Building a PLN as an Educator | e-Learning Today TV

e-Learning Today TV – View in iTunes 

Episode 7 – April 30, 2010

(Episode Length: 26 minutes, 22 seconds)


  • Welcome to e-Learning Today TV

Pick me up

  • Louisiana Arts Program
  • artists and educators brought into schools
  • dancing, music, drama, etc.
  • improved scores and behaviors from students

Current E-vents

  • America’s Next Top SCIENTIST Video Contest | Discovery Education & 3M
    • Designed to promote the exploration and importance of science literacy, communication, and innovation among America’s youth
    • The top 10 scientists will receive a trip to New York City and the grand prize winner wins a $50,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds
    • DEADLINE: MAY 27, 2010
    • Students grades 5 – 8 can submit their 1 – 2 minute video entry online. The video must be about a specific scientific concept selected from a list of concepts provided by the judges. View the complete rules and regulations here. Click here to enter the contest.
    • Teachers interested in learning more about how to help your students create an award winning video entry, register yourself or your entire class for a webinar or view the webinar archives


  • PicLits
    • match images with words
    • create stories and tales from just a picture
    • writing/ story telling tool
  • Make a StoryBook
    • create story/picture book
    • simple interface, many options
    • ability to share and print stories when finished

Hashtag Talk:

  • How do we ensure those without privilege have equal access to quality education and opportunity? As a TFA alum, I left the chat with much to reflect on.
  • Favorite Tweet – Sandra McGonagle: Inequity happens when teachers don’t truly believe all children can learn. #edchat
  • Teach for America: “One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.” The mission of Teach for America is to build a movement to eliminate educational inequity – not to fill teacher shortages.
  • Some oppose TFA, insisting that most corps members leave after 2 year commitment – but the truth is TFA holds a deep belief that the best hope for ending educational inequity is to build a massive force of leaders in all fields who have the perspective and conviction that come from teaching successfully in low-income communities.
  • More than 60% of Teach for America alumni stay in the education field after their two-year commitment – with most working in the K-12 field, while more than 50% of beginning teachers leave education within the first five years.
  • TFA corps members and #edchatters agree, we must increase teacher and instructional quality and maintain high expectations of our students.
    • Ingredients for closing the opportunity gap:
      • Maintain High Expectations – No excuses
      • Quality Administration, Instruction, and Teachers
      • Funding and Resources
      • Advocacy, Relationships and Community
      • Power, Privilege and Policy

Watch and learn

  • Did You Know…?
    • Intensity and popularity of use of technology
    • Facts on the increase of usage
    • More videos have been uploaded to YouTube in the past 2 months than if ABC, CBS and NBC had been airing new content 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year since 1948
    • Newspaper circulation is down 7 million over the last 25 years but in the last 5 years, online newspaper readers are up 30 million

Blogger of the Week

  • Mary Beth Hertz
  • K-6 west Philly Computer Science teacher leader, Organizer for EdCamp Phillydelicious, diigo, ning networks such as classroom 2.0 and twitter, Philly Teacher: a Blog about Teaching, Learning, and Life
  • Her passion about Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) for educators will motivate you to start utilizing the social web to share and learn with educators all over the world.
  • Most recently, Hertz participated in an educator panel on Real Time Communication and Education for the #140 Character Conference.
  • The post that stuck out to me most this week was 6 Reasons I Surround Myself with People Smarter than I Am, a post advocating for Professional Learning Networks for educators.
  • Her advocacy for PLNs begins with a reflection on her own education including her experiences at Oberlin College: “I was exposed to ideas and points of view I had never considered in high school. I was pushed to explore these new ideas and ponder how these new points of view played into my own beliefs at the time. This is the same experience I have had in building my PLN as an educator.”
  • Through self reflection and thoughtful analysis, Hertz comes to the conclusion that every educator should join a Professional Learning Network. She insists, “Teachers need to have the opportunity to be surrounded by colleagues who challenge their ideas and expose them to new ones.
  • Interview -How can educators use PLNs to affect real change?
    •  take risks in the name of a better education for your students or a better community.
    • open up the channels of communication between stakeholders to better serve the community and the school.
    • expand your horizons and increase your learning opportunities so you can build a toolkit of resources.
    • 3 words to describe education today: 1. kinetic 2. political 3. innovative


  • E-learning for Kids
    • non profit global foundation
    • activities by grade and subject
    • relatable topics like baseball and magic
    • newsletters are press releases for teachers and parents
  • Lightning Bug
    • site full of writing resources
    • get students thinking about prompts, characters, styles, etc.
    • resources for teachers for writing samples and ideas

Teach This

  • Facebook Personalization Feature
    • “open graph” now “social graph”
      • connecting other social sites and apps
      • giving public information to other sites
  • 3 Professional Learning Networks Every Educator Should Join
    • Pre-internet: teachers collaborate in person
    • 1990s: email to collaborate with people from conferences and workshops + in person
    • Today/Social Web: Global network
    • Blogs / MicroBlogs
      • Twitter: Once you sign up, use twitter search features to find educators tweeting about your interests, or twitter directories like Twellow or We Follow to connect with educators with similar interests.
      • Get Involved: Every #TeacherTuesday (the day most teachers are active on twitter) at 12 pm and 7 pm eastern, teachers from around the globe connect on twitter using the hashtag #edchat to discuss and evaluate various solutions to educational challenges.
    • Social Bookmarking Keep, organize and share your favorite links. Social bookmarking sites like Delicious and Diigoallow you to use tags instead of file folders to organize your favorite resources.
    • Groups and Forums
      • Members of educational groups and forums like Ning share resources and ideas, discuss topics of interest, maintain blogs, plan events, and much more.
      • My favorite Ning networks – Classroom 2.0  or Educator’s PLN.

So, What Do You Know?

e-Learning Today TV – View in iTunes

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