Skip to main content

Ideas and the PLNs that Make Them

As I cull through my notes and resources from ISTE, I came across a statement I wrote down from Steven Johnson's keynote, Where Good Ideas Come From (see Johnson's TED talk by the same title http://bit.ly/12guyLB), stating that- historically speaking- good ideas don't arrive as these light bulb, Eureka! moments; but rather they are a network of various ideas fused together.

First of all this made me feel a little better to know that I probably won't have some revolutionary idea come from seemingly no where and change the world with it; but rather a string of ideas from random and various places could very well make up a game-changer in the grand scheme of things. Second, this made me realize the power and significance of PLNs.

In a recent Twitter Chat the question arose, "What's the difference between a PLN and a PLC?" For me, our campus holds PLC (Personal Learning Communities) meetings each week that are made up of core subjects and grade levels. While I value my PLC immensely and a great deal of information is shared, the majority of ideas are parallel and centered on specific content/objectives we are teaching each week. Whereas, my PLN is made up of people in various positions, in various states/countries, with various views and opinions. This makes the feedback and suggestions I receive multifarious and dynamic. It sometimes forces me to rethink things and other times think of things I would have never otherwise considered. My PLN is just that- a personal network. Although I am new to Twitter and have only recently began participating in Twitter chats and circles, I can already see that a PLN, along with Twitter Chats, are game-changers for education in general. They provide ideas and resources I wouldn't otherwise have available to me. I have been able to connect with people who are passionate about education and want to see change for the better. This robust network of people push me to think outside the box and challenge me to rethink the lessons I teach. It is my hope that I am a better educator because of them; more helpful and accessible to the students I teach and friends I work with.

And who knows, maybe one day years from now we will look back and trace the beginning of someone's big idea to a PLN Twitter Chat. After all, all Eureka! ideas are actually a network of ideas fused together... and isn't that the very thing Twitter chats and PLNs are made of? 


For more info:
  • Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From: the Natural History of Innovation: http://amzn.to/12pPOiW
  • Education Twitter Chat- days and times (from Cybraryman): http://bit.ly/12gyoEB
  • 2013 Must-read Blogs (according to EdTech Magazine) Great resources with All-stars in innovative thinking & game changing education: http://bit.ly/14txrNa



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Change and the Top 5 Things I Learned This Year

.... and there is was. I loved my classroom. I loved my kids. I loved those things and they were great... But I wanted something even more than that. I wanted to be able to focus on reading with small groups of students at a time in order to understand their individual needs; to try to get a glimpse into why they struggled year after year, to be a source of encouragement, and ultimately to help them be a little better at reading and comprehending than before they'd ever met me. So... to do this- to go after what I wanted but had never had, I had to do some things I had never done. I had to leave my intimately cozy school where I truly considered each person there a part of an extended family unit. I had to load up 8 years worth of materials and teacher junk and haul it to a new school; and not just any school... to a MIDDLE school! The horror! I had always sworn I would never... COULD never teach in a junior high/middle school setting, and here I was scrambling over boxes and giv…

Being Reminded by My Annoyance

Ahhh... the Christmas Winter Break. Staying up late followed by closing the shades so we can sleep in the next morning, relishing in the fact that 5 AM will come and go and we will never know. I'm not sure about you and your family, but my family and I love the laziness of the Christmas Holidays. It wasn't until I caught myself becoming increasingly annoyed (...and often) that I realized while we were basking in the unstructured, late-morning routines, my son was missing some very crucial parts of his- and sadly, none of us realized it.

K's two main areas of struggles, as far as sensory processing go, are Vestibular and Proprioception. Our Vestibular system allows us to accurately use our vision, prepare our posture, maintain balance, plan our actions, move, calm ourselves, and regulate our behavior. When his is out of whack and his body feels he isn't receiving enough input, we notice he is on the go more. Not really running around, just aimlessly wandering around (usu…

Making Appointments- a collaboration strategy

Autonomy and collaboration are two buzz words you hear often right now in the realms of education chatter. And for those days when collaboration means within our own classroom, it seems like this is the day autonomy needs to be focused on the most. I can take the same two students and match them up to work as partners, who would have normally joined up anyway- but there is something about the teacher doing the matching that often times sets things on a bad foot right away. I noticed this when school first started. I would watch the groups and partners gather in clusters when I simply said for them to partner up- versus watching their reactions when I actually called them out, putting them in very similar groupings. There is something to be said for students feeling like they have a say in who they work with. I guess we are no different as adults.

I saw a strategy at a workshop last year called "Making Appointments" that I envisioned as a complete train wreck, but one day last…