Victorian Personal Learning Network 2012

The Victorian Personal Learning Network is an online course that explores web tools, blogging and social media. Participants create their own PLN over 12 units. Here's a look at the 2012 course.

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  1. All of the course materials were online, and a blog was used to communicate with the participants throughout the units. Participants regularly visited the PLN program page; some even set it as their home page to remind them to do their work each week!
  2. Participants began by setting up their own blogs as a reflective tool. They were also encouraged to read the blogs of other participants. 
  3. An exciting step for many participants was signing up for a Twitter account. Despite some doubts about the value of Twitter, many began to see the value of this tool.
  4. The first of 6 web conferences was held. Despite the usual teething problems we managed to get up and going with the Blackboard Collaborate software. In these conferences we explored blogging, bookmarking, research, gaming and more. The recordings of each session can be accessed on the web conferencing page.
  5. The Victorian school holidays gave us a chance to rest, catch up on the first four units and also catch up in person at the State Library of Victoria. The first VicPLN tweetchat was also conducted.
  6. Throughout the course we explored some of the issues facing educators in regards to the use of technology. Unit 5 saw participants tasked with interviewing a student about this issue. Some fascinating blog posts resulted, such as this one which provides an insight into the thoughts of a Year 9 student. 
  7. In Unit 8 participants were inspired after exploring some of the Learning & Teaching tools available. Though by this stage many were also a bit worn out and struggling to remember their passwords! This blog post sums up the feelings of many participants.
  8. The Research tools unit of the course continued to be one of the most popular weeks, with participants exploring the wide range of resources available. This week also saw the introduction of one of the PLN team's favourite tools Evernote. PLN participants continued to embrace and explore each tool while also critically assessing their value. 
  9. One important aspect of the PLN is being able to find other great professional learning resources online. Participants were also encouraged to add to these resources by recording tutorials using screencasting tools. This great post sums up and compares some of the resources out there and then Pam puts it into action by recording a screencast comparing three great sites.
  10. I have a great time comparing Ed Tech crew, TL Virtual cafe and Teacher Training videos, until I run out of time
  11. In Unit 12 the participants reflected on the course by making digital stories with a variety of web tools. There was a lot of love for Xtranormal and Storybird. The PLN team were amazed by the wonderful creativity displayed by participants.
  12. Xtranormal: Farley Snickering & Cally Rickshaw's secret network report
  13. Xtranormal: The Librarian Who Thought She'd Seen It All
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