I am currently working with a group of ISWO (Instructional Skills Workshop Online) students. Part of their workshop requirement is to blog and my role is simply to monitor those blogs and make a few suggestions about how the various postings might connect to:
1. each other
2. online information resources outside of the course – particularly those that have the potential to be ongoing and interactive.
The intention is to explore ways of building online communities. When students reflect on their areas of interest and clarify their thoughts enough to feel confident about posting them in a blog, an important first step has been taken. The hope is that they will then reach out to others, and others will read to them, so true networks can form.
I’m a huge fan of the concept of the personal learning network or PLN. Sometimes a similar concept is referred to as a personal learning environment. For me, it helps to think of a visual diagram of all the support, online and offline, that is available to assist with my ongoing learning. There are literally dozens of these at:
For me, D’Arcy Norman’s two versions (but especially the “distilled” one) are quite perfect!
For more about the PLE/PLN concept see my blog post from last year that focuses on the work of Wendy Drexler: https://elizabethtweets.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/personal-learning-networksenvironments-via-the-work-of-wendy-drexler/