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For those of you unfamiliar with the term PLN (Personal Learning Network) it was coined a few years ago to describe the folks you connect with both in real time and online to share ideas, resources, and lessons plans. There are many ways to do so but some of the most popular are: Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Learnist, Blogging, Diigo and Delicious, and Edmodo. Basically it is the process of harnessing social networks for the greater good, to learn, to grow.
The process begins simply enough. Pick a network or two and begin by following others and collecting what they share. It doesn't take long for something to strike your fancy. Diigo or Delicious are great for collecting and sorting resources. As you become richer, hopefully you feel the love and start to pay it forward by sharing your own creations, discoveries, and lesson plans.
My growth has been exponential since I started to develop my Personal Learning Network. There are many big names out there that have helped. See my blog roll. However, I truly owe a debt of gratitude to my neighbor at Southfield Christian, John Sowash. Make note of his name because I am sure he is an up and comer. John not only leads fantastic trainings, but he is always available for advice and generously shares his training resources. You'll find them on his website Sowash Ventures.
If John can't answer my questions, Eric Curts will. Eric is also a mensch and expert on all things Google. Eric has many sites to his name and you can find them all at Eric Curts.com.
Silvia Tolisano, AKA Langwitch, is deservedly, a well known name in Ed Tech circles. Lately, she seems to have a direct, psychic link to what I need and has created it in such an extraordinary way that I couldn't possibly improve upon it. I am sure she has no idea how much she has helped me and those I support and I do not want to bore you with all the details but let me simply say her websites are a great stepping off place for all things Skype, Edmodo, or iPad.
Finally, my newest discovery in Ed Tech Dharma comes via Melissa Scott. Melissa recently came to our school to lead a professional development Training the Trainers. The superb educators in this PD will train their equally amazing peers on iPad integration and lead the Personal Learning Networks we hope to form at Grosse Pointe Academy. Melissa exemplified the quote by Tom Peters, "Leaders don't make followers, They make more leaders." You will find Melissa's offerings on her blog, My Learning Journey.
I am grateful beyond measure for so many things: the health of my body and