Developing a personal learning network (PLN) is creating and participating in personalized professional development through your professional connections and resources in a way most convenient to your schedule. You can also use professional connections to develop a plan for expanding your skill sets in the way that best suits your needs. With A PLN, you determine the skills you want to focus on, when you want to learn them, and how. A PLN can help learn new tools to incorporate in your course, learn new teaching models and methods, or stay current on educational news. The following information will focus on setting up a PLN to grow your knowledge and skills regarding the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS). The article is inspired by Matthew Weld’s 2013 METC presentation.
1. Connect with people who have a shared interest in Canvas
Connecting is a continuous process, even if you have already established your PLN. Connect with people and experts in the areas you want to grow in through social media sites like Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, and Google+. Find people who are inspirational, resourceful, and supportive. One place to start is Twitter, where you might want to follow these Canvas people.
@instructure - The Canvas Twitter account
@erinhallmark - Canvas documentation creator
@@travesty328 - Coder and designer from Utah State who makes Canvas do fun things
2. Curate and share resources
Curate your content, which means to pull together, sift through, and select your content. A few tools to consider are:
- Tools for finding: Google, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube
- Tools for organizing: Diigo, Evernote, Google Drive
- Tools for sharing: Scoop.it, Paper.li, Twitter
3. Track your learning
Successful people keep journals, talk about ideas, share information, continually learn, and embrace change. Matthew Weld wisely said the best way to learn something is to teach it; the best way to understand something is to write about it.
In your post, include what you learned about the topic, how you'll apply what you learned to your online course, who you connected with, and who influenced your learning the most.
Just as you are committed to personalized learning for students, educators should commit to their own personalized learning.