Friday, November 11, 2016

PLN: 7, 8, 9

7) Pinterest
           
            I started using Pinterest because my mentor teachers insisted it would help me organize my classroom, but I never got around to making an education board. After following English and Education blogs for this class, however, I see how beneficial Pinterest is to educators. Like Twitter, I am able to share and receive numerous ideas pertaining to education. The tag feature is very helpful because I can find specific things I am looking for, anywhere from stimulating classroom designs to lesson plans. I followed a variety of boards and pinners, so now when I go on the site I am greeted with hundreds of new ideas neatly laid out for my perusal. Another nice thing about Pinterest is that I can make my personal boards private, so I do not have to worry about managing several accounts.
            Some helpful boards I’ve followed and pins I’ve placed have to do with English education. There are many classroom starter activities, essay and discussion prompts, and a never ending cluster of synonyms for crutch words. These are all helpful tools for both me and my students. With these board organizations, I can easily find inspiration when I feel my lessons need some stimulation or my thinking is blocked; everyday my dash will be full of new ideas. If feeling ambitions, I can also share my own lesson plans and ideas.  Pinterest will help me stay organized, creative, and in touch with my fellow English teachers around the world.



Many of the education boards I have followed 

8) Symbaloo

I continued expanding my PLN with Symbaloo. This site acts as an organizer where a teacher can compile all their social media, assistive tech, and blogs they follow. I first heard of Symbaloo from my level one mentor teacher. She used it to organizer her personal and class related material, such as websites and programs the school used. Recently I made my own Symbaloo, featured in the picture below, where I organized all the blogs I follow, educational websites I have used or am familiar with, and my college and social media related material. Symbaloo also acts as a sharing device; I was able to follow the educational technology department’s Symbaloo where I can find all the materials we have been using and discussing in class, as well as example projects. Their Symbaloo helps me easily find the course material and examples I am looking for rather than having to dig through the files on eLearning. As a future teacher, I could have my students create their own Symbaloos and then share mine with them so they will always have easy access to my class blog and other websites we use. Rather than sending email links or social media posts that can easily get lost on a dashboard, I can post the helpful sites or homework information on Symbaloo instead.

My Symbaloo 
My Symbaloo: link to my Symbaloo about English education and my portfolios


9) Facebook

            Using Facebook, I was able to join groups for the clubs, major, and associations I am a part of here at UNI. One of these groups I joined is UNICoTE, a club and Facebook group for English teachers. As a future English teacher, this group gives me the opportunity to connect with my peers and often posts about English education related events such as authors, NCTE, and keynote speakers brought to UNI. Through social media groups like this, I am able to stay involved and up to date on all that in happening in my major here on campus, giving me even more opportunities to expand my PLN. As a teacher, I can use the group feature on Facebook to create a page for my class to join where they can get updates and collaborate. As the admin, their posts must be approved by me to prevent bullying and cheating. It also works to organize clubs and other school associations. I was a part of many Facebook groups for the clubs during high school to help me stay involved. Not only does it reach out to our students, but to the entire school community. Parents can stay up to date 
on school events and fundraisers, motivating them to get 
involved in their child’s education.             

UNICOTE Facebook group


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