s my short video that explains how a PLN works:

.. and here’s Marc-André Lalande’s take:

How should you start? If you’re interested in starting your own PLN, please don’t hesitate to contact Marc-André Lalande (@malalande) or myself (@a_spector). In addition to Twitter, there’s also other free tools to help you establish your PLN such as The Educator’s PLN which is an active network of teachers who participate in discussion groups, share resources, and more. For those of you already using Edmodo in-class with your students, you may want to check out the Edmodo Teacher Communities to connect with same subject teachers and obtain materials for your course.

Without trying to sound pushy or preachy, I’d really love to see more of us starting a PLN. Speaking to you as a teacher, it was a game changing experience when I started using Twitter for my own PD last year. Instead of waiting for PD at conferences or workshops, I now get my PD whenever I want and what’s most relevant to me.. I’m now constantly discovering new Web 2.0 tools, iPad apps, and teaching strategies throughout the entire school year. I’d be more than happy to help you go through the steps to get setup or come into your centre to provide a hands-on session. Just let me know! (Thanks to Marc-André Lalande also Steven Anderson, Kyle Pace, and Tom Whitby from “Understanding & Using Web 2.0 Tools to Create Personal Learning Networks” @ ISTE 2012, San Diego)

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