Friday, January 1, 2010

Thing 18: Building your personal learning network

I think I get the gist of Ning and what social networking is. I could see it being especially helpful for my teaching partner and I. We teach elementary gifted and talented classes and there are very few G/T programs left in our county. When we are faces with different issues and decisions that will impact our program, we really don't have anyone else to go to to bounce ideas off of but each other. It would be helpful to try to locate a G/T personal learning network that we could connect with. I also think it would be helpful to find one for the parents of the students in our program. People often think that gifted students are always high achieving teacher pleasers who do well in school. Some do, but there are also others who learn much different, have social-emotional issues common with gifted kids, or have issues fitting in with their peers. I'm sure my parents would love to have a forum for ideas. The issue with personal learning networks that makes me unsure of them is how do you know that the advice or info. you are getting from others in the network is valid? Are there people out there that would purposely post incorrect information? I'm assuming that others on the network would catch and point out inaccuracies, but it makes me a little leery of them. The other drawback is that I'm a person that really does better face-to-face when someone is explaining or talking me through something. If I just wanted sources or opinions on something, a PLN would be great, but on one of the educational ones I was looking at, people gave a lot of tips and advice on technical issues. Unless someone shows me how to do something, I have a hard time. Walking me through it in a written format is often tough for me. Sorry, I'm a visual learner!

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