Thursday, August 04, 2011

Helping Others Begin a Personal Learning Network

Renewing administrative certification in Alabama is done through the "Professional Learning Unit," acquiring a set of five over a five-year period. Thought retired from public education (although anyone who has kept up with me knows that I am not retired--just went a new direction ) I am still keeping this certification alive.

Six months ago, I participated in an online course on "personal learning networks." The "final project" is to come back six months later and show how I implemented what was learned. Because the course is designed for administrators, the expectations is that I show not what I implemented for my personal growth, but how the concepts impact others. Below is the "showcase" in which I give people a start (and firm foundation) into their own PLN.



What blogs are in my Google Reader? Here are 21 of my favorites and why. If you are brand new to the idea of an iGoogle page, click here for an introduction. If you like some of the links you see below, why not add them as subscriptions to your own Google Reader?

  • Angela Maiers   Author of The Passion-Driven Classroom, Angela is an active speaker and has a great deal to offer on use of the technology in the classroom. She is very active in social networking.
  • BlackBerry Cool   BlackBerry is my tool of choice when it comes to managing my life. This blog helps me keep up with new developments.
  • Connected Principals   A group of authors write for this blog, sharing best practice in education. The blog received 6 Edublog Award nominations in 2010.
  • Cool Cat Teacher   Vicki Davis is a technology teacher in Camilla, GA. She writes on the uses of technology in her classroom, her views on best practice for use of technology in general, and pioneered The Flat Classroom Project (for which her students have received much notoriety)
  • Copyblogger   This blog is written for those who blog and wish to get better at it.
  • Daily Motivator   This blog brings words of encouragement to keep your life moving in a positive direction.
  • Educational Insights  Jennifer Malone is principal at Eaton Elementary School in Loudon County, TN. The blog is a collection of technology resources related to education.
  • eduflections   Julie D. Ramsay is a 5th grade teacher and author of the newly-published Can We Skip Lunch and Keep Writing. Her blog is all about best practice, especially as its regards technology in the classroom.
  • Eduleadership   Justin Baeder is an elementary principal in Seattle, WA. He writes primarily about productivity for the educational leader with much of it centering around use of technology.
  • Eye on Education   This is the company which published both of my books. Morgan Dubin is the primary author for this blog in addition to her spearheading the company's communication through Twitter and Facebook.
  • Free Technology for Educators   Richard Byrne is a teacher, yet somehow finds the time to write prolifically about just what the blog promises...free technology. This one is a must-read.
  • Heights' Hilghlights   For principals wanting to communicate with faculty and staff via a blog, Robin Gilbert's example is superb.She uses Google Docs as a parking place for documents she wants her teachers to be able to access and places links to them on her blog. The blog often features polls for teacher input, provides timely news, and is a vehicle for giving positive recognition.
  • Laura Stack-The Productivity Pro   Laura Stack is one of the most sought-after speakers in the country on the subject of personal productivity.
  • Lifehacker   This blog is generally about making life more enjoyable. It is slanted heavily towards technology, but there is a good bit of non-tech stuff as well.
  • Presentation Zen   If you speak before audiences with any degree of regularity, Garr Reynolds has a wealth of information on PowerPoint presentations in particular and any presentation in general.
  • PS22 Chorus   This elementary school chorus from Stanten Island, NY has taken the Internet by storm. Visit this blog and you will understand why.
  • Raymond L. Young   When it comes to capturing the warmth and character of a school, nobody does it better than Pattie Thomas. The audience for this blog consists of the parents and community that support Raymond L. Young Elementary School in Talladega, AL.
  • RIMarkable   Research in Motion is the manufacturer of the BlackBerry. This blog contains the latest information about the company and its products.
  • The Lettered Cottage   This blog is about home improvement. Moreover, it's a great example of how a blog can substitute for a website. The design is beautiful and can serve as a model for anyone.
  • Middle School Notes   Kerry Palmer is the middle school principal at Trinity Presbyterian School in Montgomery, AL. This blog keeps parents informed about upcoming events. Parents are highly encouraged to subscribe through Feedburner so that they receive the latest information via e-mail.
  • YoungTeachers   With this blog, Pattie Thomas has eliminated the need to produce a faculty handbook. Everything a teacher needs is digital and only a click away. Technology tips, best practice in the classroom, tips on parent relations, and positive recognition is all here

What are your favorite blogs? Leave a comment and let me know.
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