PLN Tools

Below is a list of some of the tools, both essential and recommended, for the creation and maintenance of your PLN.  When possible, I will include a video tutorial/screencast on how to use the tool.  This will not necessarily replace our class time learning these tool, but it will aid you in any technical questions you may have.

User Name:  remember, the key is to develop a web presence that is supported by your user name.  You want to choose something that can be both professional and something unique enough that you should be able to reuse it for multiple accounts.

Essential Tools
1.  Gmail.  The reason I would like to have you get a Gmail address is that it is the key to all things Google.  It is a one user name/password for access to Gmail, iGoogle, Blogger, Google Sites, Google+, Picassa, Twitter, etc.

2.  iGoogle.  I will have you set up your iGoogle page to not only have your personal web life come to you (Facebook, email, calendars, etc.) but we will use iGoogle as a way to collect blogs and bloggers who write about what feeds your passion.

3.  Blogger.  You will use Google's blog tool, Blogger, to create your blog.  This will be the  nexus of this course.  It will be the place you reflect both professionally and for your PLN.

4.  Diigo.  This is one of my favorite PLN tools.  It is a social bookmarking tool that will allow you to collect, organize, share your research, and network with other Diigo users.

Diigo V5: Collect and Highlight, Then Remember! from diigobuzz on Vimeo

5.  Twitter.  Yes, Twitter.  Believe it or not, this is the tool that is going to connect you to other like-minded educators more than all of the other tools put together. . .assuming you use it correctly.
This link is to a page that has tutorials for both Twitter and Tweetdeck.  The videos were created by David Wees.  After watching these, it seemed silly to create my own.
Eight Videos to help teachers get started with Twitter.

6.  Tweetdeck.  This is a social network personal browser to keep you connected to many of your social networks.  We will primarily use it to organize your Twitter account into areas of interest.
Eight Videos to help teachers get started with Twitter.

7.  YouTube.  A YouTube account will allow you to not only save some screencasts that you may want to share with your PLN or class, it is a place where you can save some educational videos and tutorials for a multitude of learning opportunities.

Some other Useful Tools

8.  Evernote.  Your personal, digital assistant.
Nice videos from Evernote.

9. Podcasts.  There are many educational resources from podcasts to iTunes U where you can even listen to entire college courses.
Tips for Podcast Fans.  iTunes U.

10.  Google Sites.  This is a free, website/wiki creation tool from Google.  You can create websites to host information or to connect with a community.

11. Tumblr.  This is a new, blog-like sharing tool.  It is visually interesting and allows for the easy sharing of articles, pictures, etc.

12.  This is a content curation site.  I think this is a great tool to gather information around a specific topic.  The visual nature of this tool makes it's design sharp and it presents well.

13.  Jing.  Jing is a free, screenshot or screencast tool.  It is great to send/annotate a picture or to send a brief screencast to someone showing them how to do something or how to use a tool.

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