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A Texas colleague recently sent me this question:

In your opinion, if I want to introduce PLN’s to my district, (sigh.) should I do an all encompassing piece that includes a variety of resources (diigo, delicious, twitter, facebook, etc) or just choose one to start with (twitter)?

Here is my response…what wisdom would you offer?

Thanks for asking! I introduce PLNs as professional learning opportunities, a way to move from professional development as a special event (e.g. workshop, training occurring between 8:00 and 3:30 PM or at a conference once a year) to a continuous flow of learning.

This requires an adjustment and is a choice teachers have to make after becoming aware that lifelong learning is now possible in ways they never imagined. I also remind them that they have complete control over how little or much they choose to learn.

One of the tools I share with them is Diigo Social Bookmarking. It allows me to introduce a variety of other tools as time allows. Diigo can post to Twitter, to Blogs, etc. As such, it serves as nice jumping off spot. I can blog, tweet from Diigo without doing too much “extra” work.

These technologies are blocked at schools in some districts: Friendfeed, Twitter, Facebook. For these districts, content filtering is an ON/OFF switch rather than a finely grained set of controls. To “protect students,” technologies have to be blocked.

One of the important questions you need to be able to answer is, “How are these technologies relevant to helping children learn?” That’s a question I discuss in my presentation–which leans heavily on the work of others–below:


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure