Network Building:
Pump Up Your Web Presence
& Develop Your Personal Learning Networks

The Importance of having a web presence in 21st Century Technology Education

Are you a web wallflower or dancing with the stars web-wise? How is your program available to students via the web? Are you a member of a Personal Learning Network & how do they help with building a web presence? What is your web presence in the community? A discussion of effective practice and essential elements for making your instruction, program, and tools more accessible for students and the community. A discussion of effective practice and essential elements of our technology education presence with:
Gwyneth Jones & Geordie Paulus
This topic was explored recently at one of the monthly TL Virtual Cafe webinars - and though that slant was for Library Media Specialists, we really cannot afford in21st century education to have a NOT have a significant web presence for our classrooms, programs and schools

"What the heck is a PLN? Personal Learning Networks:

external image csmithPLNmap%28577x400%29.jpgfrom Chris Smith: "With the growth of the internet, technology and especially with web 2.0 tools it is now easier for each of us to build a unique online Personal Learning Network (PLN). These networks often grow organically as we ourselves evolve both needs and skills ... with the increase in available information worldwide and easier access there comes a time when it's advisable to pause and reflect. Not only is this an exercise in time management but also one related to keeping sane under the rapid growth of information available."

David Warlick, Uber Tech Guru has Blogged on it, It's worth the read!
also, for my visual learners (like me!) here's a graphic explaining what a PLN can be, created by Jen Henga aka
external image 2901085768_d26e72f5c3.jpgFULL SIZE can be Viewed HERE

PLN Brainstorm

i tried to be as extensive as Jen's example....but it gave me a headache! LOL
Do you like this Inspiration type map?
....FREE & EASY to use online Brainstorming!

Need or want more PLN diagrams?? Check out this wikipage for lots of them!

external image 4560727139_52a7369cfc.jpgAnother way to look at this is to take screenshots of the stuff you've created and make a collage or a timeline!
Here's an example of my stuff...starting with an electronic portfolio created in 1997, library media center webpage - 2000, a slew of old school style web quests and angelfire hot link pages from 97-2006, school digital photo gallery 2004, a school blog and professional development wiki in in 2006, Twitter account 2007, i got a Second Life on 9/272007, MHMS Learning wiki -2008, Twitter 08, and a personal professional blog just last summer 2009!
(click image on left for full size)

Here are a few (albeit embarrassing - no laughing!) early webpage examples:
weather research@MHMS - 1997
this violent earth: a research task about earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis - 2000
talkin' trash! -it's ALL about recycling
- MICCA 2000
doing backflips over google for yahooligans - MICCA 2004
Now...realize...this is 13 YEARS worth of work...and I admittedly (and happily) have not much of a home life LOL...but really,

It's not WHEN you start...just that you start.
Related blog postings:

What's Your Web Presence?
Reflecting on My Library Web Presence - It's Never Too Late to Start
School Library Web Presence Webinar with Buffy J. Hamilton
Chad Lehman's
Building Your PLN Wikipage

If i had to do it all over again NOW i would start in this order:TwitterSearchEx.jpg
--- Twitter account - join and search the hashtages: #MSET, #edtech, #edchat, #ISTE, #ISTE10,Join_MSET_Comic.jpg #TeacherTuesday
--- Flickr photo gallery (worth the $29 a year to go pro, too!)
--- Nings: MSET, Classroom2.0, TeacherLibrarian, ISTE Community, ISTE10,
--- Wiki (first a professional development one then a learning one to use with kids)
--- Blog (either school, classroom, or professional)
--- Web Page
--- Second Life

It's a Ning Thing! - PLN's that Work
Social Networks around central themes...think a Facebook for teachers, a Myspace for technology educators
...a place to vent, share, connect, and LEARN!
external image waveline.gif

The Back Channel...Being Snarky is NOT a Crime! - No need to need to join....just jump in!

....Like Twitter.. a personal chat room that would be up during a class or presentation. Give participants a voice, be able to share idea without interrupting the flow....pass around resources and related links and to archive information and later...follow up resources!

It takes time to focus a back channel chat - an article By Jeff Utecht

Research paper on the Back Channel: download the Research Paper PDF

Some Highlights from the Twitter back channel of #NECC09

RTbmanchee RT @CBlohmAssoc #NECC09 stats: 13,574 reg attendees, 849 int'l attendees, 1,253 booths, 140 journalists
joycevalenzaLITA Blog TopTechTrends
isteconnectsNew Post: Leadership Day 2009: An Inspiring Movement to Bridge The Tech Gap #NECC09 #leadershipday09
richardscullin Thanks to whoever posted this Scratch resource. Saw Resnick's presentation at **#necc09**. Very looking forward to using.
@mcleod: My **#necc09** presentation, Effective leadership in an era of disruptive innovation, is now available!

Capt_RedRT thetechtiger Finally figured out what I learned from #necc09. yeah, what she said!
stevehargadonRT @mormontechie TeacherĀ“s Guide to Web 2.0 at School
rmbyrneFree Technology for Teachers: A Question of Student Privacy
stevehargadonRT @Larryferlazzo The Best Collections Of Web 2.0 Tools For Education
NMHS_Principal FIltering fixes: More school unblocking social media sites **#edtech**
esolcourses RT @dianadell RT @lmockford Looking for Ed resources? Search these hastags: #edtech #elearn #lrnchat **#edchat**.

So, you ask.... what are Hashtags?

What's All This Tweeting About Twitter?

external image twitter.jpg

Twittering, Not Frittering: Professional Development in 140 Characters

10 Things Teachers Should Know to Get Started with Twitter

Holy Sweet Tweet! a Twitter Manual for Educators!

Hashtags are now hot linked! So searching for topics or events is easier!

10 Ways to Find People on Twitter

Photo Credit: Wesley Bedrosian

for more: Educational Twittering.Wikipage

You may want to take the test What Kind of Tech User Are You?.

..Then think about the ONE thing you would like to learn or apply to your career in the next year..."Our plates should be small but our appetite LARGE for new technology"

What i'm saying is..... pace yourself, you can't learn AND use everything you hear about ALL the time! if you just concentrate one thing each week/month/year......heck even if you only try one thing on one day each year you're ahead of 90% of the tech users & teachers out there! see? not so bad! and if you're the daring sort...the kind that isn't afraid to dive into the digital pool and swim with the fishy digital collaborators...know that there will ALWAYS be someone who is doing more than you...who humbles you with all that they utilize in their classroom or school (i get both overwhelmed and inspired when i listen to Joyce Vallenza!!!) but if we measured ourselves by these superstars we'd never get anything accomplished cause we wouldn't even try! LOL

so do what you can....try a few new things....and always ALWAYS SHARE SHARE SHARE! take the "each one, teach one" - NTTI model or the new digital collaborator model of "each one, tell many"

So Blog...Twitter....Wiki...Plurk....document and SHARE your successes AND your failures! heck, our failures teach us more than anything!

Build your PLN (Personal Learning Network) you're not alone...even if you're the only one in your school trying new're not alone if you join and participate and develop your PLN.

Other Tools for Getting Started:
Edublogs and Blogspot and Wordpress
Flickr and Flickr 365Libs Project
Wikispaces PBWorks to build wikis for use in instruction
Glogster for creating engaging graphics and links for your wiki, blog, or webpage
Meebo Bar for embedding your social network within your wiki, blog, or webpage
Facebook Fan Page for communicating with your school's community of parents, students, and teachers
YouTube for uploading and sharing videos
Delicious for social bookmarking
Diigo for social bookmarking
The Dickens LMC Web Presence via

And Tools for Deepening your Connections:
Google Docs for collaboration, surveys
LiveBinders for management of a collection of related links
Shelfari and Library Thing
Ning for creating your own social network
NetVibes for creating resource sections and pages
Wibiya Bar for embedding your social network within your wiki, blog, or webpage
ShowYourself widget for embedding a list of all your sites
LibGuides Buffy Hamilton's LibGuides

Okay, so I've been in Ed Tech for three years now and although I'm involved in the HCPSS and my school community on many levels, I do not have much of a personal/professional web presence. That will be a focus of mine in the coming year(s). Despite that, I DO have a strong personal learning network and am here to tell you that starting with a small collaborative PLN will get you going in the right direction. The key is to share & participate!


Diigo is my new all-time favorite tech tool. Some of the ways I use diigo are:

- To find links, lessons, and new sites to share at professional development at ELMS.
- To share links w/ ELMS Staff & ELMS Students
- To work with classes of students on research assignments.
- To find other educators w/ similar interests.
- To find information about an educational topic - instead of google!


Use Learn Central to find a community of like-minded educators. Most valuable to me is the events section for finding webinar topics, dates, and times. Once you find a topic, you can add it directly to your calendar (I use iCal) and register. Then on the day of the event, just log into learn central where your events are managed. Elluminate also offers Learn Central members a free online meeting room for up to 3 people.

Don't have time to check for events? Sign up for a weekly newsletter summarizing the upcoming webinars.
Created by Joyce Valenza and the Geek Squad The TL Virtual Cafe hosts free webinar series utilizing a room donated by Steve Hargadon offers monthly discussions that are hot topics of interest to teacher librarians and technology educators.

Steve Hargadon (, the social learning consultant for Learn Central is also the creator of the Classroom 2.0 Ning. This social network is an excellent place to hook-up with other educators and share resources, ideas, and find collaborative partners. I have especially found it useful in finding iPod Touch & iPhone resources for a pilot program at ELMS. Use your existing NING log-in and join the group!

The Vision of the George Lucas Education Foundation
"Our vision is of a new world of learning. A place where kids and parents, teachers and administrators, policy makers and the people they serve, all are empowered to change education for the better. A place where schools have access to the same invaluable technology as businesses and universities -- where innovation is the rule, not the exception. A place where children become lifelong learners and develop the technical, cultural, and interpersonal skills to succeed in the twenty-first century. A place of inspiration, aspiration, and an urgent belief that improving education improves the world we live in." (

Edutopia is my favorite site for finding video clips of highly effective teaching and student learning. These clips are excellent resources in developing professional development programs for my staff and colleagues. Sometimes it can be hard to talk about education reform without an example of how it might look. That is where Edutopia Video comes in and is able to showcase schools and teachers who are taking those next brave steps as educators. Here are a few of my favorites:
Kids & Adults Design New Tech Tools

Digital Youth Portrait: Cameron

At Edutopia I have been able to find groups to match my educational interests - this group discussions & blog posts are always rich with new ideas and fun collaboration opportunities.

Other Tools to Build a Personal Learning Network:
Apple Leaning Interchange to find and share lesson ideas with other Apple educators
Frontline Digital Nation to join the discussion as a teacher or as a parent
iGoogle as a personalized homepage & RSS feeder
PBS Teachers LIVE to participate in content specific webinars

Why Build A PLN?
Will Richardson's Explanation

Some people worth following:
David Warlick -
Joyce Valenza -
Karl Fisch -
Kathy Schrock -
Larry Ferlazzo -
Steve Hargadon -
Tammy Worcester -
Vicki Davis -
Will Richardson -
And any of today's Smackdown Panelists!

All A Twitter
Looking to Ramp Up Your Library Website

Animation Studios

Webinar Slides: external image WebPresenceCombFinal.ppt

external image 4362679163_8bcb232004_m.jpg

Now rather than backflip (which is dead :-( i use sqworl to organize bookmarks

PLN wordle from Jenna Ewend's awesome Blog!