I use Twitter occasionally and in my school district, we have been using Ning as a PLN. I'm working with two groups of teachers that are using ipods as an instructional tool and we are using Ning as a venue to bring these two groups of teachers together to share ideas and projects and just plan learn from each other.
I use goggle talk for personal learning networks (family) and skype for professional learning network. This reduces the number of contacts on my list. I am experimenting with NING. I have a twitter account but use it to solicit help when working on projects or need professional help. I also use linked in to collaborate and request support.
I just started using http://www.innovativeteachers.com/ , a site sponsored by Microsoft. "The Innovativer Teachers Network is a global community of educators utilizing Information and Communication Technology to encourage and foster collaboration among teachers worldwide." Lots of great resources.
My experience to Professional Learning Networks is very limited. I have been working on creating a PLC with Google Sites(wiki) for Ed Tech Trainers in AZ. From this site Intel MIs and Thinkfinity Field Trainers can access other sites specific to those training programs.
Are any of the MIs your train, active in your communities?
Mine is not as active as I had hoped. I am not sure if it is just because the Ed Tech Trainers are so busy or because it is inside the state protal that isn't well liked. I keep wondering if I wouldn't have been better off creating it it Ning.
Maybe I just don't have the right sections to promote activity involvement in the site. I have created the following sections: Directory, Training Resources, a read section similar to this site, Training Showcase, and What's in Your Bag (showing off the technology gadgets.) Can thos of you active in Professional Learning Networks let me know if there is something I should add?
I include a snapshot of the front page of the site.
Thank you for your input.
I personally find I learn much from the members of my Personal Learning Network on Twitter. On a regular basis, others suggest websites that are useful. I've also been helped get ideas on how to teach a subject concept. In addition to Twitter, I am also a regular contributor on both Classroom 2.0 and The Synapse (these are both Nings.) I find that it takes a willingness to share ideas and help others to build the PLN (in any of these three groups. Often I find I reference ideas that I first learned from Intel Teach. I was part of a large discussion about Essential Questions at the end of August. It was interesting to see the levels of teacher understanding of the concept. The "highlight" for me was when a peer on Twitter posted a tweet referring another teacher to me because "He is an expert with Essential Questions." I do NOT considered myself an Expert, but think my willingness to share and discuss my own questions led to this statement.
Another tool for cultivating a PLN is Skype. I set up a Skype group for teachers in my school. They use it to provide support to each other with both curriculum and technology. Many times I've seen an IM go out for a technical problem and before I can answer, several teachers have given suggestions to solve the problem. Teachers have asked for a resource or help with a topic and their peers, once again, come to their rescue. One teacher said she no longer feels alone in the classroom. Just this past week a teacher had her computer reimaged and the first thing she asked was, "Where is my skype?"
I also belong to a statewide Skype group of technology facilitators and media cooridinators and I have learned so much from the many conversations to trouble shoot or just to share a new tool or strategy. It's also a great way to connect classrooms.