Teaching Students About Building their PLN (Part 2)

Part 2 – Building your PLN – In this four part series, I cover tagging, review building a PLN with an iGoogle page, notes on wiki editing, and end up with Leadership notes. This is taken from a blog post for my ninth graders.

 Part 2 – Building Your PLN
“How To” information: http://projecthelp.wikispaces.com/Setting+up+your+PLN

b) Your PLN (iGoogle page set up)
Why? We set up an iGoogle page to help you manage and keep up with your work on Digiteen. With a project this complex it can be hard to manage, but having ONE page to help you manage it all keeps it simple.

This portal is called your PLN (personal learning network) You will build at least 2 more next year for Flat Classroom and NetGened. It is important to know how to build one. Here are the things you have to have on your iGoogle page.

1) Enhanced Bookmarks with a link to:

Why? This helps you be able to go to the appropriate pages without looking. Most courses have a lot of hyperlinks. Organize them at the beginning of the course and it will be simple for you. Others will spend time looking while you spend time working.

2) Subscription to the RSS feed for my blog on the Ning to get your assignments and updates (like this one.) 

You should know how to look for the “chicklet” and add it to your iGoogle homepage.

3) Subscription to the RSS feed for the discussion tab on your wiki page topic.

Remember that the wiki page itself should always be in final format, but you do need to talk about your topic. To facilitate this, you will use Discussions to talk about the page. (Wikipedia calls this the “talk” page.) Effective use of the discussion tab is AS important as creating good information on the wiki as this helps prevent misunderstandings and will help your team “connect.” None of you want to feel as if you are editing this wiki page alone. You will feel alone UNLESS you communicate on the Ning and wiki.

This is NOT the homepage of the wiki as some of you have done. Over 500 students share the homepage! You will be talking with people not even in your group and although that is fine, it won't help you be as productive and connected to your team as you wish.

4) You should have 5 searches from Google News Search
One of the most powerful uses of RSS is to make it your personal research buddy! If you can use http://news.google.com and create good searches, then you can have it deliver good information to you every day. If you're not getting good information off your searches, then you didn't build a good search and should go back and redo it.

You are the researchers. You are on the “leading, bleeding” edge of digital citizenship research. What is important in digital citizenship. Every year, good student researchers take us, the teachers, to the edge of this important topic. YOU are writing the curriculum that you will be taking to your school in the action project. Understand and dig deeper. It will make sense when we start planning your action project. (We are doing something called a “jigsaw” ask your teacher in a few weeks and it will make perfect sense.)

4 Posts in this Series (Will link them after completed.)
Part 1 – How to Tag Properly
Part 2 – Building your PLN and RSS Feeds.
Part 3 – Editing Wikis and Placing Hyperlinks
Part 4 – Web 2.0 Leadership

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Lriley1 March 15, 2011 - 8:16 pm

I thought this was very detailed! It helped me as a new professional understand how and why these operations are used!

coolcatteacher March 15, 2011 - 8:25 pm

Great!! Good luck!

Vicki Davis
Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Building the bridges of today that the society of tomorrow will walk across.

Sent from my iPod touch

kconn232 March 21, 2011 - 5:43 pm

Very informative! I will have to try this out.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere