We had fun exploring different social media tools that we each use to broaden our PLNs. Some of the tools that were highlighted were: Google Reader, Flipboard, Zite, Diigo, Twitter, LiveBinders, Scoop.It, Storify and two that were new to me: Paper.li and Feedly. We all agreed that these tools helped us curate the web and share what we are learning with others. However, we also discussed the feeling that as we reach out to take a drink from these nourishing waters, we are sometimes met with a firehose blasting back at us with an overload of information!
Suggestions for dealing with this "River of Information"
- from Michael in Australia - "Follow Quality, Get Quality, Quality Beats Quantity." That might mean only following 4-5 blogs in your Google Reader or using hashtags to search in Twitter instead of following 1,000 people. (#globalclassroom, #flatclass, #sschat, #2ndchat were all mentioned)
- from Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds by Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis - designate two times a week where you read through posts and links for 15 minutes. Think of it as a PLN workout.
- many thought that starting with Diigo was a good plan. Here two groups to follow: Flat Class Educator's Group and EdTechTalk.
- from Sharon in Mumbai - don't suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). You can't read everything. It is okay.
- from Theresa in IL - sometimes you need to "Mark as Read" and move on. See above point about FOMO.
- "teacherpreneurs" can and should embrace state or national standards for their curriculum and expertly weave these in with innovative, collaborative projects.
- reaching out to administration and colleagues is important and necessary for long-term sustainability of projects but it is hard and takes resilience
- hardware might not be exactly what you want, but make it what you need
- connecting with other "teacherpreneurs" keeps you motivated and inspired. As Michael said:
when you are part of a community, you will surprise yourself. this is not something you need to do aloneFinally we talked about getting started with global projects. Here are some of the resources and projects mentioned. We will definitely talk more about these as the weeks go on. And remember to check out the numerous projects mentioned in the book!
- Flat Class Project
- Global Classroom Project
- Student Blogging Challenge
- 100 Word Challenge
Our next meeting with be Monday, February 4th at 7:30pm EST (that's Tuesday, February 5th at 3:30am GMT). For your time zone, click here. We will be discussing Chapters Five and Six. Hope to "see" you there!