In looking back on 2008, one of the most positive influences in my life has been establishing a PLN or Personal Learning Network.
My PLN is not just made up of colleagues or even former colleagues. It is made up of educators from around the world, some of which I had the great pleasure of meeting in 2008 and some of which I certainly hope to meet in the future.
Without doubt the most valuable tool I have used for establishing my PLN has been Twitter.
Twitter has provided me with the opportunity to:
share and discover new resources (my Delicious links have gone through the roof, thanks to Twitter!)
ask for and offer assistance to colleagues about a range of ICT and education issues
have access to a never-ending amount of professional development (reading the blogs of other educators has been extremely worthwhile)
feel a deep sense of gratitude for my home, town I live in, school I work in and the wonderful people in my life
share lots of funny moments and even some heart-breaking ones
I compiled the slideshow below using One True Media which was passed onto me by the lovely Amanda Marrinan via Twitter. (Of course!) If you are unable to view the movie via the player, please click here. Special thanks to Lisa Dumicich for the fabulous photo of Twitterers at the VITTA 2008 Conference. 🙂
Whilst it features photos of those in my PLN that I was fortunate enough to work with or meet in 2008, its purpose is to say thank you to everyone. The amazing support that you have provided me is truly appreciated. You are indeed my “Twitter Angels”!
One of a long, long list of positives that came out of the 2008 Knowledge Bank Online Conference was that I was introduced to Wordle.The Wordle site describes it as “a tool for generating word clouds from text that you provide”.For those who may not be familiar with the term “word cloud”, greater prominence is given to words that appear more frequently in the source text.The Wordle site allows you to enter your own text, a URL or even a delicious username to generate your word cloud.Word clouds can then easily be added to the Gallery, generating its own URL.It is one of the few sites that doesn’t require you to sign up for an account!You can also easily print your Wordle or use a screen grab tool to save your word cloud to import to another application.
Initially, I was attracted to Wordle because of the tools available to customize your word cloud.The site gives you the ability to alter the font, colour and even direction of the words.It wasn’t until after I created my first Wordle that I realised that there was much more to this tool!
After posting a link to the site on our school’s twitter page, I started to receive some wonderful ideas, especially from the Director of Early Learning Centre, the wonderful Lisa!
I thought the use of VoiceThread might be a nice way to not only share a few simple Wordles with my colleagues but, more importantly, to get them to share the way they are using Wordle.I would love to hear about your ideas, so please feel free to add to our VoiceThread below or click here. If you do not have a VoiceThread account, please post a comment. 🙂
For me in my role as Staff ICT Trainer, I enjoy using Wordle to enhance presentations and give staff a “snap shot” of a particular topic.Wordle is yet another example of a simple yet highly effective tool that is only limited by our imaginations!