Saturday, April 23, 2011
Is Your Personal Learning Network diversified?
If you follow me on Twitter, you are likely into technology, Web 2.0 or social media. After all, as the owner/editor or Learn it in 5, I create and post how-to videos and content about integrating technology into the K-12 classroom.
When thinking about my Personal Learning Network (PLN), I typically have technology in mind. I do, however, follow plenty of people on Twitter, who do not typically share blog posts or links about EdTech. I'm a big fan, for example, of Joe Bower, Daniel Pink, Diane Ravitch and Donalyn Miller. These inspiring people don't spend much time, if any, writing about technology.
Bower is a progressive educator, who writes widely on the negative impact of homework and grades on students. Miller is the author of The Book Whisper, a fabulous piece on how to get all kids to love books. Pink (pictured here) writes about motivation, creativity and how people think among other subjects. Ravitch is a former education secretary, who gained notoriety for her 2010 book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
I was recently weeding my Twitter stream; I do this periodically, because I don't want it cluttered with tweets that are unrelated to my professional interests. While doing this, it occurred to me that I needed more friends like the aforementioned group. My Twitter friends are composed mainly of EdTech people. Even though I teach courses on Web 2.0 and social media and present nationwide on technology integration, I also write about and research many other education subjects. (You may be familiar with my creation of the Results Only Learning Environment.)
So, I realized that I needed to diversify my Twitter network. I had to add some friends who share information about my other interests -- reading literacy, intrinsic motivation and progressive education.
Thus, began my PLN diversification project. I've spent some worthwhile time finding people on Twitter who don't just write about EdTech and, in some cases, aren't even teachers. I like what I've done, so far, and this project is ongoing.
Take a moment to consider your own Twitter or Facebook friends and what they are offering. Is your PLN diversified? Does it need to be?