Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thing 17 Professional Learning Networks

Wow, MACUL is free!  I had a friend who talked about attending the MACUL conference and the information he was sharing was excellent and gave me tools that I have been able to use in my classroom to improve instruction. It is awesome that the purpose of MACUL is to keep up with the ever changing world of educational technology, collaborate with people who enjoy using technology in their classroom, and learn new things from those that are members in MACUL. I can contribute to an organization like this by my excitement to use technology to improve instruction and support my students new learning.

LearnPort is great and it is how I learned about the Calhoun ISD courses. I like LearnPort because it leads me to webinars that I could watch to grow as an individual and get involved with groups of people who are doing technology based things like I do. I am glad places like LearnPort exist because it inspires me to connect with others to grow as a professional.

The purpose of Twitter, Facebook, and MACULspace is to connect with others who are excited about learning about what others are doing and how we can join others in doing things we find interesting. I see the greatest pro of Twitter is its linear nature. I can go through my tweetdeck with my multiple columns of hashtags and read what is important to me with #edtech or #edchat or #mathed. Tweetdeck helps me not be distracted by streams of information that are unimportant to me or totally off the topic I am interested in at the moment. Another pro of Twitter is that you can follow what another person tweets about without being a member on twitter and without them necessarily following you back. For people that are hesitant to use a social media platform, twitter allows an individual to see a stream of tweets without requiring a sign in. But that leads to a con for Twitter where if I want to communicate with someone on Twitter, I must be signed in to my account. A pro for Facebook is that many people use it personally so that a transition to professional use isn’t so daunting. However a con of Facebook is that you have little control over the stream of content that comes through your news feed and much of the content can be distracting from a professional viewpoint. Although MACUL looks like a great professional organization, MACULspace seems to have gone the way of Myspace, because there seemed to be little relevant new content there. Instead MACULspace seemed to point to twitter as the location to get up to date information. I know that I appreciate social networking sites that make my professional growth easier, not more complicated and distracted. For me Twitter has become my go to social media and networking site for its ease of use and linear stream of content.

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