Here is a list of some of my favorite tools to keep up with my network or PLN.
- Skype is one I use all the time. My department created a group in Skype and we use it to keep in touch with each other whether we have a snow day, are out at a school, out sick, or on vacation. I know that last one would be - you are on vacation, why would you want to keep up with work? With Skype, you can go back and view previous day's conversations. Within our state (North Carolina), we also have an edtech group. This is made up of educators who are interested in technology. I have learned so much through this group. If we have a problem with some tech tool or need to ask a question about something, we post it in our chat group. Within minutes, someone has come up with an answer or suggestion. They are an awesome group!
- Twitter is another networking tool that I have learned a lot from. I started off following the people in my Skype group. They were following other people and were re-tweeting them; so I started following them also. I am not the best to follow; I get so caught up in what other people are talking about and the links that they are sharing, that I forget to answer or re-tweet them! At my old school Twitter was blocked, so I started using HootSuite.
- Discovery Education was a great networking tool, especially when I became a DEN Star. If you are lucky enough to work in a county that can afford to subscribe to Discovery Education, make sure to sign up to become a DEN Star. (There should be a star and an Ask Me How blurb that you can click on after logging into Discovery Education.) The DEN Star community is made up of educators from around the world. I hope to re-join my DEN friends sometime in the future.
- Google Reader allows me to follow a lot of great blogs written by some really great educators. Through these blogs I learned about the 30 Day Blogging Challenge (which I thoroughly enjoyed). I have also been able to build my toolbox from these blogs.
One of my PLN friends mentions frequently, and I agree: by myself I am great, but with my PLN behind me I am brilliant.
Original Image from Wordle.